Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, University of Florida
General Objectives of the Series
Scholars in the humanities have traditionally offered critical perspectives on cultural and historical change. Of late, however, the humanities themselves have faced opposition from skeptics who question the value of a liberal arts education, the contents and goals of humanistic inquiry, and the place of university museums and collections in academic research and curriculum. This attack on the meaningful contributions of universities to American public life has led to self-conscious reflection on the part of humanities scholars about their roles and responsibilities in interpreting, adapting to, and, in some instances, effecting social change. This discussion has become particularly important in the shifting educational landscape caused by diminished state resources and universities’ consequent reliance on private fundraising and entrepreneurship. In this environment, scholars in the humanities disciplines have courageously addressed the ethical implications commercial intervention in academic inquiry and queried the intellectual responsibilities of higher education, especially in light of the increasing diversity of the student body and internationalization of the curriculum at many universities. The contributions of the humanities disciplines demonstrate that a critical assessment of current and future dilemmas facing universities, aided by the lessons learned from past encounters, will help institutions of higher learning better weather this time of radical metamorphosis.
For 2011-2012, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere at the University of Florida has organized an eighteen-month-long speaker series that tackles some of the historical and contemporary tensions in the intellectual life of universities, and points to the way their relationships with the surrounding communities, from local to global, will develop in the future. Invited speakers will address, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives in the humanities, critical issues raised by ethnic and religious difference, cultural change and globalization, and the introduction of market forces into the halls of higher learning. Some of the topics to be addressed will include racial and ethnic integration, the place of women at institutions of higher education, global aspects of university’s resources and outreach (including through its museum collections), and the role of language and religion and art in a secular university setting. The ultimate goal of the series will be to provide a critical reading of universities’ contributions to academic advances and public life so that we can make sense of the complex issues that are integral to their future evolution. Invited speakers will contemplate and contextualize the hallmarks, aims, artifacts, and outcomes of a liberal arts education.
This series of twelve lectures is co-sponsored by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment), the Harn Eminent Scholar Chair in Art History Program, the UF Honors Program, the Alexander Grass Chair in Jewish History at UF, the UF International Center, the UF Office of Research, UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the UF Center for Jewish Studies, the UF Libraries, the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, the UF France-Florida Research Institute, the Hyatt and Cici Brown Endowment for Florida Archaeology, the UF Department of History, the UF Department of Classics, the UF Department of English, the Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar Chair, the Albert Brick Chair in English at UF, the UF African American Studies Program, the UF Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, UF College of Design, Construction and Planning, and the Alachua County Library District.
Events in this Series
Something Wicked This Way Comes: How to Save the University
12 September 2011, 7:30 pm- Smathers 1A, followed by reception
Cary Nelson (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
The assaults on higher education during the last year–from humanities department closures to efforts to eliminate collective bargaining rights–have exceeded anything we have encountered for decades. In many ways they represent not only coordinated political strategies but also national and international trends. Yet if faculty and students unite in solidarity, these destructive forces can be countered and defeated.
Cary Nelson received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, and since 1970 has taught modern poetry and literary theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of English. He was active in the effort to unionize the Champaign-Urbana faculty in the 1970s and in the drive to recognize a graduate employee union twenty years later. For the last ten years he has served on the National Council of the American Association of University Professors; in 2006 he took office as the AAUP’s President, being reelected in 2008. He coauthored the Association’s Redbook statements on graduate students and on academic professionals. His twenty-five authored or edited books include The Incarnate Word: Literature as Verbal Space (1973), Our Last First Poets: Vision and History in Contemporary American Poetry (1981), Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (1987), Cultural Studies (1992), Higher Education Under Fire: Politics, Economics, and the Crisis of the Humanities (1994), Will Work for Food: Academic Labor in Crisis (1997), Academic Keywords: A Devil’s Dictionary for Higher Education (1999), Revolutionary Memory: Recovering the Poetry of the American Left (2001), Office Hours : Activism and Change in the Academy (2004), and No University is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom (2010). He is the author of over 100 essays, including a number published in Academe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Education.
