The Acton Lectures is a series of public lectures and discussions that take place during the academic year. The series has been running since 2006, and is currently organized by Prof. Larry Wolff and Prof. Perri Klass, Co-Directors, NYU Florence. The lectures present distinguished scholars and public intellectuals, and focus thematically on issues of Italian and European history and culture, understood in the broadest sense. Some take inspiration from the history of Florence, Villa La Pietra, and the Acton-Mitchell family.

From 2019, in addition to lectures, the series has incorporated associated events such as workshops, round tables, book presentations, and conferences.

Acton Lectures in 2019 included:

Professor Joanna Waley-Cohen, NYU Silver Professor of History and Provost of NYU Shanghai, on the subject The Emperor’s Favor: Italian Jesuits in China (September 2019)

Professor Philipp Ther, Professor of History at the University of Vienna and Winner of the 2019 Austrian Wittgenstein Prize, on the subject of his new book The Outsiders: Refugees in Europe since 1492 (December 2019)

Associated conferences and symposiums in 2019 included:

Harold Acton in China: A Dialogue Between East and West: Chinese Culture, Collecting and Chinoiserie (February 2019)

Brexit, Euroscepticism, and the Future of Europe (March 2019)

The Palace of Circe: A Tapestry Symposium (September 2019)

Children’s Literature and Children’s Lives (November 2019)

Mary McCarthy and “The Stones of Florence”: Sixty Years Later (December 2019)

Full Calendar of Lectures
Acton Lectures Spring 2018
Acton Lectures Fall 2017
Acton Lectures Spring 2017
Acton Lectures Fall 2016

Seminars From Past Years

Graduate Studies Seminars 2015-2016


Video recordings of Acton Lectures and past Graduate Studies Seminars can be found on the NYU Florence YouTube channel and on individual event pages.