AU Press Releases

Russell Lecture to take audience on search for ‘Fascism’

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the Human Studies Division at Alfred University will welcome Dr. William D. Irvine as this year’s Russell Lecturer, Thursday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center. Irvine will present “Looking for Fascism in All the Wrong Places;” admission to the event is free and the public is welcome.

Irvine, professor emeritus of history at York University, Toronto, has been a leading innovator in molding the modern interpretation of French history. He is widely recognized as one of the most influential scholarly voices in the history of France and the history of fascism of the last 30 years. Irvine began to make his mark on these fields of history in the 1970s.

In a series of works, spanning French history from the 1880s through the 1940s, Irvine built a controversial, but ultimately convincing, body of evidence that fascism was not only present in France, but had been a vibrant political phenomenon. He has not only left his mark on French history and the history of fascism, but many leading French historians today are his former students.

Some of his major works include “French Conservatism in Crisis: The Republican Federation of France in the 1930s” (1979), “The Boulanger Affair Reconsidered: Royalism, Boulangism, and the Origins of the Radical Right in France” (1988), and most recently “Between Justice and Politics: The Ligue des Droits de L’Homme, 1898-1945” (2007) which has recently forced a rethinking of the history of human rights in France.

The Russell Lecture, held annually since 1970, honors the memory of Willis Russell, former historian and department chair, who taught at Alfred University from 1926 until his retirement in 1964.

Each year, the Russell lectureship brings to the AU campus a nationally known historian to deliver an address. Last year’s lecturer was holocaust historian Christopher Browning. Previous guests have included Pulitzer Prize winners Michael Kammen of Cornell University and Martin Sherwin of George Mason University.