“Hurricane Season: Life in Twentieth-Century New Orleans”
9 October 2011, 2:00 pm- Millhopper Branch, Alachua County Library
Leslie Harris (Emory University)
Prof. Harris, an historian of urban America, interweaves her own family’s history with the history of New Orleans to understand better the events that so many of us experienced and witnessed during the 2005 Hurricane Season. Harris, descended of African Americans and European Americans who have lived in lower Louisiana since the nineteenth century, traces her family’s experience through the racialized history of economic opportunity in New Orleans that began in the seventeenth century, and the more immediate history of desegregation and resegregation in the fifty years preceding Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. There will be time during this event for audience discussion.
Using Diverse Histories to Transform University Communities
10 October 2011, 7:30 pm- Smathers 1A
Leslie Harris (Emory University)
In 2005, Emory University launched the Transforming Community Project, which has used the history of race at the University, including southern slavery, Jim Crow and desegregation, to inspire individuals and groups to reconsider their roles as active participants in sustaining ethical practices around diversity and equal access. Prof. Harris, Co-Founder and Director of the Project from 2004 to 2011, will discuss the
challenges Emory faced that inspired the creation of the Project; and the experiences of faculty, staff, students and alumni who participated in the Project.
Leslie Harris earned her Ph.D. in History at Stanford University in 1995. Her work focuses on complicating ideas about the history of African Americans in the United States; and finding ways to communicate these new ideas to the general public. In her first book, In the Shadow of Slavery, she challenges the prevailing view of slavery as a phenomenon of the southern United States, with little impact or importance in the northern U.S. Using New York City as a case study, she demonstrates the ways in which both northern and southern slavery, northern emancipation, and racial identity influenced definitions of citizenship, class, and community for blacks and whites in the pre-Civil War United States. She is currently at work on a book on late-twentieth century New Orleans, which captures a history that is being obscured by the responses to the 2005 Hurricane Season. Upon completion of that book, she will return to two projects about gender and southern slavery: one that looks at twentieth-century historians’ analyses of gender in southern slavery; and a second that creates a new history of slavery and gender through the question of manhood. Prof. Harris is also known for her work in public scholarship, and she served as a principal adviser to the “Slavery in New York” exhibit at the New-York Historical Society (2005-2006), and co-edited the book that accompanied it. She is likewise the co-founder and director of the Transforming Community Project (TCP), which was funded by the Ford Foundation’s Difficult Dialogue Initiative and the Office of the President of Emory University. The TCP mobilizes individuals in every sector of Emory University in a reflective, fact-driven engagement with the University’s history and current experiences of race, gender, sexuality and other forms of human difference, which is now being taken to other higher education institutions and to communities beyond Emory University. She is also the principal investigator for the New Orleans After Katrina project, which utilizes Zotero and Omeka to allow students, scholars, and the general public a way to approach the history of New Orleans in a collaborative and critical fashion.
In-comparative Literature: On the Problem of Untranslatability in Literary Studies
14 November 2011, 7:30 pm- Smathers 1A
Emily Apter (New York University)
This talk will offer a critique of “world literature” models of literary studies (Moretti, Casanova, Damrosch) on the grounds that they presume translatability as a given. As a result, incommensurability or the “untranslatable” is insufficiently built into literary heuristics. What does Prof. Apter mean by an Untranslatable? She borrows the term from the philosopher Barbara Cassin, who used it in the subtitle of a project published in France as the Vocabulaire européen des philosophies: Dictionnaire des Intraduisibles. [The Vocabulary of European philosophies: A dictionary of Untranslatables.] In conceptualizing the project, Cassin was committed to activating philosophy as both medium and life-form. Here, the Untranslatable refers to a term that has been historically left untranslated as it transferred from language to language (as in the examples of Polis, Begriff, Praxis, Aufheben, Mimesis, Feeling, Lieu Commun, Logos, Matter of Fact), or that has been constantly subject to mistranslation and retranslation (especially evident in such entries as Subject, Translation, World, Truth, Sense, Sovereignty, and Categories). The Untranslatable can sometimes be defined as an intractable nub of semantic opacity – as something stubbornly resistant to equivalency or commensurability. It has affinities with what Wittgenstein termed the Unspeakable. It is a boundary line of the sacred, that issues the edict “Do not translate here! Thou shalt not translate me!” And it is arguably a convergence point where the void of meaning in one language finds its counterpart in another. The Untranslatable challenges the soft international diplomacy model of translation, traditionally defined by the desire to screen out disagreement and avoid direct encounters with insecurable knowledge. It runs the security risk of non-communication even as it serves as a repository for the remainders of what gets lost in translation. Casting untranslatability as the fulcrum of an “Incomparative Literature,” the talk will briefly look at how the unspeakable, the un-understandable, the incomparable and the interdicted are mobilized in critical practice.
