Stephen Greenblatt to lecture April 17


Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Greenblatt, the Cogan University Professor of English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University, will lecture on campus on April 17.


The lecture is made possible by the Glenn and Jere Noel Blackburn Endowment for the Humanities Series. The event, set for 7 p.m. in the David J. Prior Convocation Center, is an official activity in the celebration of the Inauguration of Donna Price Henry as Eighth Chancellor of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise.


The title of Greenblatt’s talk is “Lucretius and the Toleration of Intolerable Ideas.” The lecture centers on why and how the utterly unacceptable ideas reintroduced by the recovery of De rerum natura in 1417 managed to survive and be transmitted during pre-Enlightment centuries that had no concept of toleration.


Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University.  He is the author of twelve books, including The Swerve: How the World Became Modern; Shakespeare's Freedom; Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare; Hamlet in Purgatory; Marvelous Possessions; and Renaissance Self-Fashioning.  He is General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and of The Norton Shakespeare, has edited seven collections of criticism, and is a founding editor of the journal Representations.  His honors include the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and the 2011 National Book Award for The Swerve, MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize (twice), Harvard University’s Cabot Fellowship, the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation, Yale’s Wilbur Cross Medal, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, the Erasmus Institute Prize, two Guggenheim Fellowships and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley.  Among his named lecture series are the Adorno Lectures in Frankfurt, the University Lectures at Princeton, and the Clarendon Lectures at Oxford, and he has held visiting professorships at universities in Beijing, Kyoto, London, Paris, Florence, Torino, Trieste, and Bologna, as well as the Renaissance residency at the American Academy in Rome.  He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and is a permanent fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin.  He has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Letters, and the American Philosophical Society.