Week 2: Claire Arcenas, ‘When Theory Fails in Practice: Learning from Locke’s Mistakes in Early America’

Our second seminar of the term takes place tomorrow, Wednesday 8th May, at 5pm in the downstairs seminar room at the Rothermere American Institute. Claire Arcenas, a Visiting Research Fellow at the RAI, will be presenting some of her research on the continuing influence of John Locke’s thought in American intellectual life after the Revolution. This week’s talk will focus specifically on how Americans contrasted Locke with the Federalist Papers of John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.

Claire Arcenas is an assistant professor of American history at the University of Montana. She holds a PhD (2016) from Stanford University, where she was a Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. At present, she is at work on a book about the changing influence of the English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) on American intellectual life over the last three hundred years. Her research has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, the Huntington Library, and the Harry Ransom Center.

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