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The John Lax Memorial Lecture was endowed in 1982 by Professors Peter and the late Anneli Lax of New York University’s mathematics department, in memory of their son, John, a historian who taught at Mount Holyoke in the mid-1970s. After John Lax’s premature death, his parents created a permanent memorial in the form of this annual lecture. The Lax Lecture is given by a historian of the highest distinction to commemorate the work and spirit of John Lax by making the latest advances in history accessible to the public.

2023 John Lax Memorial Lecture in History: "Ukraine at War: Some reflections on the possibility of global history
Timothy Snyder is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. His books include:

  • Marxism, and Modern Central Europe (1998)
  • The Reconstruction of Nations (2003)
  • Sketches from a Secret War (2005) 
  • The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (2008)
  • Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010)
  • Thinking the Twentieth Century (with Tony Judt, 2012)
  • Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (2015)
  • On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017) 
  • Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America (2018)
  • Our Malady: Lessons on Liberty from a Hospital Diary (2020).

Snyder’s work has appeared in forty languages and has received a number of prizes. He has appeared in documentaries, on network television, and in major films. His books have inspired poster campaigns and exhibitions, films, sculpture, a punk rock song, a rap song, a play, and an opera. His words are quoted in political demonstrations around the world. He is currently finishing a philosophical book about freedom.

This event is co-sponsored by: President's Office, Weissman Center for Leadership, McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives, and the International Relations Department

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