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Fourth Annual USIH Conference

In Quest of Intellectual Community

In this fascinating essay, Eric Miller, author of the excellent intellectual biography, Hope in a Scattering Time: A Life of Christopher Lasch, reflects on his experience at the 2011 U.S. Intellectual History Conference. Miller’s perspective is, I think, pretty different from many attendees, which makes this essay that much more interesting. A small sample: It was most basically a tradition at play, serious play. Even liberal modernity requires earthy sites of institutionalized ritual (think panel+respondent+Q&A, or wine and cheese receptions, or “business meetings”), although the underground suite of grey classrooms we huddled within at the Graduate Center of the City Read more