The John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought was founded in 1941 by the historian John U. Nef, the economist Frank Knight, the anthropologist Robert Redfield, and Robert M. Hutchins, then President of ... About the Committee

About the Committee

Work with the Committee is not limited as to subject matter. Any serious program of study, based on the Fundamentals Examination, culminating in a scholarly doctoral dissertation, and requiring a framework... Graduate Program

Graduate Program

Since students in the Committee have unusual scope for independent study, successful work in Social Thought requires mature judgment and individual initiative. Naturally, the Committee wishes... Admission to the Committee

Admission to the Committee

The John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought

The John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought is an interdisciplinary, Ph.D. granting graduate program. Its guiding principle is that the serious study of many academic topics, and of many philosophical, historical, theological and literary works, is best prepared for by a wide and deep acquaintance with the fundamental issues presupposed in all such studies, that students should learn about these issues by acquainting themselves with a select number of major ancient and modern texts in an inter- disciplinary atmosphere, and should only then begin intense work on a specific dissertation topic. In their first few years of study, students select twelve to fifteen foundational or fundamental books that best inform the context and background of the issues they want to write about, and they read and study these books in discussion groups, tutorials, seminars and independently, and then sit a week long qualifying exam on some selection of their books. Learn more

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February 13, 2014 – Nef Lecture entitled “Habits and Poets – Kant on Second Nature

Nef Lecture entitled “Habits and Poets – Kant on Second Nature (Is there an original concept of ‘second nature’ implied in Kant’s practical philosophy) by Dr. Thomas Khurana, a philosopher from the University of Frankfurt, Germany.

 

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February 21, 2014 – Reading from Memorial, a Version of Homer’s Iliad by Alice Oswald

Reading from Memorial, a Version of Homer’s Iliad by Alice Oswald in the Logan Center Seminar Terrace 801 room.

 

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April 3, 2014 – “Matisse. Between Manet and Cézanne.” Nef Lecture by Todd Cronan, art historian from Emory University

April 3, 2014 at 4:30pm in SS 122 – “Matisse. Between Manet and Cézanne.” Nef Lecture by Todd Cronan, art historian from Emory University

 

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April 21, 2014 – Negative Capability, Fallenness, and Reconciliation in Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address: Nef Lecture by John Burt, English and American Studies from Brandeis University

Negative Capability, Fallenness, and Reconciliation in Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address: Nef Lecture by John Burt, English and American Studies from Brandeis University.

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April 28, 2014 – Flesh or Stone? Michelangelo’s Statue of Lorenzo in the Medici Chapel: Nef Lecture by Luca Giuliani, Rector of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin and Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Humboldt University of Berlin

Flesh or Stone? Michelangelo’s Statue of Lorenzo in the Medici Chapel: Nef Lecture by Luca Giuliani, Rector of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin and Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Humboldt University of Berlin.

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April 29, 2014 – Fuseli, Goya, and the Paradox of Tolerance: Nef Lecture by Andrei Pop, art historian from Universität Basel

Fuseli, Goya, and the Paradox of Tolerance: Nef Lecture by Andrei Pop, art historian from Universität Basel.

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May 5, 2014 – CST Coloquium hosted by Bryan Garsten from Yale University

CST Coloquium hosted by Bryan Garsten from Yale University (title TBA).

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May 8, 2014 – Poetry Reading by Louise Gluuck

Poetry Reading by Louise Gluuck (title TBA).

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May 16-17, 2014 - Social Thought is sponsoring a two-day conference in honor of Joseph Frank

Social Thought is sponsoring a two-day conference in honor of Joseph Frank.

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The John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought Video