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Marc and Constance Jacobson Lecture

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
12:00 AM
Rackham Amphitheatre, 915 E. Washington St

In "After the Humanities," cultural critic, author, and Harvard Professor Marjorie Garber looks at the present and the future of the humanities.

About Marjorie Garber:

Marjorie Garber has published fifteen books and has edited seven collections of essays. The scope of her work is both broad and deep—her topics range from animal studies to literary theory, but her work has mostly been centered on Shakespeare. Garber has written five widely admired books on the playwright, including her most recent, Shakespeare and Modern Culture (Pantheon, 2008); Profiling Shakespeare (Routledge, 2008); and Shakespeare After All (Pantheon, 2004), which received the 2005 Christian Gauss Book Award from Phi Beta Kappa.

Described by Jonathan Culler as “consistently our shrewdest and most entertaining cultural critic,” and by Catherine R. Stimpson, as “the liveliest, wittiest, and most scintillating of writers about culture,” Garber has also published a number of works of cultural criticism and theory: Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety (Routledge, 1992); Vice Versa: Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life (Simon & Schuster, 1995), and Dog Love (Simon & Schuster, 1996), among others.

In her book, Patronizing the Arts (Princeton University Press, October 2008), Garber discusses the double meaning of the word "patronizing" and the way patronage (by government, by business, by individuals) has influenced the reception of the arts in the 20th and 21st centuries. Drawing on her own experience as director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard, and chair of the department of Visual and Environmental Studies, she argues with characteristic wit and passion for the centrality of the arts and culture in education today, and puts forward a vision of the university as patron of the arts.

Her book Shakespeare and Modern Culture (Pantheon, Dec 2008), focuses on the reciprocal relationship by which modern culture makes Shakespeare and Shakespeare makes modern culture. Garber is also currently at work on a collection of essays about the humanities, and on a new book about literature and its place in life.

Marjorie Garber is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of English and of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, where she is also Chair of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies and Director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.