Alan Charles Kors

Alan Charles Kors

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Alan Charles Kors is Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches the intellectual history of the 17th and 18th centuries. He has received both the Lindback Foundation Award and the Ira Abrams Memorial Award for distinguished college teaching. Dr. Kors graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

 in 1964, and he received his M.A. (1965) and Ph.D. (1968) from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, in European History. He is the Henry Charles Lea Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

.

Kors has written on the history of skeptical, atheistic, and materialist thought in 17th- and 18th-century France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, on the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 in general, on the history of European witchcraft
Witchcraft
Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft...

 beliefs, and on academic freedom.

Kors co-founded---with civil libertarian Harvey A. Silverglate
Harvey A. Silverglate
Harvey A. Silverglate is an attorney based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the co-founder, with Alan Charles Kors, of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education , for which he also serves as the current Chairman of the Board of Directors.He holds degrees from Princeton University ...

---and served from 2000 to 2006 as chairman of the board of directors of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is a non-profit group founded in 1999 and focused on civil liberties in academia in the United States...

 (FIRE).

He writes pieces for both libertarian and conservative journals on political matters. He is an occasional contributor to Reason
Reason (magazine)
Reason is a libertarian monthly magazine published by the Reason Foundation. The magazine has a circulation of around 60,000 and was named one of the 50 best magazines in 2003 and 2004 by the Chicago Tribune.- History :...

. His essay "Can There Be An After Socialism?" was published by the journal "Social Philosophy & Policy"

Kors has also been active in the defense of free speech since his arrival at Penn
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

. In the widely covered 1993 "water buffalo incident
Water buffalo incident
The water buffalo incident was a controversy at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, in which student Eden Jacobowitz was charged with violating the university's racial harassment policy.-History:...

," he defended Eden Jacobowitz against charges that he harassed a group of black sorority sisters. In the early morning hours, as the sorority was celebrating loudly outside the dorms, multiple students yelled from their windows, in various ways, for the sorority to cease. When the police came to question students, Jacobowitz volunteered that he yelled, "Shut up, you water buffalo," a slur that was characterized as racist. The sorority members eventually dropped the charges. Kors later defended another University of Pennsylvania student in 2005 during a controversy surrounding the student's right to take a photo of other University students having sex against a dorm window.

In 1992 President George H. W. Bush named him to the Council of the National Endowment of the Humanities. He was confirmed by the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 and served on the committee for six years.

In 2005, President George W. Bush awarded Kors the National Humanities Medal
National Humanities Medal
The National Humanities Medal honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities.The award, given by the...

 for his "scholarship, devotion to the Humanities, and...defense of academic freedom." In 2006, he was the T.B. Davie Memorial Lecturer on academic freedom at the University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, and is the oldest university in South Africa and the second oldest extant university in Africa.-History:The roots of...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

.

He has served on the boards of The Historical Society and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Books

  • The Shadow University: The Betrayal Of Liberty On America's Campuses by Alan Charles Kors (Author), Harvey A. Silverglate
    Harvey A. Silverglate
    Harvey A. Silverglate is an attorney based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the co-founder, with Alan Charles Kors, of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education , for which he also serves as the current Chairman of the Board of Directors.He holds degrees from Princeton University ...

    (Author) ISBN 0-06-097772-8 (1999)
  • Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary History (Middle Ages Series) by Alan Charles Kors (Editor), Edward Peters (Editor) ISBN 0-8122-1751-9
  • Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (4 vol. set) by Alan Charles Kors (Editor) ISBN 0-19-510433-1 (2002)
  • Atheism in France, 1650-1729: The Orthodox Sources of Disbelief by Alan Charles Kors (Author) ISBN 0-691-05575-0 (1990)
  • D'Holbach's Coterie: An Enlightenment in Paris by Alan Charles Kors (Author) ISBN 0-691-05224-7 (1976)

External links