Emily Apter received her Ph.D. from Princeton, and has been Professor of French and Comparative Literature at NYU since 2002. Previously she taught in French and Comparative Literature at UCLA, Cornell University, UC Davis, University of Pennsylvania, and Williams College. Her recent essays have focused on paradigms of “oneworldedness,” the problem of self-property and self-ownership, literary world-systems and the translatability of genres. At NYU, she has co-organized two Humanities Council lecture series, on “The Humanities in an Era of Global Comparatism,” (2005) and “Timing the Political.” (2006). She has also initiated a series of panels at NYU’s La Maison Française devoted to “Rethinking Nineteenth-Century French Studies.” In 2005 she was elected MLA Divisional Representative for “Comparative Studies in Romanticism and the Nineteenth Century.” She is the author of The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature (Princeton, 2005), Continental Drift: From National Characters to Virtual Subjects (Chicago, 1999), Feminizing the Fetish: Psychoanalysis and Narrative Obsession in Turn-of-the Century France (Ithaca, 1990), co-editor with William Pietz of Fetishism as Cultural Discourse (Ithaca, 1991), and André Gide and the Codes of Homotextuality (Stanford, 1981). Ongoing projects include a book called Papers On Technique: Literary History and Theory since 1975, a long essay on the English translation of Madame Bovary by Eleanor Marx (“Kapital, The Novel: (Madame Bovary)”, and an essay collection, Decadence: (The Century). Additional publications include articles in: Critical Inquiry, Translation Studies, Comparative Literature Studies, Transit, American Literary History, The Columbia Encyclopedia of French Thought, Grey Room, The Boston Review, October, Public Culture, PMLA, Sites, Parallax, Modern Language Notes, Esprit Créateur, and Critique. She edits a book series Translation/Transnation for Princeton University Press. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the ACLS, the Rockefeller Foundation and the NEH.
- Lecture sponsored by the France-Florida Research Institute at the University of Florida
‘If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?’ The market, European universities and the ‘Bologna Process’
12 January 2012, 7:30 pm- Smathers 1A
Chris Lorenz (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
In 1999, twenty-nine ministers of education in Europe signed the so-called ‘Bologna Declaration’. This document, only 4 pages long, documented the political intention of the EU to restructure European universities in such a way that their courses and their degrees would become uniform – from astrophysics to Celtic Studies. By this means, the EU intends to create one integrated educational market in which future students will be able to do their Bachelors-degree in Amsterdam, their Masters-degree in Athens and their PhD-degree in Aarhus without any formal impediment, or any doubt as to differences in quality. Therefore ‘QualityAssesment’ and ‘Quality Control’ of the universities are the buzzwords in all plans based on ‘Bologna’. The EU hopes that by integrating all national higher education systems and by tailoring this unified educational system to the needs of the economic market, the EU will turn into the most competitive economic bloc in this world. So the basic goal of ‘Bologna’ is not only to ‘outperform’ the US both educationally and economically, but also the emerging BRIC-powers of the 21st century, especially China and India. Given some unforeseen developments since the ‘Bologna’-plans were made in 1999, Dr. Lorenz’s talk will deal not only with these plans, but also with what went and what still is going seriously wrong. He will give special attention to the ill fate of the humanities, those old disciplines that are destined for (at least institutional) extinction in the neo-liberal 21st century universities – just like the dinosaurs were in Jurassic times – unless rehumanizing the universities is taken seriously soon.
