The Annual Isaiah Berlin Day in Riga


In 2009, the centenary of Berlin’s birth, a commemorative event was held in Riga, the city of Berlin's birth, involving a series of lectures, discussions and talks open to the public. It was organized by the Riga-based Foundation for an Open Society DOTS. Since then the Isaiah Berlin Day there has become an annual event, centred on a keynote lecture. The 2018 lecture is the tenth in the series. It takes place in Latvia's Centenary year.

Professor Stephen Kotkin
Stephen Kotkin, 2018 Lecturer

2018: Stephen Kotkin: Turning Points: Yesterday’s World, and Tomorrow's

The 2018 Isaiah Berlin Memorial Lecture in Riga was given by Professor Stephen Kotkin, at the Splendid Palace Cinema, on 13 December. Professor Kotkin's lecture was entitled Turning Points: Yesterday's World, and Tomorrow's. Professor Kotkin is the John P. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. The second volume of his biography of Stalin, Waiting for Hitler: 1929-1941, was a Sunday Times History Book of the Year 2017.

Timothy Snyder
Timothy Snyder, 2017 Lecturer

2017: Timothy Snyder: From Inevitability to Eternity: The New Politics of Unfreedom

The 2017 Isaiah Berlin Memorial Lecture was given by Professor Timothy Snyder at the Splendid Palace Cinema on 26 September: the lecture was entitled From Inevitability to Eternity: the New Politics of Unfreedom. Professor Snyder is Housum Professor of History at Yale, and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He is the author of Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin (2010), and his latest work, The Road to Unfreedom, was published in April 1918.

John Gray, 2013 Isaiah Berlin Memorial Lecture in Riga
John Gray, 2013 Lecturer

2013: John Gray: Isaiah Berlin and the Meaning of Freedom

The 2013 Isaiah Berlin Memorial Lecture in Riga was given by Professor John Gray; it was entitled Isaiah Berlin and the Meaning of Freedom. John Gray has held academic posts at a number of universities, including Oxford, Harvard and Yale; he was Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics and Political Science until his retirement in 2008. In addition to articles in the press, he has written widely on liberalism and liberal philosophers, and his works include Mill on Liberty: A Defence (1983) and Isaiah Berlin (London, 1995; Princeton, 1996), reissued with a new introduction by the author as Isaiah Berlin: An Interpretation of His Thought (Princeton, 2013).