Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 7:35 pm

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, director of digital humanities and professor of English at Michigan State University, will give the Scholars’ Convocation Lecture at Grinnell College on Thursday, March 1. The free and public lecture, titled “Generous Thinking: The University and the Public Good,” will start at 11 a.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, 1115 Eighth Ave., Grinnell.

Fitzpatrick’s lecture is based on a book she is writing with the same title. In her talk, she will examine the 21st century university and the importance of the humanities to its success. In particular, she argues that humanistic work should be rooted in generosity and argues that the humanities have sometimes over-relied on critique as the primary focus of their work. She posits that humanities scholars should strive to think with, rather than reflexively against, other scholars and the surrounding community.

Prior to joining Michigan State University’s faculty in 2017, Fitzpatrick served as associate executive director and director of scholarly communication of the Modern Language Association, where she was managing editor of MLA publications. At that time, she also held an appointment as visiting research professor of English at New York University.

Fitzpatrick is author of “Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy” and of “The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television.” She is project director of Humanities Commons, an open-access, open-source network serving more than 10,000 scholars and practitioners in the humanities.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Headsets and real-time captioning will be provided for the hearing impaired. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. Information about parking and accessibility is available on the college's website: Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

The college also 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.

About Grinnell College

Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at

Light skinned woman with brown hair wearing a purple shirt under a black blazer against a gray background

Cutline for attached photo: Kathleen Fitzpatrick