2013 Conference

The Importance of Learning:
Liberal Education and Scholarship in Historical Perspective

Princeton University, 5–7 June 2013

Keynotes: William Clark (UCLA), Anthony Grafton (Princeton) and Howard Hotson (Oxford)


It is an inescapable fact of contemporary life that the idea of a liberal education, an education that aims primarily at the cultivation of the intellect and sensibility rather than at preparation for a particular vocation, is widely under attack all over the world. In country after country, the idea of learning for its own sake is being swept aside, as institutions of higher education are pressured to devote themselves primarily to preparing students for careers in practical areas. The global membership of the International Society for Intellectual History is in a unique position to illuminate these questions from a genuinely historical and cosmopolitan perspective.

This conference has been made possible thanks to the support of the Department of Philosophy, the Department of History, the Humanities Council, the University Center for Human Values, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, whose sponsorship we gratefully acknowledge.


Advanced conference registration is now closed. If you wish to attend, please register in Upper Hyphen, part of the East Pyne/Chancellor Green complex, from 1:30 on Wednesday, 5 June. The registration desk will remain open through Wednesday and Thursday. Please see the map below.

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, conference registration is free.


The final programme is now available below. Please note that it is no longer possible to request changes.


Map and Room Locations

The conference will take place predominantly in the East Pyne/Chancellor Green complex. The following rooms are located in this complex: Upper Hyphen, The Chancellor Green Rotunda, 010 East Pyne, 105 Chancellor Green, and 111 East Pyne. The welcoming address and keynote papers will take place in 101 McCormick, which is less than a 5 minute walk from the East Pyne/Chancellor Green complex. Registration and coffee breaks will be held in Upper Hyphen. A larger, printable map showing room locations is available here.


There are many hotels in the Princeton area. The Nassau Inn is the only one within easy walking distance of the Princeton Campus, but there are many, many others, most of which offer shuttle service to campus. Those attending the conference are advised to use the standard sites (Travelocity, Priceline, etc.) to find hotels, but must also check that shuttle service is provided before making reservations. Please note that the hotels listed below are just a few of those available in the Princeton area.


For information about how to reach Princeton University campus, as well as travel within the Princeton area, please see the university’s official travel webpage.

For a simple, printable map outlining the Princeton area, please click here. For a more detailed, printable map of the Princeton campus, please click here. And, for an interactive map of the Princeton campus, please click here.


For queries relating to the intellectual or logistical aspects of the conference, please contact James A T Lancaster (james.lancaster(at)postgrad.sas.ac.uk).

Organized by Daniel Garber, Howard Hotson, Dana Jalobeanu, and James A T Lancaster

  • #ISIH2022 Conference

    #ISIH2022 Conference

    #ISIH2022 Our 2022 Conference will take place in Venice, 12-15 Sept.