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Max Weber Lecture Series

The Max Weber Lectures are a part of a series of lectures related to the themes of the research projects of the India Branch Office. Well-known experts from any of the research themes of the IBO are specially invited to India to share their expertise with project partners and other researchers in India.

The series consists of two sets of two lectures by each invited speaker. The lectures take place in spring and autumn respectively.


Sebastian Conrad (Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin)
The Global Revolution of Time in the Nineteenth Century

Venues and dates:

  • IIC New Delhi, 27 January 2020, 6.30 pm (poster) and
  • Presidency University, Kolkata (poster), 30 January 2020, 12.00 noon

The nineteenth century witnessed a fundamental transformation of notions of time on a global scale. Around the world, time-hallowed practices of time measurement and of time-related cosmologies had to come to terms with a new global regime. This new time regime constituted a four-fold revolution, introducing the concepts of standardization, of global synchronicity, of progressive time, and of deep historical time. In this talk, Sebastian Conrad will argue that this temporal revolution cannot be equated with the diffusion of European temporality, but needs to be understood as a multifaceted response to global challenges.

Sabastian Conrad is Professor of Modern History (FU Berlin). He joined the faculty in 2010 after teaching for several years at the European University Institute in Florence. He was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, a visiting professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris, and held the Theodor Heuss Chair at the New School, New York. Sebastian Conrad is the director of MA "Global History", a joint-degree program at Free University and Humboldt University, Berlin; he is also the director of the graduate school "Global Intellectual History". He is on the editorial board of History and Society, of Past & Present (2012-2019), and of Modern Intellectual History. His most recent publications include What is Global History? (Princeton University Press, 2016) and An Emerging Modern World, 1750-1870 (Harvard University Press, 2018, edited with Jürgen Osterhammel).



Ute Frevert (Max Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin)
The Politics of Humiliation: Historical Trajectories

Venues and dates:

  • Auditorium of Jadunath Museum and Resource Centre, 10 Lake Terrace, Kolkata, 22 November 2019, 4.00 pm, and
  • Goethe Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan Auditorium, New Delhi, 25 November 2019, 6.30 pm (poster)

The talk will be about the power of public shaming and humiliation in the modern world. such strategies were either meant to punish and reintegrate a person who had violated social norms, or to debase and stigmatize those whom others wanted to exclude from groups or society at large. The talk follows the development of such practices since the late eighteenth century in legal, education and foreign policies, mainly with regard to Europe, China, and India. It focuses on the concept of human dignity and why this has become paramount.

Ute Frevert is Professor of Modern History (FU Berlin) and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. Among her English-language publications are "Men of Honour: A Social and Cultural History of the Duel" (1995); "A Nation in Barracks: Modern Germany, Military Conscription and Civil Society" (2004); "Emotions in History - Lost and Found" (2011); "Emotional lexicons" (2014), "Learning how to Feel" (2014; ed., "Moral Economies" (2019). The book "The Politics of Humiliation: A Modern History" will be published by OUP in 2020. 


Andy Green (UCL Institute of Education)
Education and State Formation in Europe, East Asia and the USA
The Crisis for Young People. Generational Inequalities in Education, Work, Housing and Welfare

Venues and dates:

  • India International Centre, New Delhi, 22 February 2019, 6.30 pm (poster, PDF file), and
  • School of Education TISS Mumbai, Naoroji Campus, 26 February 2019, 3.00 pm (poster, PDF file)

Andy Green is Professor of Comparative Social Science at the UCL Institute of Education, and Director, since 2008, of the ERSC-funded Research Centre on Learning and Life Chances (LLAKES). He was formerly co-founder and co-director of the DFEE-funded Wider Benefits of Learning Centre and has directed a number of major comparative research projects addressing both economic and social impacts of education and training. He has acted as consultant to international bodies, such as CEDEFOP, the European Training Foundation, the European Commission, OECD and UNESCO, and to UK Government departments and organisations. He has published widely on a range of social and education issues with major works translated into Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish, including: Education Cohesion: Societies and the Crisis of Globalisation, Palgrave 2011; Education and Development in a Global Era: Strategies for 'Successful' Globalisation, DFID, 2007. Most recently he has been working policies for reducing inter-generational inequality as outlined in his recent open access Palgrave book: The Crisis for Young People: Generational Inequalities in Education, Work, Housing and Welfare. 


Pauline Lipman (Chicago)
Education and Urban Crises: Coercive Neoliberalism, the Politics of Disposability, and the Struggle for the Right to the City

Venues and dates:

  • National Institute of Advanced Studies Bangalore, 12 November 2018, 5.30 pm (poster, PDF file), and
  • India International Centre New Delhi, 16 November 2018, 6 pm (poster, PDF file)

This paper argues that education is co-constitutive of the neoliberal economic-political order and its urban crises and is a critical site for resistance to neoliberalism, racism, reactionary nationalism, and xenophobia. I begin with the stakes of the present moment: the conjuncture of profound economic, political, social, and ecological crises and global resurgence of xenophobic, white supremacist, nationalist, anti-democratic agendas, on one hand, and new resistances, solidarities, social imaginaries and emerging counter-hegemonic programs, on the other. I trace this polarized moment to the protracted structural crisis of capitalism, globalized neoliberalism, and legacies of colonialism, white supremacy, xenophobia, and entrenched class/race/gender/caste/ethnic/religious social hierarchies that variously permeate our societies at all scales.

Abstract (PDF file)

Pauline Lipman is Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Director of the Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education, a university-community collaborative research center. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on race, class, and political economy of urban education, particularly the interrelationship of education and urban policy and urban social movements. Professor Lipman is the author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports. Her publications include The New Political Economy of Urban Education: Neoliberalism, Race, and the Right to the City (2011), High Stakes Education (2004) and Race, Class and Power in School Restructuring (1998), the last two of which received American Education Studies Association, Critics Choice Awards. In 2011, she received the American Education Research Association Distinguished Contribution to Social Contexts in Education Research, Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013 she was elected a lifetime member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Professor Lipman is also engaged in community campaigns for equitable and just education. As a core member of Chicago Teachers for Social Justice, she has been involved in struggles against school closings and education privatization. In coalition with community organizations, parents, and the Chicago Teachers Union, she has been actively engaged in movements for democratic control of schools, sustainable community-driven schools, and racial justice.

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