Events calendar

Lecture: Professor Orlando Patterson - The Paradox of Freedom: A Socio-Historical Approach
Thursday 07 December 2023, 06:00pm - 08:00pm
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Lecture at the RAI

Thursday 7 December 2023,  6.00 - 8.00pm GMT

The event will happen in person at the RAI, 50 Fitzroy Street, W1T5BT
To reserve your spot, register here: 


The Paradox of Freedom: A Socio-Historical Approach

Prof Orlando Patterson (John Cowles Professor of Sociology, Harvard University)

Introduction Prof David Scott (Columbia University) 

The history of the concept and idea of freedom (central in western thought) that Professor Orlando Patterson explores is intimately connected with slavery
and its experience. Slavery is at the root of the value of freedom and of the paradox whereby the evil that is slavery, its abhorrence and inhumanity, inheres in the value of freedom itself. How this is so from ancient societies into the social and political complexities of the present will comprise themes of the lecture.


This event is part of a series of lectures and talks by Professor Orlando Patterson, John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard University on the subject of Slavery and Freedom.

These will take place at University College London, The Royal Anthropological Institute, and The School of Oriental and African Studies during the week December 6 to December 9.

The occasion has been generously supported by the Norwegian Research Council in connection with the University of Bergen Egalitarian Project.


 Orlando Patterson

Professor Orlando Patterson, a renowned novelist, historian, anthropologist and sociologist, of major influence in the humanities and social sciences, is the foremost scholar of slavery, of its comparative understanding, and its critical and deep position in contemporary consciousness and practices.  His intellectual history is one deeply connected to his roots in Jamaica but in certain ways too, London. He was a student and a teacher at LSE in the 1960s where he wrote his PhD and very much part of the intellectual scene including many of those well-known in the establishment of anthropology and sociology in the colleges of the University of London.  


Wednesdays 6 December 5 - 7pm
Daryll Forde Memorial Lecture, UCL (14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW)
"The  Origins of Slavery and Slave Society: A Critique and Alternate Explanation"
Register here

Thursday 7 December  6 - 8pm
Royal Anthropological Institute (50 Fitzroy Street, W1T5BT)
"The Paradox of Freedom: A Socio-Historical Approach"  
Introduction by Prof David Scott 

Friday 8 December, 10 - 12am

"Slavery and Genocide: Jamaica, the U.S. South and the Historical Sociology of Evil" 
Introduction by Prof Eddie Bruce-Jones and Prof Graeme Were 
Register here

Saturday 9 December, 10am - 4pm
The Royal Anthropological Institute (50 Fitzroy Street, W1T5BT)
"Freedom and Slavery: Issues of Comparative Understanding and Contemporary Social and Political Relevance" 
~ An Open Conversation with Professor Orlando Patterson 
Introduction by Prof David Wengrow (author with David Graeber of The Dawn of Everything) 





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