Public Lectures and Colloquia

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr at the 10th Annual Humanities Colloquium
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr at the 10th Annual Humanities Colloquium

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

10th Annual Colloquium explores “Citizenship and the Humanities.”

10th Annual Colloquium explores “Citizenship and the Humanities.”

The Council of the Humanities kicks off each academic year with a colloquium featuring our humanities faculty.

Monday, September 11, 2017
11th Annual Humanities Colloquium

Is There Progress in the Humanities?

Featuring Jeremy Adelman, History, who will give a talk on “Engaged Humanities and Global History”; Maria DiBattista, English and Comparative Literature; Anthony Grafton, History; Thomas Kelly, Philosophy; Marina Rustow, Near Eastern Studies and History; Eric Gregory (moderator), Religion and Chair, Humanities Council. Full event details here.

Past Colloquia

10th Annual Humanities Colloquium 2016

Featuring Eddie Glaude Jr., chair of the Department of African American Studies who spoke on “Democratic Virtue and #BlackLivesMatter”; Lital Levy, associate professor of comparative literature; and Tracy K. Smith, the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities, and professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts; among other faculty from across the humanities. Read the story here.

Ninth Annual Humanities Colloquium 2015

Featuring Rachael DeLue (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

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Gauss Seminars in Criticism

Indigenous shooting at the Presidential Palace, Brasíia 2014. LM-IndiosPlanalto. Fotografo: Lula Marques

Named in honor of Dean Christian Gauss, The Gauss Seminars in Criticism were instituted in 1949 to provide a focus for discussion, study, and the exchange of ideas in the humanities.

Several seminars are held annually. The seminars may take different forms, but traditionally they have been conducted by guests invited to present material upon which they are working. Past seminar leaders have included Erich Auerbach, Hannah Arendt, W. H. Auden, Noam Chomsky, Roman Jakobson, Elaine Scarry, Joan Scott, and Raymond Bellour. Faculty and graduate students from Princeton University, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the community at large participate in each seminar.

If you would like to be on the electronic distribution list for Gauss Seminars in Criticism, please email Barbara L. Leavey, Program Manager.

A Symposium on Hegel and Humanities
September 29, 2017, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. in 219 Aaron Burr

Participant speakers: Andrew Cole (Princeton University), Molly Farneth (Haverford College), Kristin Gjesdal (Temple University), Jeremy M. Glick (Hunter College), Anjuli Raza Kolb (Williams College), Robyn Marasco (Hunter College), Katrin Pahl (Johns Hopkins University), Russell Sbriglia (Seton Hall University), Chad Wellmon (University of Virginia).  Organized by Andrew Cole and Joshua Billings.  Full event details.

Previous Gauss Seminars in Criticism Series

2016-2017

Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Professor of Anthropology, National Museum of the Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2015-2016

Professor Michael Lesy, Professor of Literary Journalism, Hampshire College

The Photography of History

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Belknap Visitors in the Humanities Council

American novelist, editor, and Professor Emeritus Toni Morrison was a Belknap Visitor

American novelist, editor, and Professor Emeritus Toni Morrison was a Belknap Visitor

The program of Belknap Visitors was created to recognize distinguished individuals in the arts and letters. Belknap Visitors spend an intensive day on campus. Past visitors have been Toni Morrison, Eudora Welty, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Nadine Gordimer, Roy Lichtenstein, Athol Fugard, Doris Lessing, John Updike, Edward Albee, Czeslaw Milosz, Carlos Fuentes, Frank Stella, Robertson Davies, Peter Sellars, Arthur Miller, Merce Cunningham, Harold Pinter, Adrienne Rich, Maurice Sendak, Wim Wenders, Richard Serra, Chuck Close, Twyla Tharp, Ricky Jay, Toshiko Takaezu, Meryl Streep, Roz Chast, Alice Waters, David Simon, Stephen Sondheim, Frank Rich, and Maya Lin.

For information on how to nominate a Belknap Visitor, please email Dr. Kathleen Crown, Executive Director.

2015-16 Belknap Visitors

Marcel Ophuls, Academy-award-winning filmmaker, Spring 2016
William Kentridge, multimedia artist, Fall 2015

2014 Belknap Visitor

Andrew Solomon, writer and lecturer on psychology, politics, and the arts, Fall 2014

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Belknap Global Conversations

 

Jenny Erpenbeck in a Belknap Global Conversation on October 10, 2017

The Council is pleased to announce a new Belknap Visitor program to bring distinguished writers, artists, and scholars to campus for events that bridge “arts and ideas” in a global context. The program aims to provoke dialogue on a theme of broad interest in the realm of arts and letters and that will cut across disciplinary boundaries and world regions.

Visitors whose work has global reach will engage a cross-disciplinary audience from approaches that are practice-based or creative (e.g., a reading, performance, or master class) as well as critical (e.g., a conversation, lecture, or visit to a graduate seminar). This program is intended to encourage new cross-departmental collaborations and to encourage interdisciplinary conversation and disciplinary innovation.

For information on how to nominate a visitor for a Belknap Global Conversation, please email Dr. Kathleen Crown, Executive Director.

Jenny Erpenbeck, October 10, 2017

A reading by German author Jenny Erpenbeck from her book, Go, Went, Gone was followed by a conversation with Deborah Amos, Humanities Council’s Ferris Professor of Journalism.

Dacia Maraini, February 22, 2017

Italian author
Full event details. Presented in co-sponsorship with Princeton’s Creative Writing Program and the Department of French and Italian. 

Maylis De Kerangal, September 19, 2016

French author of The Heart, Maylis De Kerangal, and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen read from and discuss their work, a Belknap Global Conversation, presented in co-sponsorship with Princeton’s Creative Writing Program, with additional support from the Program in American Studies, Department of Comparative Literature, and the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication.

 

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Eberhard L. Faber IV Memorial Lectures

In Spring 2015, John D. Lyons, chair of the French Department at UVA, gave a lecture on “Montaigne, Experience, and History”

In Spring 2015, John D. Lyons, chair of the French Department at UVA, gave a lecture on “Montaigne, Experience, and History”

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.

Eligibility

Departments and programs eligible for Faber Lecture support are:

  • American Studies
  • Center for Digital Humanities
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • East Asian Studies
  • English
  • 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
Guidelines

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
Spring 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
Fall 2016 Lecturers
Spring 2017 Lecturers
Nomination Forms

To be completed by Department Chairs and Humanities Council Program Directors:

Proposal Form

Budget Request

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Looking at an Object

A section of Romare Bearden's The Block II

A section of Romare Bearden’s The Block II

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.

Spring 2015

Romare Bearden’s The Block II with Rachael DeLue (Art and Archaeology), Mariana Mogilevich (Architecture), and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (African American Studies).
 

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