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Economist Deirdre McCloskey to Speak at Pomona College

Book cover image for Bourgeois Dignity

Economist Deirdre McCloskey, author of Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World (2010), will deliver three public talks at Pomona College on Thursday, October 13, the last of which is the plenary lecture. The schedule is as follows:

  • “Bourgeois Virtues” at 11 a.m. in Carnegie Hall, Room 109 (425 N. College Ave., Claremont)
  • “A New Woman’s View of Gender in the Academy” at noon in Walker Lounge (Walker Hall, 700 N. College Way, Claremont)
  • “Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World” at 4:15 p.m., in the Hahn Building, Room 101 (420 N. Harvard Ave., Claremont).

In Bourgeois Dignity, McCloskey turns her attention to 17th- and 18th-century Europe to reconsider the birth of the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism. According to McCloskey, our modern world was not the product of new markets and innovations, but rather the result of shifting opinions about them. During this time, talk of private property, commerce and even the bourgeoisie itself radically altered, becoming far more approving and flying in the face of prejudices several millennia old.

According to the Boston Globe,  “Deirdre McCloskey is an outrageously prolific and always fascinating economist and writer...Bourgeois Dignity is only the latest chapter in what has to be one of the most interesting scholarly careers in America today.”

Prior to Bourgeois Dignity, McCloskey wrote Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce (2007). She is the author of 14 books, seven co-edited volumes and nearly 400 articles. McCloskey is professor of economics, history, English and communication, and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She also holds an appointment as guest professor of economic history at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She is currently engaged in a major scholarly project investigating the history and ethical content of modern capitalism, arguing that capitalism “nourishes lives of virtue.”

Pomona College Professor of Economics Glenn Hueckel used The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce in his critical inquiry class, and assigned students to write letters to her in reaction to her arguments, two of which were sent to her. “Within three hours, she replied with very generous notes to each of the students…and expressed her interest in my class. That correspondence led, through her subsequent exchanges, to her upcoming visit on Oct. 13,” Hueckel said.

For more information, contact: (909) 607-8249 or Glenn.Hueckel@pomona.edu.