Kevin Crotty, professor of Classics at Washington and Lee University, will give the J. Donald Childress Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. in Northen Auditorium.
The title of Crotty’s lecture is "Corruption and Self Constitution in Plato's ‘Republic.’ ” It is free and open to the public.
“I will discuss recent work on the quality of governance, and some practical proposals to address the issue,” said Crotty. “I suggest that Plato's ‘Republic,’ often seen as a utopian and dangerous work, was in fact an early, and still useful, look at the problems posed by governance. Plato thought that high-quality governance required people ultimately to change their intuitive, uncritical sense of themselves and, by expanding their conception of what it means to be human, begin actually to constitute themselves as persons capable of government.”
Crotty is the author of four books, including “The Philosopher’s Song: The Poets’ Influence on Plato” (2009) and “Law’s Interior: Legal and Literary Constructions of the Self” (2001). He also wrote articles, reviews and two books for children, including a review of “The Artistry of the Homeric Simile” in Classical Review (2011) and “Dinosongs: Songs to Celebrate a T-Rex Named Sue” (2000).
He is currently at work on a book-length study of Plato’s “Republic” entitled “The City-State of the Soul: Self-Constitution in Plato’s Republic.”
Crotty chaired the Classics Department from 1999 to 2010. During this time, he oversaw the doubling of the department’s tenure-track faculty members and the jump in the number of majors from approximately eight to 25.
He is a manuscript reader for the Oxford University Press, Transactions of the American Philological Association, Classical Review and Classical Quarterly.
Crotty received his B.A. from Columbia University, his Ph.D. from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
The J. Donald Childress Professorship in Foreign Languages, established in 2008, supports a professor who is both an accomplished scholar and exceptional teacher in one of the foreign languages offered in the College. The endowment is the gift of J. Donald Childress, of Atlanta, W&L Class of 1970.