As part of the day, the Humanities and Social Sciences Reading Room of the Latvian National Library will be remaned after Sir Isaiah Berlin.
The central event of the day will be the Isaiah Berlin Memorial Lecture, delivered by the Israeli academic and former politician Yuli Tamir.
The Isaiah Berlin Day in Riga is traditionally dedicated to the eminent liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin to commemorate his birth in Riga in 1909. For the first time since 2018 the day will take place at a physical location instead of being an online event.
Yuli Tamir is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Oxford and the President of Beit Berl College in Israel. During her career in politics, she has been a member of the Knesset, as well as Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Education. She wrote her PhD at Oxford under the supervision of Berlin himself. Her academic interests revolve around the ideological connection between nationalism and liberalism, and the possibility of both coexisting peacefully. She addresses these topics in both her most famous book “Liberal Nationalism” (1993) and the newest one – “Why Nationalism” (2019). Her lecture will begin at 6 p.m. at the Ziedonis Hall of the Library.
The Humanities and Social Sciences Reading Room, on the 2nd floor of the Library, is already the home of the Isaiah Berlin Centre, a joint project of the National Library and the Isaiah Berlin Society. Before the lecture, at 4 p.m., a small ceremony will take place on the 2nd floor to rename the Reading Room after Isaiah Berlin.
Then, before the lecture at 5 p.m. in the Ziedonis Hall guests will have the opportunity to view the 1981 interview with Isaiah Berlin from the BBC series “The Levin Interview”. In the interview, the British journalist Bernard Levin talks to Isaiah Berlin about his childhood, his witnessing the 1915 Russian revolution in Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg), his family’s move to London, his integration into British society and the influence these events had on his beliefs and ideas.
The Isaiah Berlin Day in Rīga is organized by the Isaiah Berlin Society and the National Library of Latvia
2nd floor of the Library
Ceremonial renaming of the Humanities and Social Sciences Reading Room after Sir Isaiah Berlin. (accessible only with a valid library reading card or guest card!)
1981 interview with Isaiah Berlin from the BBC series “The Levin Interview”
Isaiah Berlin Memorial Lecture delivered by Yuli Tamir