Humanities Institute

“On Beauty and Social Justice”

Mon, November 19, 2012
“On Beauty and Social Justice”
"On Beauty and Social Justice"

The Humanities Institute at the University of Texas at Austin hosts Elaine Scarry, November 28, 2012, 7:00 pm, in Avaya Auditorium

The Humanities Institute at the University of Texas at Austin continues its lecture series on the theme of “Public & Private” with a talk by the illustrious scholar Elaine Scarry.  Dr. Scarry’s talk, “On Beauty and Social Justice,” will focus on how beauty presses individuals to be concerned with social justice.  It will be followed by discussion.

Dr. Scarry teaches in the Department of English at Harvard University, where she is the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and General Theory of Value. She has received many accolades, including the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism and honors from the American Academy of Science, National Humanities Center, Guggenheim Foundation, and the Berlin Institute for Advanced Studies.  Her essays have been included in Best American Essays three times, in 1995, 2003, and 2007.   In 2005, Foreign Policy and Prospect named her as one of the world’s one hundred leading intellectuals.

Dr. Scarry has published seven books, two edited volumes, and numerous essays. Her first book, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (1985), highlights the impossibility of expressing pain through words.  This important book went beyond an analysis of classic literary texts to examine philosophy, medical case studies, personal injury trial transcripts, and documents of torture compiled from Amnesty International.  Her subsequent writings have continued to explore issuses of embodiment, representation, aesthetics, and social justice. These include Thinking in an Emergency (2011), Rule of Law, Misrule of Men  (2010), Who Defended the Country? (2003), On Beauty and Being Just (2001), Dreaming by the Book (1999), and Resisting Representation (1994).   

The lecture will take place in the Avaya Auditorium, ACE 2.302. The ACE building is located on the Southeast corner of Speedway and 24th Street.  Parking is available in the nearby garage at 24th and San Jacinto.  The lecture is generously sponsored by the Viola S. Hoffman and George W. Hoffman Lectureship in Liberal Arts and Fine Arts.  It is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Humanities Institute and upcoming events, please call us at 512-471-9056 or visit the Humanities Institute website:

Here is a link to Elaine Scarry's Harvard Thinks Big lecture on Beauty as a Call to Justice.

Here is a link to the ShelfLife@Texas post featuring Elaine Scarry's visit.

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