Chris Lorenz received his Ph.D. in history and historiography at the University of Amsterdam and held a chair in the philosophy of history at the University of Leiden from 1989 to 2004 prior to joining the history faculty of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He has published mainly in the fields of modern German historiography, philosophy of history, comparative historiography, and developments in higher education, and in addition to numerous journal articles, his edited works include: (with Stefan Berger), The Contested Nation. Ethnicity, Class, Religion and Gender in National Histories (2008); ‘If you’re so smart why aren’t you rich? Beschouwingen over de universiteit, de politiek en management’ (2008); (with Stefan Berger), Nationalizing the Past Historians as Nation Builders in Modern Europe (2010); and (with Stefan Berger and Billie Melman), Popularizing the National Past: 1800 to the Present (Routledge 2011). In addition to winning a research prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung in 1996, Prof. Dr. Lorenz has held visiting professorships in Graz, Erfurt, Stellenbosch, and the University of Michigan. He is currently on the board of the International Commission for the History and Theory of Historiography, an organization that encourages frequent conferences and workshops promoting the history of historiography and the theory of history; it is a meeting place for historians and philosophers to exchange ideas and new approaches to the study of the past. He was most recently team leader of the international group ‘National Histories and their ‘Other’’, sponsored by the European Science Foundation as part of their larger project on ‘Representations of the Past: National Histories in Europe’ (2003-2008).
Lecture sponsored by the UF International Center
What Evolution Can’t Tell Us about Women’s Sex and Work”
8 February 2012, 7:00 – 8:00 pm- Millhopper Branch Library, Alachua County Library District
Carla Fehr (University of Waterloo)
Carla Fehr, a professor of philosophy, science, and technology, will use her research on feminism and evolutionary theory to debunk commonly-held popular and scientific accounts of sex and work. She will discuss, in particular, the impact of evolutionary arguments on shaping how we think about women’s and men’s behavior, for example, by feeding misinformation in the popular media about women being “coy, nurturing and passive,” which comes from evolutionary accounts of sexual selection. These scientific evolutionary theories, which have been adopted widely by the popular media, have been and continue to be used to justify the absence of women from high-powered professions. Prof. Fehr will break with these popular accounts by explaining the real scientific purpose of evolutionary theory and questioning the misguided assumptions that lead it to be applied to women and work.
Ignorance, Women and Excellent Science
9 February 2012, 7:30 pm- Ustler Hall Atrium
Carla Fehr (University of Waterloo)
In general, women are underrepresented in academic science and engineering careers in the United States. The epistemology of ignorance is the study of the barriers to the creation and dissemination of knowledge. It provides a useful frame for understanding the causes of the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering, as well as how this underrepresentation hurts the fruitfulness and objectivity of scientific practice. What the epistemology of ignorance makes apparent is that the underrepresentation of women is more than an issue of justice; it concerns the excellence of scientific research itself.
Carla Fehr received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Duke University, after which she taught at Iowa State University in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies from 1999 to 2011. Now the Wolfe Chair in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Waterloo, she works in the philosophy of biology, feminist philosophy and feminist science studies. She is a co-Principal Investigator for ISU ADVANCE, a $3.3 million National Science Foundation grant, which is designed to test strategies for promoting the advancement and retention of women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Prof. Fehr conducts research on the impact of culture on biological explanations of topics related to sex and gender and on the social structures of scientific communities that promote excellent research, and has published in numerous journals and edited collections, including Biology and Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Molecular Ecology, Ecology, Ethics, Place and Ecology, Synthese and Hypatia.
History and Empathy, or, What We Can Learn from Forgotten Orientalist Georg Ebers
26 March 2012, 7:00 pm- Smathers 1A
Suzanne Marchand (Louisiana State University)
Ebers may be forgotten, but he is definitely worth remembering…he was a 19th-century Egyptologist who also wrote historicizing novels about both ancient Egyptians and the ancient Hebrews read mostly by middle-class girls and women. He also wrote the first Baedeker for Egypt and a beautiful, very expensive (but widely translated) travelogue, in which there are reproductions of the paintings of his friend, the artist, Lawrence Alma Tadema and others. Although Ebers was not an archaeologist exactly, he was a student of Richard Lepsius, who made a highly important archaeological trip to Egypt and Ethiopia, ancient monuments and landmarks held great fascination for him. In this presentation, Prof. Marchand will argue that casting ourselves back into the past–through history, philology, or archaeology–gives us the opportunity to experience and learn empathy, something the world badly needs at present.
