Colloquium Illuminates Perspectives, Impact of Humanistic Inquiry

September 30, 2019
13th Annual Humanities Colloquium
Eric Gregory, Professor of Religion and Chair of the Humanities Council (standing), greets faculty members, students and University staff at the 13th Annual Humanities Colloquium, “Tradition, Critique & Imagination” held on Sept. 9 in Chancellor Green Rotunda. Seated: Panelists Anne Cheng, Professor of English and American studies (left); Jonathan Gold, Associate Professor of Religion; Daniel Heller-Roazen, the Arthur W. Marks ’19 Professor of Comparative Literature; and Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Associate Professor of Classics. Photo: Sameer Khan

At the 13th Annual Humanities Colloquium on September 9, 2019, Eric Gregory, Professor of Religion and Chair of the Humanities Council welcomed a capacity audience to “an opportunity for a shared conversation about this thing we call humanities.”

Four Princeton professors related the colloquium theme of “Tradition, Critique, & Imagination” to their research and scholarship, framing conversation among disciplines, presenters and audience. Gregory in his introduction cited concerns articulated by Rita Felski, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at the University of Virginia, in “The Limits of Critique,” that “a hypercritical style of analysis” has “crowded out alternative forms of intellectual life.” Gregory — quoting Didier Fassin, the James D. Wolfensohn Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study — offered that, in contrast, in relation to tradition and imagination, critique can serve as “reseeding.”

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