Keynote Address

How America Invented the Humanities

A lecture by Geoffrey Harpham

November 19, 4pm

20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor

Although the humanities have long been associated with the global heritage of human creative activity, Harpham makes the case that the concept of the humanities—as a collection of academic disciplines—is a recent invention, of the American academy, during the post WWII culture of the United States. A central element in liberal education for a growing population, the humanities were also understood as a means of advancing American values and interests. How does this context of emergence effect the character of humanistic study today?

Geoffrey Harpham is President and Director of the National Humanities Center.

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