Professor Melissa Lane to deliver a public lecture series at Gresham College

June 26, 2023

Melissa Lane, Director of the University Center for Human Values and Class of 1943 Professor of Politics, will deliver a series of distinguished lectures at Gresham College,  London's oldest (non-degree granting) higher education institution. She will serve as Professor of Rhetoric, a non-teaching role, for a fixed term of three years concurrently with her permanent Princeton appointment, as is the norm for Gresham Professors. She commented on her appointment stating, "As someone fascinated by the history of political ideas, the lineage of Gresham Professors sharing ideas for free with the public of London (and now the world) for over four hundred years is one I am absolutely delighted and honoured to join. Rhetoric is an ancient Greek word for the practice of persuading through logos, ethos, and pathos. Whether it is understanding the demands of political office or diagnosing why climate change is so hard to address, ancient Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle can help us to rethink the ideas we take for granted and so open the way to new political possibilities.”

In keeping with Gresham College's 426-year-old tradition, Professor Lane will deliver lectures aimed at the public within the City of London and beyond through live stream lectures online. She is an expert on the history of ancient Greek political thought and political philosophy and she has made significant contributions to research "on the ethics of political theory of climate change and more broadly, of the intersection between science, democracy, and communication." Her latest book "Of Rule and Office: Plato’s Ideas of the Political" was published by Princeton University Press on June 20.

In the academic year 2023-2024, the theme of her public lecture series is "The Political Imagination: Ancient Greek Ideas." It will include the following lectures: Plato and the Idea of Political Office; Ancient Greek Ideas of Justice; Ancient Greek Ideas of Equality under the Law; Democracy: Ancient Models, Modern Challenges; Experts in Politics: Lessons from Socrates and Aristotle; and, Plato’s Cave: Thinking about Climate Change.

Read the full news story on Princeton University's website here.