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Great Thinkers Seminar Series

Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research / AISSR

During this series AISSR faculty members present the work of a great thinker in the field of social sciences immersing us in key features of the social science canon and ‘Great Thinkers’ and to explore contributions across disciplinary lines.

The seminar consists for each thinker of a public lecture, followed by a PhD seminar on the same thinker. 

Participation and ECTS

The Great Thinkers Seminar Series are additional interdisciplinary theory training next to the AISSR Advanced Social Science Theory Course. The purpose of the series is to introduce PhD students within specific fields to key features of the social science canon and ‘Great Thinkers’ and to explore contributions across disciplinary lines. 

Like the Advanced Social Science Theory Course, the Great Thinkers Seminars are equal to 12 ECTS, when following 6 Great Thinkers. This can be done in the timespan of two years. Points might also be credited when you follow less than 6 Great Thinkers, but you should always have followed both the public lecture and PhD seminar on the same thinker, read the key readings and made the assignments.

Key readings and assignements

A short list of key readings will be announced shortly before each PhD seminar. You will be asked to make one assignment:

  • First assignment after the lecture and before the seminar: summarize in max half a page how you think the work of the Great Thinker relates to your work (or not).

Programme 2020-2021

Great Thinker lectures in collaboration with SPUI 25.

Programme 2018-2019

  • Giselinde Kuipers presented the work of Pierre Bourdieu.
  • Abram de Swaan: 'How I used Sigmund Freud’.
  • Beate Volker presented the work of Diego Gambetta. 
  • Eric Schliesser presentsed the work of Ibn Khaldun. 
  • Annette Freyberg-Inan presented the work of Albert Hirschman. 
  • Luca Bertolini presented the work of Jane Jacobs. 
  • Joyeeta Gupta presented the work of Garrett Hardin
  • Jan Breman: Alex de Tocqueville, A Critical Appraisal

Programme 2017-2018

  • Joop Goudsblom presented Norbert Elias
  • Ewald Engelen presented Karl Marx
  • Annemarie Mol presented Marilyn Stathern
  • Brian Burgoon presented Karl Polanyi
  • Marieke de Goede presented Michel Foucault

Programme 2016-2017 

  • Geoffrey Underhill presented Adam Smith
  • Nicky Pouw presented Amartya Sen
  • Barak Kalir presented Hanna Arendt
  • Ria Reis presented Mary Douglas 
  • Rivke Jaffe presented Stuart Hall
  • Giselinde Kuipers presented Pierre Bourdieu