Democracy Lectures at Yale by Distinguished Faculty to be Available on the Internet

(Editors and Reporters: the location of the Democratic Vistas lectures has been changed to Battell Chapel. The talks were initially scheduled at Yale Law School)

Yale University’s celebration of its 300th birthday will feature weekly lectures on democracy by leading faculty members that are open to the public and will be available on the Internet.

Called “Democratic Vistas,” the lectures by 15 distinguished scholars will give the public an opportunity to take part in a Yale College class that explores a timely theme, the future of democracy.

“Yale has been shaped by, and has helped to shape, the democratic institutions of American life,” said Law School Dean Anthony Kronman, who organized “Democratic Vistas” and will deliver the first lecture on January 9. “The talks offer the wider world an opportunity to hear a number of Yale’s leading scholars reflect on a subject that touches us all – the American experiment in democracy, which for 300 years has formed the background to Yale’s great adventure.”

Yale has reached out locally and nationally to invite high schools and community colleges to participate in “Democratic Vistas.” School teachers can receive Continuing Education Units, and local high school students are encouraged to take part in the course as an enhancement to existing course work or for credit. Nationally, schools are encouraged to join the Yale scholars by using the Internet to hear the lectures and join discussion groups.

The lectures will address topics such as the character of democratic citizenship, the implications of science and technology, the effect of democracy on education and the market, the compatibility of democratic practices with the claims of religion and the family, and the barriers to achieving greater equality among citizens. Yale President Richard C. Levin and Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead are among the lecturers.

The Web page at Yale for information about “Democratic Vistas” is www.yale.edu/yale300/democracy. The lectures themselves and the follow-up public discussions about the lectures will be available at the same Web address.

A schedule of the “Democratic Vistas” lectures, which will run from January 9 to May 1, is attached. The talks, named for a classic essay by Walt Whitman, will be delivered on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. in Yale’s Battell Chapel at the corner of Elm and College streets in New Haven. A discussion of each lecture with the faculty member will be held on the following Thursday, also at 4 p.m. in Battell Chapel. The lectures and discussions are open to the public.

The lecture course will be supplemented by a number of other public forums and presentations during the Tercentennial that will have a democratic theme.

Yale, which was founded in 1701, is engaged in a yearlong celebration of its Tercentennial. The climactic Tercentennial Celebration is scheduled for October 5-6, 2001. Throughout the anniversary year, Yale is offering special public events and exhibits that reflect on the University’s past and prompt consideration of Yale’s future.

Complete information about the Tercentennial and a calendar of events is available at www.yale.edu/yale300 or by calling the Tercentennial Office at 203-432-0300.

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Media Contact

Tom Conroy: tom.conroy@yale.edu, 203-432-1345