Events Calendar

William Connell: High School Teachers Institute

Friday, April 21, 2023, 09:00am - 02:30pm


The Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis


Machiavelli and the Political Culture of Modernity

Friday, April 21, 2023

9a - 2:30p, AB 6051

William Connell, Professor of History and La Motta Chair in Italian Studies, Seton Hall University

In a famous letter the Florentine writer Niccolò Machiavelli describes how he spent his evenings studying the ancient classics.  He says of the writers of antiquity, “I am not ashamed to speak with them, and to ask the reasons for their actions; and they, in their humanity, answer me.”  This workshop will study how Machiavelli’s analytical approach to a distant pagan past resulted in a set of forward-looking ideas concerning the state, religion, consumer culture, republicanism, and pleasure that continue to frame a great part of contemporary political discourse.   We will read selections from Machiavelli’s Prince and other works and explore their relevance to the global Renaissance, our world of goods, and democracies facing crises.