Last week, the University of Michigan continued the proud tradition of hosting the internationally-revered Tanner Lectures this winter with Dr. Michael Lambek, the selected 2019 speaker. A member of the 1978 doctoral graduating class, Dr. Lambek holds a Canada Research Chair in the Anthropology of Ethical Life and teaches at the University of Toronto Scarborough. He has conducted extensive ethnographic research in Switzerland, Madagascar, and islands in the Indian Ocean and explores the intersection of philosophy and anthropology among other topics.
Originally planned to be held in the ballroom at the Michigan League, the unexpected emergency reduction of operations at the university led to the lecture being relocated to the Graduate Hotel. Even with the frigid temperatures, the room was filled for the event, and president Mark Schlissel provided the opening remarks. The symposium followed the lecture the next day after being moved to the Bell Tower Hotel, where Dr. Jonathan Lear (University of Chicago), Dr. Sherry Ortner (UCLA), and Dr. Joel Robbins (University of Cambridge) gave their responses to Lambek's talk titled "Concepts and Persons."
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values are a series of prestigious intellectual discussions hosted by leading professors, authors, politicians, scientists and others. The University of Michigan holds the honor of being one of the nine international institutions to regularly host the Tanner Lectures, as well as the host of the inaugural lecture by political and legal philosopher Joel Feinberg in 1977.