Humanities Institute

DVLS: Elaine Scarry visits the University of Texas at Austin

Wed, November 28, 2012 | Avaya Auditorium, ACE 2.302

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Dr. Elaine Scarry
Dr. Elaine Scarry

"On Beauty and Social Justice"

The Humanities Institute is pleased to welcome Dr. Elaine Scarry of Harvard University as the next guest for its Distinguished Visiting Lecture Series.  Dr. Scarry is Harvard’s esteemed Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value.   She is an instructor of English and American Literature and Language.

Dr. Scarry has published six books and numerous articles.  Her first book, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (1985) highlighted the impossibility of expressing pain through words.  This highly lauded book went beyond an analysis of classic literary texts with an examination of philosophy, medical case studies, personal injury trial transcripts, and documents of torture compiled from Amnesty International.  With a concern for empathy and a commitment to civic duty, her subsequent writings have continued to explore the relationship between pain and creation through topics such as warfare, surveillance, social consent and governmental threats to democracy.  Her other writings include Literature and the Body (1988), Resisting Representation (1994), Fins de Siecle (1995), Dreaming by the Book (1999), and Thinking in an Emergency (2011). 

Dr. Scarry’s expansive writings have garnered her numerous accolades. She has received the esteemed Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism as well as honors from the American Academy of Science, National Humanities Center, Guggenheim Fellowship and the Berlin Institute for Advanced Studies. Her talk will examine how beauty presses individuals to be concerned with symmetry and more specifically social justice.  It is the third in the Humanities Institute’s series on Public and Private.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information please e-mail us at

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.

Sponsored by: The Humanities Institute, The Hoffman Lectureship

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