On March 23rd, the 11th Isaiah Berlin Day in Riga will take place at the premises of the National Library of Latvia (Mūkusalas iela 3). The Isaiah Berlin Memorial Lecture will be delivered by the renowned Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan. Guests attending the event will also have the chance to see a screening of a 1981 interview with Isaiah Berlin from the BBC series "The Levin Interview". What’s more, this will be the opening day of the Isaiah Berlin Centre at the National Library of Latvia – a new project dedicated to the popularisation of Isaiah Berlin and his ideas.
The first memorial lecture was held in Riga in 2009, on what would have been Berlin’s 100th birthday. Since then, Isaiah Berlin Day in Riga, organized by the Foundation for an Open Society DOTS, has become a tradition among Latvia’s civil society, helping to promote and advocate Berlin's values and ideas, such as pluralism, tolerance and individual liberty. This year's event is organised by the Foundation DOTS in cooperation with the Isaiah Berlin Society and the National Library of Latvia, and is supported by the Representation of the European Commission in Latvia.
This time, Isaiah Berlin Day will be especially significant because of the opening of the Isaiah Berlin Centre. This will take place before the lecture, at 4.15 p.m., on the 2nd floor of the library, where the Humanities and Social Sciences Reading Room will be renamed after Isaiah Berlin. In the future, the Isaiah Berlin Centre will take over the duties of organising Isaiah Berlin Day from the Foundation for an Open Society DOTS.
The lecture and related events will begin at 5 p.m. in the Ziedonis Hall at the Library. First, guests will have the chance to see a recording of a 1981 interview with Isaiah Berlin from the BBC series “The Levin Interview”. In this conversation, the British journalist Bernard Levin talks to Isaiah Berlin about his childhood, witnessing the revolution in St. Petersburg, his family’s move to the UK, integrating into British society, and the influence these events had on his beliefs and ideas.
The Isaiah Berlin Memorial Lecture will follow at 6 p.m., introduced by Prof. Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former president of the Republic of Latvia and honorary patron of Isaiah Berlin Day.
The 11th Isaiah Berlin Memorial Lecture “Isaiah Berlin, History and the World of Today” will be delivered by the Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan. She is a leading contemporary expert on the history of international relations, specialising in the First World War and the peace negotiations that took place in its aftermath. She is a professor at the University of Toronto and professor emeritus at the University of Oxford. Among her many publications perhaps the best-known is “Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and iIts Attempt to End War” (2001).
Attendance of the events is free by showing the free ticket accessible here:
We advise you not to delay signing up, as the seats are limited.
Programme of Isaiah Berlin Day in Riga on March 23rd:
2nd floor of the Library
Ceremonial opening of the Isaiah Berlin Centre and renaming of the Humanities and Social Sciences Reading Room after Isaiah Berlin
Please bear in mind that the 2nd floor is accessible only with a valid library reading card or guest card!
17:00-17:45 1981 interview with Isaiah Berlin from the BBC series “The Levin Interview”
17:45-19:40 the 11th Isaiah Berlin Memorial Lecture “Isaiah Berlin, History and the World of Today” by Prof. Margaret MacMillan
See you on March 23rd!Download file