March 04, 2015, BY Kathryn Kopchik

Martha NussbaumPhilosopher Martha Nussbaum will give the talk, "Anger and Revolutionary Justice," Tuesday, March 17, at 5 p.m. in Bucknell Hall at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Harry Wolcott Robbins Lectureship, the Department of English, the University Lectureship Committee and the Vivian Miller Lectureship in British and Irish Literature.

In her talk, Nussbaum will explore the notion that righteous anger is the best response, and even a necessary response, to great injustice.

"On the other hand," Nussbaum argues, "it is noteworthy that the three most successful revolutionary freedom movements in the past century have been conducted in a spirit of non-anger (distinct from, though sometimes joined to, non-violence): Gandhi's independence movement, Martin Luther King Jr.'s role in the U.S. civil rights movement, and Nelson Mandela's freedom movement in South Africa.

"Studying the thought and practice of these three leaders, I argue that non-anger is both normatively and practically superior to anger," she says.

Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, Philosophy Department and Law School, University of Chicago. She is an Associate in the Classics Department, the Divinity School, and the Political Science Department, a Member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a Board Member of the Human Rights Program. She has written extensively on issues of political justice, the state of the humanities and the liberal arts in the 21st century, beauty as well as sexual orientation and constitutional law. She received the honorary Doctorate of Literary Letters from Bucknell during Commencement ceremonies in 2010.

The Harry Wolcott Robbins Lectureship was established in 1957 in honor of Harry Wolcott Robbins, John P. Crozer Professor of English and chairman of the department of English from 1923-54. The lecture is given annually by a person who has made significant contributions to English and American literary scholarship.