In Fall 2007, the Center for the Humanities will sponsor a semester-long course that will bring four distinguished scholars to campus as Distinguished Visiting Professors in the Humanities:
Robert J. Richards is the Morris Fishbein Professor of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Chicago. He is a Professor in the Departments of History, Philosophy, Psychology, and in the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, and Director of the Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine. He received a Ph.D. from St. Louis University in 1971, and another from the University of Chicago in 1978. Professor Richards’ research interests lie in the history and philosophy of psychology and biology, with specific interests in evolutionary biopsychology, ethology, and sociobiology, as well as in theories of perception from the ancient period to the present day. His most recent book is The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought, and will be published with the University of Chicago Press in 2007. Other books include: The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe (2002), and The Meaning of Evolution: The Morphological Construction and Ideological Reconstruction of Darwin’s Theory (1992).
Lawrence Grossberg is the Morris Davis Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies and Cultural Studies and Chair of the Executive Committee of the University Program in Cultural Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been international co-editor of the journal Cultural Studies for the past decade. His research interests are popular music and youth culture, the philosophy and theory of culture and communication, and postmodernism. He has published over one hundred articles and essays, and his work has been translated into ten languages. His most recent book is Caught In The Crossfire: Kids, Politics, And America's Future (2005). Other books include: It’s a Sin: Essays on Postmodernism, Politics and Culture (1988), We Gotta Get Out Of This Place: Popular Conservatism and Postmodern Culture (1992), and Dancing in Spite of Myself: Essays in Popular Culture (1997).
Lennard Davis is Professor of English at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He is a leading figure in the field of disability studies. His book Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness and the Body gives a political and social history to the idea of Normality. Bending over Backwards: Disability, Dismodernism, and Other Difficult Positions is a collection of essays that cover the relation of disability to contemporary and historical culture and politics. Davis has also has written on the history and theory of the novel. His work Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel presents a Foucauldean reading of the novel as a discourse emerging from the matrix of journalism, history, and the law. Resisting Novels: Fiction and Ideology continues that work by describing the formal and constitutive ways in which novels are inherently ideological structures defending and resisting bourgeois capitalism.
M. Jacqui Alexander is Professor of Women’s Studies and Gender Studies at the Univesity of Toronto, and holds a Ph.D. from Tufts University. She is one of the most important theorists of transnational feminism today and her work has had a profound impact on feminist, queer, and critical race theories. Her research and teaching have focused on questions of colonialism, political economy, and the racialized and heteronormative regulatory practices of the modern state as well as spiritual dimensions of experience and the meaning of sacred subjectivity. Her most recent book is Pedagogies of Crossing: Meditations on Feminism, Sexual Politics, Memory and the Sacred (2005). Other books include: Sing, Whisper, Shout, Pray!: Feminist Visions for a Just World (2002), and The Third Wave: Feminist Perspectives on Racism (1998).