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K-State Today

November 7, 2016

Reminder: 'On Just and Unjust Men' lecture today

Submitted by Darchelle Martin

The Remnant Trust logo

From 4:30–5:30 p.m. Nov. 7 in Hale Library’s Hemisphere Room, Steffi Dippold, assistant professor of English, and Ben McCloskey, visiting assistant professor of modern languages, will present "On Just and Unjust Men" discussing "Rebels No Saints" and Plato’s "Republic." Following the lecture, guests can visit "Wisdom of the Ages," an exhibit on the second floor of Hale Library featuring both books from the presentation. Docents will be available for guests to handle materials out of their cases.

Plato's "Republic," often also called "On Justice," famously contemplates about both just men and just city-states. Both questions served as powerful models for modern democratic experiments and American independence in particular. This is why the 1763 first English edition of "The Republic" in the "Wisdom of the Ages" exhibit is such a print culture landmark.

In contrast, the little known 1661 "Rebels No Saints" volume, with its quirky subtitle "A Collection of the Speeches, Private Passages, Letters, Prayers of Those Persons Lately Executed," carries less cultural weight yet belabors similar questions. The anonymous author, of which we learn only that he calls himself "a person of quality," dwells on dangerously unjust men: the regicides of King Charles I and their last rueful utterances. Bringing the two books and their intellectual networks and communities together, this presentation will explore print culture and the construction of a public sphere that promoted both philosophical self-examination and its cunning fabrication.

The exhibit is on loan from the Remnant Trust, a public educational foundation. The Remnant Trust shares its growing collection on the topics of individual liberty and human dignity through traveling exhibits. "Wisdom of the Ages" will be available on the second floor of Hale Library through Dec. 16. To see a full list of items in the exhibit visit lib.ksu.edu/events.

K-State librarians are available 11 a.m. to noon and 2-3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to assist visitors who would like the unique opportunity to handle and read the books. Additionally, teachers and community groups who would like to bring a class to "Wisdom of the Ages" are welcome to make an appointment with a librarian by emailing libexhibits@ksu.edu.

Librarians also will be available to assist the public from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, for a special community day.

"Wisdom of the Ages" is made possible by the K-State Office of the President.

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