School of Historical Studies

Patrick Geary is co-PI, along with three colleagues including Johannes Krause in Germany, Walter Pohl in Austria, and Tivadar Vida in Hungary, of the European Research Council funded research project HistoGenes, which uses a combination of genomic, archaeological, anthropological, and historical methods to study over six-thousand burial sites in the Carpathian Basin between the fifth and tenth centuries.

Historian Jérémie Foa offers a very unique view of the 1572 massacres in his work entitled Tous ceux qui tombent: visages du massacre de la Saint–Barthélemy [All that fall: faces of the St. Bartholomew's day massacre]. He exhumes the “small lives” that were taken by reconstituting history in minute detail and honoring the names of the anonymous victims.

The Institute for Advanced Study came into being at the most inauspicious of times. Founded in the early years of the Great Depression, it took shape during the buildup to the Second World War and under the growing shadow of authoritarian regimes. Its first Director Abraham Flexner published his manifesto on the “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge” in October 1939, barely a month after the outbreak of hostilities in Europe. Surely this was a daunting moment to defend “the fearless and irresponsible thinker” and advocate for the free expression of knowledge and curiosity.