Russell Kirk was born on October 19, 1918 in Plymouth, Michigan. Renowned as the father of modern American conservatism, he was a historian of ideas, biographer, literary scholar, editor of serious periodicals, columnist, social critic, and frequent speaker on college campuses. For a concise biography of Dr. Kirk, comments on his legacy, and a featured essay, visit the about Russell Kirk page.
This year, the Center celebrates the centennial of his birth with a number of events and publications focused on Dr. Kirk’s life and work.
Michigan Centennial Events
By Mayoral Proclamation, the date of October 19 has been declared “Russell Kirk Day in the City of Plymouth.” The Plymouth District Library will host a book event with James Person, editor of Imaginative Conservatism: The Letters of Russell Kirk (University of Kentucky Press, 2018), to speak about Kirk the man and the writer. The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by a reception with Annette Kirk and family. The Library will also have a display of Kirk-related artifacts. If you are in the southeastern Michigan area, please register at the Plymouth Library website.
On November 15, an important “Kirk on Campus” evening conversation panel will be held at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. “The Challenge of Contemporary Conservatism: Russell Kirk and the Populist Movement” will be discussed by John O’Sullivan, former editor of National Review, the Reverend Robert Sirico, president of Acton Institute, Kathryn Jean Lopez, Senior Fellow at National Review Institute, and Dr. Jeff Polet, professor at Hope College. Co-sponsored by Hope College Political Science Department, National Review Institute, and the Acton Institute, this major event at the beautiful Jack Miller Auditorium is open to college students and the public.
Centennial Events Around the Country
October 3 | “Liberalism, Conservatism, & the American Founding,” a symposium on Dr. Kirk’s book The Roots of American Order. Panelists: Ted McAllister, Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University; Samuel Gregg, Director of Research, Acton Institute; Daniel McCarthy, editor, Modern Age. Moderator: Ryan Streeter, Director of Policy Studies, AEI.
The American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC. Register to attend in person, or stream live video from the event.
November 13 | National Review Institute Panel Discussion on “Kirk at 100” with panelists John O’Sullivan, Kathryn Jean Lopez, Gerald Russello, and Daniel McCarthy. New York City.
November 17 | The Edmund Burke Society will gather to address the topic “Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk and Revolution in the Modern Mind.” Wilfred McClay, Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, is the featured speaker. The open panel session on selected texts will provide for lively interaction among the participants. Belmont Abbey College, NC. Full conference details can be found here.
Articles Examining Russell Kirk's Legacy
For easy reference, we have listed some articles related to the Russell Kirk Centennial in other journals, podcasts, or sites in 2018 below.
Show your support during the Kirk Centenary
Support the Kirk Center with a donation of $100 or more by December 31, 2018, to help us mark the centennial year of Russell Kirk’s birth. As a thank-you gift, you will receive a limited-edition, commemorative mug with a portrait of Kirk designed by artist Sam Torode.
(NB: Shipping available to U.S. addresses only.)