Distinguished Scholars in the Public Humanities lectures

Earlier this year, Erin Benay, associate professor of early modern art and director of undergraduate studies and Deepak Sarma, professor of religious studies and professor of bioethics, were named inaugural Distinguished Scholars in the Public Humanities.

Now, over the next few weeks, the scholars will deliver their annual lectures, showcasing their work while discussing the broader impact of the public humanities. Both events will begin with the lecture, followed by an informal reception. Food and drinks will be provided.

Distinguished Scholars in the Public Humanities: Erin Benay lecture and reception

“From Campus to Community: Taking Art and its Histories to the Street”
Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Tinkham Veale University Center, Ballroom A

Benay’s talk will focus on ways art history can be practiced outside the confines of the university or art museum.

“At its core, my work explores what happens when we take up the gritty spadework of community activism in the context of art history—a discipline still deeply mired in colonialist discourses and largely confined to academic and museum settings,” Benay said. “Weaving together history, theory and practice, this talk asks us to consider what art history (and the humanities writ large) can do for society,” she continued.

Register for Benay’s lecture.

Distinguished Scholars in the Public Humanities: Deepak Sarma lecture and reception

“Is there an ordinary state of consciousness?”
Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Tinkham Veale University Center, Ballroom A

Sarma’s talk intends to disrupt the status quo and will challenge attendees to think in new ways about states of consciousness—both ordinary and non-ordinary ones.

“The current curiosity about altered states of consciousness and the therapeutic value of so-called psychedelic substances begs the question of what is to be considered ‘normal,’” Sarma said. “Attendees can expect to question their basic beliefs, and to leave transformed and transfigured.”

Register for Sarma’s lecture.