Transregional Center for Democratic Studies

TCDS Presents: Courage in Public Scholarship Award Ceremony & Lecture, A New School Centennial Event, Thurs. March 7th, 6 pm

Courage in Public Scholarship Award

Ceremony & Lecture

2019 recipient — Jan T. Gross


March 7th, 2019 @ 6:00pm

The New School

University Center, Starr Foundation Hall (UL102)

63 Fifth Avenue, New York City


As part of the celebration of the Centennial of The New School, The Transregional Center for Democratic Studies of the New School for Social Research (NSSR) is pleased to extend this invitation to the presentation of this year’s Courage in Public Scholarship Award to the distinguished historian and author, Jan T. Gross, Professor of History Emeritus, Princeton University.

Introductory address

 Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University

Jan T. Gross

Making History: My Intellectual Journey into the Hidden Polish Past


About the Courage in Public Scholarship Award

The Award was envisioned in 2014 during NSSR’s Democracy & Diversity summer Institute in Wroclaw, Poland, by a group of European alumni of NSSR/TCDS now living and working in Europe. They discussed the meaning of the New School academic experience that had shaped their personal and professional lives: its openness to others, its critical approach, its intellectual engagement, and its culture of dare-to-know and dare-to-discuss. Thinking in terms of The New School’s emblematic tradition of scholarly excellence, civic engagement, and ethical commitment to the larger world, they formed the NSSR-Europe Collective. Drawing on the ethos of the University in Exile and the conviction that especially in dark times universities carry a special responsibility vis-à-vis society, they proposed to establish an annual tribute to exceptionally audacious thinkers, teachers, and doers through an annual Courage in Public Scholarship Award.


The previous awardees are:

Ann Barr Snitow (2015): prominent American academic, writer, and activist committed to gender justice and equality, whose work in Central and Eastern Europe over a quarter of a century has helped to recast social discourse, reshape the culture, and empower women in this part of the world. Introductory address was delivered by Elzbieta Matynia. The awardee’s talk was entitled “How to Survive a Backlash”.

Agnes Heller (2016): a distinguished philosopher, heroic dissident, and gifted, beloved, and widely influential teacher. She was honored for her fierce, lifelong commitment to liberal democracy, citizens’ rights, and her “revolution of everyday life”. Introductory address was delivered by Judith Friedlander. The awardee’s talk was entitled “From Utopia to Dystopia”.

Ewa Letowska (2017): Poland’s extraordinary jurist, former Ombudsperson, and a former judge on Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. She was recognized as an audacious intellectual and a remarkable human being, highly respected in Europe and beyondIntroductory address was delivered by Irena Grudzinska-Gross. The awardee’s talk was entitled “What is Happening to the State of Law?”

**The award itself comes in the form of a sculpture created for the occasion by Wroclaw artist, Tadeusz Wlodarczak.


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