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Humanities lecture features eclectic author Garber


March 28, 2007
Cultural critic and author Marjorie Garber will address issues concerning the present state and the future of humanities in our culture during a lecture at 7 p.m., March 29, in the Lattie F. Coor Building 's room 170, on the Tempe campus. The lecture, titled “After the Humanities,” is sponsored by ASU's Institute for Humanities Research.

“Marjorie Garber's scholarly work is breathtaking in its range,” says Sally Kitch, founding director of the Institute for Humanities Research. “Her methodology is to take a cultural phenomenon, like a beauty contest, and demonstrate how it embodies aspects of our social fabric that we recognize but didn't know we knew.”

In selecting Garber as the institute's distinguished lecturer for 2007, Kitch says, “we wanted someone who is distinguished as a humanities scholar, but who also speaks brilliantly to a general audience.”

Garber is described as an entertaining speaker who has published numerous works of cultural criticism and theory.

“She has thought very deeply about the structure of the academy and the way we divide knowledge,” Kitch says. “She intends to make us think much more deeply about the relationship between the humanities and sciences, the arts and sciences, and the arts and humanities.”

Garber is known for making contemporary, historical and even ancient historical connections throughout different cultural phenomena, and she has published extensively on issues concerned with educational theory and university culture.

“She provokes us to think about whether the humanities will exist in their current form in the future,” Kitch says.

Garber is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English and American Literature and Language and of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University , where she also is chair of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies and director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. She also is president of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes.

In addition to her eclectic studies in culture, Garber is widely admired for her four books on Shakespeare, including her most recent, “Shakespeare After All,” which was chosen by Newsweek as one of the five best nonfiction books of 2004, saying it is the “indispensable introduction to an indispensable writer … Garber's is the most exhilarating seminar room you'll ever enter.”

Following the lecture, there will be a dessert reception and book signing, where five of her books will be available for purchase.

The event is free and open to the public, though reservations are required. For reservations, call (480) 965-3000 or e-mail IHR@asu.edu. More information is online at www.asu.edu/clas/ihr/lectureseries.

Carla Mitchell, carla.mitchell@asu.edu
(480) 965-1441