Suzanne Marchand received her Ph.D. in history in 1992 at the University of Chicago, and is Professor of History at Louisiana State University. Her groundbreaking research has assessed the myriad ways in which ancient culture has shaped scholarship, museums, and intellectual life in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany. In her first book, Down from Olympus: Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1950 (Princeton University Press, 1996), Prof. Marchand examines the rise of antiquarianism in Germany and the imprint left by ancient Greek art forms and archaeology on German scholarship, art collecting, and national identity. Her second book, German Orientalism in the Age of Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2010), which has just won the American Historical Association’s prestigious George L. Mosse Prize, traces the roots of modern Orientalism from Renaissance philology to modern universities. The book addresses landmark ideas, including a deep appreciation of Orientalist collections and art history, and the general impact of ancient Near Eastern collections on European intellectual and cultural life. Among other fellowships, Prof. Marchand has held the American Council of Learned Society Burkhardt Fellowship (2003), the Wissenschaftskollege Fellowship in Berlin (2000-2001), and the Humboldt Fellowship in Berlin (1997).
Lecture sponsored by the Alexander Grass Chair in Jewish History
To Advance the Common Understanding: Reinventing the Humanities in a Digital Age
5 April 2012, 7:30 pm- Smathers 1A
Gregory Crane (Tufts University; Editor in Chief, Perseus Project)
The rise of vast digitized collections and increasingly sophisticated analytical methods has begun to transform both the depth and potential scale of humanities research. New media are, however, far more important because they have the potential to change the “who” and not simply the “what” of humanities discourse. We have an opportunity to redefine the relationship between what happens in the academy and society as a whole, but the degree to which we pursue that opportunity depends upon serious decisions that we will make, whether explicitly or by default. This talk will explore both the challenges and opportunities as Humanists explore their ability to realize their highest goal, advancing the intellectual life of society as a whole.
Gregory Crane earned his Ph.D. in classical philology at Harvard University in 1985. Since then, he has published on a wide range of ancient Greek authors (including articles on Greek drama and Hellenistic poetry and a book on the Odyssey). Much of his scholarly work has been devoted to the Greek historian Thucydides; his book The Blinded Eye: Thucydides and the New Written Word appeared in 1996; his second Thucydides book, The Ancient Simplicity: Thucydides and the Limits of Political Realism, was published in 1998. Professor Crane also has a long-standing interest in the relationship between the humanities and rapidly developing digital technology. He first developed a Unix-based full text retrieval system for the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae that was widely used in North America and Europe in the middle 1980s. He also helped establish a typesetting consortium to facilitate scholarly publishing. Since 1985 he has been engaged in planning and development of the Perseus Project, which he directs as the Editor-in-Chief. From 1998 through 2006 he directed a grant from the Digital Library Initiative to study general problems of digital libraries in the humanities, and in 2006, he produced a named entity identification system, published a 55 million word collection, and authored several publications describing the system. Since the rise of the Google Books project in 2004, with support from the DLI-2 program, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Mellon Foundation, he has studied the problems and opportunities that arise when whole libraries rather than curated collections become available on-line.
Lecture sponsored by the UF Office of Research and the UF Department of Classics.
Rehumanizing Babel: Museums and the Re-enchantment of the Arts and Sciences
17 April 2012, 6:00 pm- Harn Museum Auditorium, followed by reception
Anthony Shelton (Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia)
Over the past 150 years, the arts and sciences have been sharply divided by questions of methodology, authority and their role and relevance in modern societies. Science has become increasingly transcendental and estranged from mainstream western culture, while art practices have sought to embed themselves more in social processes and encourage a dialogue on contemporary issues and conditions. University museums are, Prof. Shelton shall argue, in a unique position to act as catalysts in drawing these two great forms of knowing together in order to re-situate and humanize science, while at the same time bringing new conditions of knowledge production into existence.
