The Humanities Council hosts and sponsors a range of public lectures to further scholarship across the Humanities disciplines. Below is a listing of our key programs.
For specific upcoming lectures, please see our Calendar of Events.
Annual Humanities Colloquium
The Humanities Council kicks off each academic year with a colloquium featuring our humanities faculty.
12th Annual Humanities Colloquium 2018: “Capturing the Human”
On Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 4:30 PM, the 2018-19 Old Dominion Professors, Michael Flower, Simon Gikandi, Kim Lane Scheppele, and Sean Wilentz, will participate in a panel discussion on the topic of “Capturing the Human.” The colloquium will be moderated by the Chair of the Humanities Council, Eric Gregory. Event details here.
11th Annual Humanities Colloquium 2017: “Is There Progress in the Humanities?”
Keynote: Jeremy Adelman on “Engaged Humanities and Global History”; Panel Anthony Grafton; Thomas Kelly; Marina Rustow; and Eric Gregory (moderator). Read the story here.
10th Annual Humanities Colloquium 2016: “Citizenship and the Humanities”
Featuring Eddie Glaude Jr., (Chair, African American Studies), who spoke on “Democratic Virtue and #BlackLivesMatter”; Lital Levy (Comparative Literature); Tracy K. Smith (Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities; Creative Writing); among other faculty from across the humanities. Read the story here.
Ninth Annual Humanities Colloquium 2015
Featuring Rachael DeLue (keynote lecture), Denis Feeney, Bernard Haykel, Alison Isenberg, AnneMarie Luijendijk
Eighth Annual Humanities Colloquium 2014
Featuring David Bell, David Bellos, Miguel Centeno, Imani Perry, Denis Feeney, Susan Stewart (lecture)
Seventh Annual Humanities Colloquium 2013
Featuring Jeff Stout (lecture), Rachel Bowlby, Irena Grudzinska Gross, Melissa Lane, Jonathan Levy, Gideon Rosen
Since 1963, eminent writers, critics and scholars have come to campus through this program endowed by the Faber family and members of the Class of 1915. Each literature department and program may propose one visitor each year.
The gift of Eberhard L. Faber IV is intended to support lectures, colloquia, workshops and discussions in the field of literature. We define “literature” broadly to include such topics as criticism, history, theory, and the relation of literature to society, technology, and the other arts. The Humanities Council especially welcomes proposals for innovative formats and events that might not readily be accommodated as regular departmental lectures.
Departments and programs eligible for Faber Lecture support are:
- American Studies
- Center for Digital Humanities
- Comparative Literature
- East Asian Studies
- European Cultural Studies
- Film Studies
- French and Italian
- Germanic Languages and Literatures
- Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities
- Italian Studies
- Judaic Studies
- Medieval Studies
- Near Eastern Studies
- Renaissance and Early Modern Studies
- Slavic Languages and Literatures
- Spanish and Portuguese
- Study of Late Antiquity
Requests for Faber Lectures should be submitted before formal invitations are extended. It is particularly important to check possible dates against the Humanities Council calendar or by calling (8-3690) or emailing. The Council does not typically fund proposals that conflict with other related events.
The total contribution for an individual event may amount to $3,500, although not all events will require the full amount. An invitation to a younger scholar and/or a nearby guest would normally entail fewer expenses. Departments may supplement Faber grants with their own funds. Here are the expenses to be covered:
- Economy fare transportation from home campus (or the last campus visited) to Princeton. Departments are encouraged to share these expenses with other institutions.
