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Dick Howard Papers

Collection Number
UA 2154

OCLC Number

Dick Howard, 1943-

This collection was donated by Dick Howard in 2010.

Extent, Scope, and Content Note 
The collection is comprised of 60 linear ft. of papers that  document the career of Dick Howard, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Stony Brook University (Department of Philosophy). Materials include manuscripts and publications by Howard and others on this history of political thought; correspondence with national and international intellectuals and philosophers; extensive files on professional editorial work; papers on organizations and affiliated symposia; and teaching materials. Notes, drafts and copies of Howard’s research on philosophy, democracy and political science comprise a large segment of the collection. Documentation from Howard’s career at the State University of New York at Stony Brook includes activities in the Department of Philosophy, grants received, and course syllabi. The collection also includes papers created by Howard during his graduate studies at the University of Texas.

Arrangement and Processing Note
Arrangement and description completed in May 2019 by 
Kristen J. Nyitray and Lynn Toscano. 

The collection is organized in ten series. When provided, the original folder titles created by Dick Howard were retained.

Series 1: Biographical Files
Series 2: Manuscripts and Publications 
Series 3: Editorial Papers
Series 4: Correspondence
Series 5: Subject Files
Series 6: Grants and Awards
Series 7: Conferences
Series 8: Curricular Materials
Series 9: Radio and Broadcast Papers
Series 10: Works of Others

English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Polish, and Greek.

Restrictions on Access
The collection is open to researchers by appointment without restrictions.

Rights and Permissions 
Stony Brook University Libraries' consent to access as the physical owner of the collection does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to publication.  

[Item], [Box], Dick Howard Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Stony Brook University Libraries.

Historical Note
"Dick Howard is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Stony Brook University. His most recent books are  The Primacy of the Political: A History of Political Thought from the Greeks to the French and American Revolutions  (Columbia University Press 2010) and  Aux origines de la pensée politique américaine (Hachette Pluriel 2008). He does a weekly commentary on US politics for Radio Canada and a monthly column on New York cultural life for Esprit. 

En route to his Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Dick Howard studied in Paris (with Paul Ricoeur) and Bonn (with Klaus Hartmann). He later worked with Claude Lefort, Cornelius Castoriadis and Jürgen Habermas. A participant in the civil rights and anti-war movements in the US, he was a student at Nanterre in 1968, and traveled thereafter throughout West and East Europe, becoming an early “anti-totalitarian leftist.”

He has written frequently on current events, sociological trends, and philosophical themes—as can be seen in his  Curriculum Vita. Articles, essays, public lectures and radio/tv appearances try to bring together these three dimensions of political thought.

He has written books in English and in French, on philosophical, historical and political themes. His more political articles and commentaries in recent years have been in French, perhaps because he has become a “token” francophone (although most of the French commentaries have been translated into German, a language that he reads and speaks but whose grammar he respects too much to abuse it).

His most recent book is  The Primacy of the Political. A History of Political Thought from the Greeks to the French and American Revolutions  (Columbia University Press, 2010). In its Introduction, and in several recent articles, he tries to explain why he—a product of the New Left and the Anti-totalitarian Left—returned to the history of political thought in order to better understand the challenges of today.

That work finally completed, he retired from teaching and has been writing a “Chronique transatlantique” of American culture for the journal  Esprit, as well as doing a weekly commentary for Radio Canada (Montéal) on American politics.

A new project on American political culture is beginning to take form.  He has also begun working on a new edition of his earlier book From Marx to Kant."

(Biographical source:

Political science -- History.
Politics - Philosophical perspectives.
Right and left (Political science).
World politics.
Marx, Karl, -- 1818-1883 -- Political and social views.
Marx, Karl, -- 1818-1883.
Political and social views.
Communism -- Europe.
Socialism in Europe.
Comunismo -- Europa -- Historia.

INVENTORY (coming soon: contact department for assistance)