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NEH 50–Questions in Common@Illinois: Lecture by Gregg Lambert “Is the Humanities a Collaborative Enterprise?”

NEH 50–Questions in Common@Illinois: Lecture by Gregg Lambert “Is the Humanities a Collaborative Enterprise?”

Lecture: Gregg Lambert (English, Syracuse University)
“Is the Humanities a Collaborative Enterprise?”

Part of IPRH’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the “Questions in Common@Illinois” series aims to capitalize on the talents of faculty and students through conversation and dialogue—one of humanists’ major forms of experimentation and interpretive energy. Please join us for this second event in the series, in which Professor Lambert’s lecture serves as catalyst for considering the relationship of the humanities to collaboration, an exploration we will undertake in dialogue with Professor Lambert and respondents from our campus.

Abstract: Higher Education has traditionally been associated with the idea of “value,” and the university has long been understood to be an engine for reproducing—in large quantities—the forms of value that are the most sought after by the surrounding societies. This basic understanding can be applied almost universally to the function of the institution, historically, as well as to the role of the contemporary university—regardless of geographical or national location—which is to say, globally. However, something noticeable  has occurred with regard to three core values that have historically been associated with the meaning of the “Humanities": the value of the human (or the human being), the value of the “traditional Humanities” (specifically, with a 19th century Euro-American vision of the liberal arts), and finally;  the value directly linked to the economic and social development of “human capital.” Taking up the third value, my talk will address a question that underlies most discussions of the Humanities today: what role does the Humanities play in the creation of new forms of human capital that are demanded by an increasingly globalized idea of the university? Secondly, how do the values that are most vigorously promoted by recent university reforms—for example, creativity, innovation, individual enterprise, and collaboration—serve to transform the traditional role of the Humanities?

About the speaker: 

Gregg Lambert is Dean's Professor of the Humanities at Syracuse University and Principal Investigator of the Central New York Humanities Corridor, an Andrew W. Mellon funded research network among Cornell University, University of Rochester, Syracuse University and the Liberal Arts Colleges of the New York Six Consortium. Between 2008-2014, he was the founding director of the Syracuse University Humanities Center, during which time he also initiated several international public humanities collaborations, including the Perpetual Peace Project (with Slought Foundation, the United Nations University, and Utrecht University, the Netherlands), which will be one of the subjects of his talk on the nature of collaboration in the Humanities today.

Professor Lambert has also published several books: In Search of a New Image of Thought: Gilles Deleuze and Philosophical Expressionism (2012); On the New Baroque (2008); Who’s Afraid of Deleuze and Guattari? (2008); The Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture (2005); The Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze (2002), and Report to the Academy (re: The New Conflict of the Faculties) (2001). Forthcoming are: Return Statements: Post-Secularism in Contemporary Philosophy, Conceptual Personae: Philosophy After Friendship, and To Have Done with the State of Exception: On Sovereignty Today.



Jane Desmond (Anthropology and Gender and Women's Studies)
Formerly a professional modern dancer and choreographer, Jane Desmond holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. Her academic career in the arts and humanities has spanned multiple disciplines. She is currently Professor of Anthropology and Affiliated Faculty in Gender/Women's Studies and in the Unit for Theory and Criticism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she also directs the International Forum for U.S. Studies (IFUSS),  a center for transnational studies of the U.S. which she co-founded with Virginia Dominguez in 1995 at the University of Iowa.

Jonathan Inda (Latina/Latino Studies)
Jonathan Inda is Professor and Chair of Latina/Latino Studies. He earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. His research areas include the anthropology of globalization, the politics of immigration, governmentality and life politics, the critical study of race, science, and medicine, and Latina/o populations in the United States. Among his publications are Targeting Immigrants: Government, Technology, and Ethics (2006) and Racial Prescriptions: Pharmaceuticals, Difference, and the Politics of Life.

Mark Steinberg (History)
Mark Steinberg (Department of History) works on the cultural, intellectual, and social history of Russia and the Soviet Union. His research and writing have focused on labor relations, working-class literary creativity, revolution, emotions, religion, violence, and the modern city. His most recent book is Petersburg Fin-de-Siecle (Yale, 2011). He is in the final stages of revising a new history of the Russian revolution as experience for Oxford University Press. He coordinates the “Global Utopias” project of the Department of Histoy’s Center for Historical Interpretation. From 2006 to 2013, he edited the interdisciplinary journal Slavic Review. He also helped organize and co-edit a new interdisciplinary book series at Yale University Press, “Eurasia Past and Present.”


Thursday, October 15, 2015