​Gary Tomlinson, John Hay Whitney Professor of Music and Humanities at Yale University, will present "After the Humanities of Difference: Where Are We Now?" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

What is humanistic activism? Tomlinson will draw on his years of research and teaching experience in the humanities as well as his ongoing leadership of Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center to think with us about what humanistic activism means.

Tomlinson is a musicologist long committed to multidisciplinary exploration, and his teaching, lecturing, and research have ranged across a diverse set of interests. Central among these have been traditions of European classical music, including the history of opera and early-modern musical thought and practice; but his essays and books embrace such other topics as the music of indigenous American societies, jazz, cultural and anthropological theory, the philosophy of history, affect theory, and human evolution.

His latest research — joining humanistic theory, archaeology, and evolutionary science —  investigates the role of cultural forces in the formation of modern humanity. It has led to two books, A Million Years of Music: The Emergence of Human Modernity (2015) and Culture and the Course of Human Evolution (2018).  

Tomlinson is John Hay Whitney Professor of Music and Humanities at Yale University and director of the Whitney Humanities Center there.  He is the recipient of a MacArthur Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2001 was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served as a Phi Beta Kappa visiting scholar and garnered prizes from ASCAP, the American Musicological Society (of which he is an honorary member), the Modern Language Association, and the British Academy.

Tomlinson's visit is sponsored by Grinnell College's Center for the Humanities.


Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

This venue is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program.

The College welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases, the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of College personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

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