- Honoraria (typically $500 for younger scholars; $1,000/$1,500 for senior visitors)
- Meals and lodging
- Posters and advertisements
- Lauren Berlant, University of Chicago: Being in Life without Wanting the World: On Biopolitics and the Attachment to Life
- Peggy Phelan, Rutgers University: Contact Warhol: Photography without End
- Saidiya Hartman, Columbia University
- Francesca Trivellato, Brown University, The School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study: Renaissance Florence and the Origins of Capitalism: From Burckhardt to the Digital Humanities
- Katherine Wilson, Author, actress and television commentator in Italy: Only in Naples
- John Duffy, Harvard University
- Page DuBois, UC Berkeley
- Liza Knapp, Columbia University: “Starry Skies, Awful Hieroglyphs and Eternal Silence: Philosophical Lyricism in Anna Karenina”
- Verena Lepper, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin: The Neues Museum of the Berlin Museum Island – Highlights and recent discoveries from the Egyptian Papyrus Collection
- David Peterson, language creator: The Art of Language Invention
- Amy Richlin, UCLA: Blackface and Drag in Early Roman Comedy
- John Matthews, Yale University: Lost Monuments of Fourth-Century Constantinople
- Barry McCrea, University of Notre Dame: Language Change and Social Class in the Novel – Proust, Ó Cadhain, Ferrante
- Francesco Erspamer, Harvard University: On Chivalric Science, Honor and duels
- Adam Michnik, editor-in-chief of the Polish daily newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza: The Glory and Poverty of the ’68 Generation
- Valerio Ruiz, filmmaker/screenwriter: Behind the White Glasses
- Philippe Descola, Collège de France: Making Ontologies Visible: An Anthropological Perspective on Images
- Murray Smith, University of Kent: Putting Transparency in its Place
- Emily Greenwood, Yale University: Seeing Citizens: re-reading the ring of Gyges’ ancestor in Plato’s Republic
- Mary Favret, Johns Hopkins University: Coefficients of Disaster
2015- 2016 Lecturers
- Jon Whitman, Hebrew University: Encountering Scripture in Overlapping Cultures: Early Jewish, Christian and Muslim Strategies of Reading and Their Contemporary Implications
- Clare A. Lees, King’s College London: Life Classes From Anglo-Saxon England: Three Studies in the Self
- Alexander Zholkovsky, University of Southern California: “Who Organized the Standing Ovation?”: Stalin, Akhmatova, and Shakespeare
To be completed by Department Chairs and Humanities Council Program Directors:
The Humanities Council will host a new series of faculty lunch talks for the fall—either “works in progress” or published “book talks”—which offer an opportunity for humanities faculty to hear about the work of their colleagues in other disciplines. All events will be held at the Joseph Henry House from 12–1:20 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Open to faculty, fellows and doctoral students. Space is limited. RSVP to Jeannine Pitarresi.
Past Faculty Seminars
Work in Progress
Marni Sandweiss, History
The Princeton and Slavery Project: Bulletins from the Front
Tim Leonard, Economics and Humanities Council
Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era
Work in Progress
Clair Wills, English and Irish Studies
‘White Strangers’: Writing an Immigrant History of Post-War Britain
Historical Linguistics: Timothy Barnes and Joshua Katz, Classics
This series of seminars convened faculty for an introduction to historical and comparative linguistics, with an emphasis on the older languages and cultures of the family to which English belongs: Indo-European. The first meeting gave an overview of historical/comparative linguistics and Indo-European studies, explaining how the fields developed and how they are practiced now; the second and third meetings presented a few in-depth case studies.
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Legal Cases, hosted by Peter Brooks, Comparative Literature
Faculty seminars with Kim Lane Scheppele, Director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs, in a discussion of the 2005 Aircraft Security Case from Germany; Charles Fried of Harvard Law School, U.S. Solicitor General under President Reagan, 1985-89; and Dirk Hartog, Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty and Director of the American Studies Program, on slavery and arson in Long Branch, New Jersey.
The Council’s “Looking at an Object” series creates interdisciplinary panel discussions with faculty from across the University, who bring a variety of approaches to a single object of study.
Romare Bearden’s The Block II with Rachael DeLue (Art and Archaeology), Mariana Mogilevich (Architecture), and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (African American Studies).