addcalendar Download Event
Buy Tickets/RSVP

Date & Time

Sunday, May 19, 2019
6:00 PM


Seminary Co-op Bookstore


Free and open to the public


Seminary Co-op Bookstore
(773) 752-4381


“Launay has taken a familiar theme and utterly transformed it. No other account of the European self-imagining through the mirror of multiple others covers so wide a range of peoples and places with such acuity and verve as he has done—this is an original, compelling, and persuasive book.”—Anthony Pagden, University of California, Los Angeles

A discussion with Robert Launay, author of "Savages, Romans, and Despots: Thinking about others from Montaigne to Herder". He will be joined in conversation by Ada Palmer. A Q&A and signing will follow the event.

At the Co-op

About the book: From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, Europeans struggled to understand their identity in the same way we do as individuals: by comparing themselves to others. In Savages, Romans, and Despots, Robert Launay takes us on a fascinating tour of early modern and modern history in an attempt to untangle how various depictions of “foreign” cultures and civilizations saturated debates about religion, morality, politics, and art.

About the author: Robert Launay is Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern University. His books include "Islamic Education in Africa" (Indiana University Press 2015) and "Foundations of Anthropological Theory: From Classical Antiquity to Early Modern Europe" (Wiley-Blackwell 2010).

About the interlocutor: Ada Palmer is Associate Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance, Harvard University Press, 2014 as well as of Terra Ignota, a series of dystopian science fiction books.