The series, which for more than 40 years has brought renowned artists, poets, authors and dramatists to the Boston College campus, also will feature this semester a BC dean with some hopeful ruminations, a popular poet with a penchant for humor and a Harvard professor who writes on subjects ranging from aesthetics to technology.
Kicking off the spring schedule on Feb. 1 will be Lynch School of Education Dean Mary Brabeck, who will present the Candlemas lecture. In her lecture, "Transformative Hope," Brabeck will offer an exploration of the theology and psychology of hope, explaining hope's role in a postmodern world and its manifestation in the search for social justice.
On Feb. 15, Harvard University Professor of English Elaine Scarry will present "On Beauty and Social Justice." A prolific writer on a wide range of subjects, Scarry's recently published series of articles in the New York Review of Books, where she proposed that a number of recent major airplane crashes may be attributed to electro-magnetic interference, have received serious attention.
Billy Collins, a poet whose appearances on National Public Radio have earned him a popular following, will read from some of his work on March 1. Collins, noted for his poetry's quirky humor, is the author of six books including Picnic Lightning and The Art of Drowning, which was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.
A poet whose accolades include the 1994 Pulitzer Prize and a Bronze Star for valor, earned while serving as a military newspaper correspondent during the Vietnam War, will be the featured speaker on March 15. Yusef Komunyakaa will read from his body of work, which covers his vast American point of view from boyhood in segregated Louisiana to the jungles of Vietnam.
Memoirist and novelist John Edgar Wideman, who has been called "the most gifted black novelist of his generation" will read from his work on April 5. The two-time winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, Wideman explores the concepts of family relationships, race and society, including in his 1995 tome Brothers and Keepers, which examined the diverse circumstances that led his younger brother to life imprisonment for murder. Wideman's latest work is 1999's Two Cities, a novel depicting the challenging and contradictory life of an African-American woman.
All Humanities Series events will begin at 7:30 p.m. and take place in Gasson 100, with the exception of the March 15 lecture by Yusef Komunyakaa, which will be held in Devlin 101.
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