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October 12, 2017

From Utopia to Dystopia With Gregory Claeys

The St. Francis College Honors Program welcomed international scholar Gregory Claeys for the 6th Annual Dr. Francis J. Greene Honors Lecture Series on October 12, 2017 for the talk From Utopia to Dystopia.

(Watch From Utopia to Dystopia)

Dr. Claeys, from Royal Holloway, University of London, focuses his research on social and political reform movements as well as utopianism and early socialism. He has taught at prestigious universities around the world including the Australian National University, Canberra, Keio University, Tokyo, the University of Hanoi (2008), and the University of Peking.

gregory claeys

The lecture is named for Dr. Francis Greene, who taught at St. Francis College for more than 30 years before retiring as a full-time faculty member. Professor Greene founded the Honors Program and was the long-time moderator of the Duns Scotus Honor Society and chair of the Department of Foreign Languages, Fine Arts, and International Cultural Studies, where he still teaches. He was also Co-Director of the College's Study Abroad program.

Past Dr. Francis J. Greene Honors Lecture Speakers:

  • 2016 - Leymah Gbowee (Liberian Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
  • 2015 - Cesar Vargas '05 (First undocumented immigrant admitted to the New York Bar)
  • 2014 - Gabriella Coleman (Author, Author, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous)
  • 2013 - Jeffrey Sachs (Director, Earth Institute)
  • 2012 - Michael Pierson (Civil War Historian)


Gregory Claeys received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1983. He has taught in Canada, Germany and the U.S. and since 1992 has been Professor of the History of Political Thought at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Machinery, Money and the Millennium: From Moral Economy to Socialism (Princeton University Press, 1987), Citizens and Saints: Politics and Anti-Politics in Early British Socialism (Cambridge University Press, 1989), Thomas Paine: Social and Political Thought (Unwin Hyman, 1989); The French Revolution Debate in Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), Imperial Sceptics: British Critics of Empire, 1850-1920 (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Searching for Utopia: the History of an Idea (Thames & Hudson, 2011; German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese editions), Mill and Paternalism (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and Dystopia: A Natural History (Oxford University Press, 2016). His A Pelican Introduction: Marx and Marxism (Penguin Books) will appear in 2018. He has edited The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and (with Gareth Stedman Jones) The Cambridge History of Nineteenth Century Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2011), and some fifty volumes of primary sources and edited essays.

In 2015 Claeys was elected to the Academia Europaea/The Academy of Europe, History Section (one of 237 members). In 2016 he was elected Chair of the Utopian Studies Society (Europe).

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