The International Conference for the Study of Political Thought: ANNOUNCING THE MELVIN RICHTER PRIZE FOR BEST DISSERTATION IN THE HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT

ANNOUNCING THE MELVIN RICHTER PRIZE FOR BEST DISSERTATION IN THE HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT

April 6, 2021 would have been the centenary birthday of Melvin Richter, one of the co-founders of the Conference for the Study for Political Thought. We would like to acknowledge his passing last March and celebrate his life with the announcement of a new dissertation prize established in his memory. The Melvin Richter Prize will be awarded annually for the best doctoral dissertation in the history of political thought.

A core member of the executive committee since its founding in 1967, Melvin Richter remained a stalwart supporter of CSPT throughout his life. Richter’s work with CSPT was one of the myriad ways he shaped the intellectual world of political theory. After receiving his PhD from Harvard in 1953, Richter taught for over forty years at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  A leading scholar of French political thought, Richter wrote incisively on Montesquieu and Tocqueville, especially their ability to generate political concepts through comparison. Richter also played an essential role in the Anglophone reception of Begriffsgeschichte or conceptual history, by clarifying its purpose and contribution to political theory. Intellectually generous, especially with younger scholars, with whom he was keen to share his knowledge and enthusiasm, Richter will be remembered fondly for his kind and engaging presence.

CSPT is proud to honor and extend this legacy through the Richter prize, which has been established with the support of Melvin Richter’s family and friends. Details on the timeline, eligibility, and nomination process for the inaugural Prize will follow shortly. For those interested in contributing to the Richter Prize fund, please contact Karuna Mantena at coordinator@icspt.org.

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