Dear Friends of The University Seminars,
The academic year has begun, and our Newsletter is full of upcoming events and programs. Some emerge from our office, but most are initiated by seminars. It is easy to take for granted the freedom each seminar has to initiate and to change, a tradition that has lasted for seventy-five years. But this autumn is not like any other in recent memory. We have an upcoming election with nationwide repercussions, and many of us sense the election as a particularly precious gift of our constitutional democracy. Some of us, myself included, cannot entirely shake the anxiety that our past may not assure our future as such a democracy. Recently I came across a coin that I had saved from my family’s belongings. It is a two Franc piece, minted in German-occupied Vichy France in 1943. For Liberty, we see Work; for Equality, we see Family; for Brotherhood, we see Fatherland. Welcome back, and join me in the hope that we never see our own currency reflect those suddenly familiar variants, even as we see and hear them in our national discourse today.
Director, The University Seminars