Anthony Shelton received his D.Phil. in Anthropology at the University of Oxford in 2002. He currently serves as Director of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and Professor of Anthropology and Adjunct Professor of Art History, Visual Culture and Theory at the same institution. Previously he was Head of Collections, Research and Development at the Horniman Museum in London. His research interests range from theoretical foundations of anthropology to the incorporation of Latin American Art into Western collections. His active research includes work on the development and institutionalization of visual cultures in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Yucatan, comparative ethnography of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico (with special focus on the Huichol), and he is currently preparing research design for a comparative project on the institutionalization of visual cultures in mid-twentieth century and post-Salazar period Portugal. He has edited The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (2009, with Carol E. Mayer), Collectors: Expressions of Self and Other (2001), Collectors: Individuals and Institutions (2001), and a number of articles on combat in Mexican dance dramas and museological practice.
Lecture sponsored by the Harn Eminent Scholar Chair in Art History Program
The Biopolitics of the Posthumanities
13 September 2012, 6:00 pm- Smathers 1A, reception follows
Cary Wolfe (Rice University)
In this lecture, Prof. Wolfe will discuss new ways of thinking about the shared fate of human beings and non-human animals, using recent biopolitical thought as a framework, thus moving beyond traditional humanism. He will suggest some of the implications of what amounts to a rejection of the essential assumption in the classical humanities that necessary divisions exist between humans and animals, and indeed between society and nature. In light of his work, he will point to what he believes are some of the new directions humanities research might take in the future.
Cary Wolfe is the Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English and Department Chair of the Department of English at Rice University. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University. His books include The Limits of American Literary Ideology in Pound and Emerson (Cambridge, 1993), Critical Environments: Postmodern Theory and the Pragmatics of the “Outside” (Minnesota, 2009), Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (Chicago, 2003), and What is Posthumanism? (Minnesota, 2009). He has also edited the collection Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (Minnesota, 2003). He is the founding editor of the series Posthumanities. His areas of research include animal studies and posthumanism, systems theory and pragmatism, biopolitics and biophilosophy, and American literature and culture.
Civilizing Students, Civilizing Communities: Frederick Law Olmsted’s Plans for Colleges and Universities
1 October 2012, 7:30 pm- Smathers 1A
Accompanied by an exhibition from the University Archives
David Schuyler (Franklin & Marshall College)
For this lecture, Prof. Schuyler will discuss the historic background of the design of land-grant universities from the perspective of Frederick Law Olmsted, who oversaw the master plan of dozens of these institutions in the last third of the nineteenth century. He will address the way in which design affected the role and purview of public universities, and how physical layout of these institutions reflected their inspirations and ambitions. This lecture commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act that established land-grant universities and marks the beginning of National Arts & Humanities Month.
To accompany this lecture, University Archivist Peggy McBride will present a curated exhibition of historic UF images and manuscripts in Smathers Library room 1A. This exhibition will highlight the work of Frederick Law Olmsted’s sons, John Charles and Frederick Law Jr., who developed the landscape design plans for UF’s Campus Historic District and Plaza of the Americas in 1925. This exhibition will explore how the Florida Board of Control architects sought to use American Gothic architecture to create a campus with a history connected to the European world of knowledge and power, and instruct students in courtesy and the cultivation of the mind.
