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Tragic Vision, Democratic Hope: A Conference in Honor of J. Peter Euben

Duke University

November 9-10, 2012

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Peter Euben’s work has been at the forefront of both democratic and ancient political theory for several decades, and he is largely responsible for the renewed interest in Greek tragedy within academic political theory today.  As a scholar Euben demonstrates the importance of tragedy as an institution of Athenian democracy, but perhaps more importantly he articulates the enduring relevance of the tragic sensibility for how we currently think about ethics and politics.  He also continues to be a first-rate mentor of graduate students, and was a celebrated teacher of undergraduates both at Duke and at UC Santa Cruz before that.  Duke University is honored to celebrate his life and work with this two-day event.

Panelists at the conference will engage the many aspects of Euben’s scholarship, both with reference to the Athenian context and the broader implications of his work for the dilemmas of contemporary democratic theory.  Presenters currently scheduled include: Terence Ball, Cristina Beltran, PJ Brendese, Mary Dietz, Jason Frank, Jill Frank, Patchen Markell, Sara Monoson, Donald Moon, Melissa Orlie, Stephen Salkever, Arlene Saxonhouse, Joel Schlosser, Tracy Strong, and Stephen White.

For additional information please contact Stefan Dolgert at

Schedule (all events in the Gothic Reading Room, Perkins Library, except where noted):

Friday, November 9:

Panel 1 “Democracy”

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Thomas Spragens, Chair

Terence Ball “Democracy and Manipulation: Foes or Strange Bedfellows?”

Jason Frank “Populism and Paideia”

Stephen White “The Virtual Patriot Syndrome: Tea Partyers and Others”

Panel 2 “Tragedy”

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Michael Gillespie, Chair

Arlene Saxonhouse “Republic Book Ten and Euripides’ Dionysus: Freedom, Form, and Formlessness”

Joel Schlosser “The Polis Artist: On Late DeLillo, Time, and Democracy”

Tracy Strong “How Tragedy Begins: The Optics of Science, Art, and Life”

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch

Panel 3 “Plato and Arendt”

1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Jed Atkins, Chair

Jill Frank “Circulating Authority: Plato, Politics, and Political Theory”

Patchen Markell “The Surprising Platonism of Hannah Arendt”

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Reception, and Staged Reading of Aristophanes’ Clouds

7:30 p.m. Dinner at the home of Michael Gillespie

Saturday, November 10:

Panel 4 “Power and Freedom: Theorizing Race and Class”

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Roxanne Euben, Chair

Cristina Beltran “”Racial Presence versus Racial Justice: The Affective Power of an Aesthetic Condition”

P.J. Brendese “Black Noise in White Time: On Segregated Temporality”

Sara Monoson “Class Politics and Classical Imagery”

Panel 5 “Roundtable on Ethics and Politics”

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Ruth Grant, Chair

Mary Dietz

Donald Moon

Melissa Orlie

Stephen Salkever