Giles Wilkeson Gray Lecture Series Welcomes University of Illinois at Chicago’s Deirdre McCloskey on Feb. 21

02/18/2013 02:14 PM

BATON ROUGE – Deirdre Nansen McCloskey, distinguished professor of economics, history, English and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will present “How Rhetoric Made the Modern Economy, 1600 to the Present” as part of the annual Giles Wilkeson Gray Lecture Series at LSU on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m., in room 152 of Coates Hall.

A well-known economist, historian and rhetorician, McCloskey has written 16 books and around 400 scholarly pieces on topics ranging from technical economics and statistics to transgender advocacy and the ethics of the bourgeois virtues. She is known as a “conservative” economist, Chicago-School style – she taught for 12 years there – but protests, “I’m a literary, quantitative, postmodern, free-market, progressive Episcopalian, Midwestern woman from Boston who was once a man. Not ‘conservative!’ I’m a Christian libertarian.”

Her latest book, “Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World,” which argues that an ideological change rather than saving or exploitation is what made us rich, is the second in a series of four on The Bourgeois Era. The first was “The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce,” asking if a participant in a capitalist economy can still have an ethical life – briefly, yes. With Stephen Ziliak she wrote in 2008, “The Cult of Statistical Significance,” which criticizes the proliferation of tests of “significance” and was in 2011 the basis of a Supreme Court decision.

For more information, contact Lisa A. Landry, LSU Department of Communication Studies administrative coordinator, at 225-578-4172 or

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Monday, February 18, 2013