David Schuyler received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, where his dissertation was awarded the Richard B. Morris Prize. He is currently the Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of the Humanities and Professor of American Studies at Franklin & Marshall College, where he has taught since 1979. Professor Schuyler is author of A City Transformed: Redevelopment, Race, and Suburbanization in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1940-1980 (University Park, 2002), Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing 1815-1852 (Baltimore, 1996) and The New Urban Landscape: The Redefinition of City Form in Nineteenth-Century America (Baltimore, 1986); co-editor of From Garden City to Green City: The Legacy of Ebenezer Howard (Baltimore, 2002); co-editor of three volumes of The Frederick Law Olmsted Papers, the most recent of which is The Years of Olmsted, Vaux & Company, 1865-1874 (Baltimore, 1992); and author of more than thirty articles in books and professional journals. Schuyler is Associate Editor of the Journal of Planning History, a member of the editorial board of the Hudson River Valley Review and Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, and chair of the editorial board of the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers publication project. He was an editor of the award-winning Creating the North American Landscape series at The Johns Hopkins University Press, has served as chair of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Board, and is a member the National Advisory Committee of Olana, the Frederic E. Church house and grounds, which is a New York State historic site. Schuyler is past president of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History and a trustee of the New York Academy of History. Schuyler is recipient of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for distinguished teaching (1994), the Bradley R. Dewey Award for scholarship at Franklin & Marshall (2003), and the Lawrence C. Gerckens Award of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History for distinguished teaching (2003).
From the Margins to the Mainstream: Jewish Students and Administrators at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton
22 October 2012, 7:00 pm, Smathers (Library East) 1A
Marcia Synnott (University of South Carolina)
“The university is America writ small,” observed Benjamin Epstein and Arnold Forster in their book on anti Semitism in the United States, “Some of My Best Friends…” (1962). They concluded: “In sum, the entire gamut of discrimination that exists in society as a whole is reproduced in university society.” From restrictive admission to prejudicial treatment after matriculation, American universities have reflected social prejudices more often than they have been standard bearers of enlightened attitudes toward ethnic, racial, and religious minorities. Thus, they can provide fascinating case studies of the acceptance or rejection of minorities and their rate of mobility and assimilation. In this lecture, Prof. Marcia Synnott will focus primarily on why Harvard, Yale, and Princeton Universities, the so-called “Big Three,” adopted informal quotas on Jewish students in the 1920s and why they ultimately relinquished them almost fifty years later. At the conclusion of her talk, she will also explore the debates over whether using race as a factor in admissions — as legitimized by Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) and Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) — discriminates against non-minority students, in particular those who do not benefit from other preferences, as with those accorded to legacies and athletes. This lecture continues UF’s celebrations for National Arts & Humanities Month.
Marcia Synnott is Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at the University of South Carolina where she taught U.S. History, the history of American women, and public history. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her books include The Half-Opened Door: Discrimination and Admissions at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, 1900-1970 (Westport, 1979) and a forthcoming volume entitled Student Diversity at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton Universities: 1920-2010 (forthcoming 2012). She is currently finishing a biography on Alice Spearman Wright, a civil rights activist, whose papers are held at the University of South Carolina. She has also published essays on a variety of topics, including women’s access to higher education, African American women and desegregation, legal decisions affecting university admissions policies, and race, gender, and religion in American universities. In 1988, she held a Fulbright lectureship in American Civilization, at the American Institute, Department of English, University of Oslo, Norway.
15 November 2012, 7:00 pm- Ustler Hall Atrium (2nd floor), reception follows
Harry Brighouse (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Public universities are under increasing financial pressure and political scrutiny. There is a sense that they are disconnected from the needs of the public and from the needs of students. Additional funding would improve their capacity to respond to these needs, but more is needed than just money. Many instructional practices need to change, as does the way that faculty and students relate to each other. Prof. Brighouse will outline some institutional reforms that would work to rehumanize the university. His lecture will also outline some changed practices that could be implemented by individual departments or faculty even in the absence of institutional reform.
Harry Brighouse is Professor of Philosophy and Affiliate Professor of Educational Policy Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests range from theoretical issues about the foundations of justice to the evaluation of policies proposed for reducing the achievement gap in K-12 education. His book about the values that should guide educational practice, On Education (Routledge, 2006), is widely used in teacher preparation courses. He is also the author of Justice (Polity, 2004) and School Choice and Social Justice (Oxford University Press, 2000); main author of Educational Equality (Continuum, 2010); co-editor of Measuring Justice: Capabilities and Primary Goods (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism (Cambridge University Press, 2005); and author of four pamphlets and over fifty chapters and articles. He is currently completing a book about the value of the family with Adam Swift (Oxford) entitled Family Values (Princeton University Press, forthcoming).