Kenneth Warren, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English; also in the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture and the Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, will deliver the 2016 John S. Nuveen Lecture. The title of Prof. Warren's lecture is “William Faulkner and the Franchise."
Prof. Warren's scholarship and teaching focuses on American and African American literature from the late nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth century. He is particularly interested in the way that debates about literary form and genre articulate with discussions of political and social change. His two books, Black and White Strangers: Race and American Literary Realism (Chicago, 1993) and So Black and Blue: Ralph Ellison and the Occasion of Criticism (Chicago, 2003), explore how various understandings of black/white racial difference have affected, and continue to affect, the way that American authors write about and pass critical judgment on American literature. So Black and Blue explores the uncomfortable possibility that our desire to value the work of twentieth-century American authors—even those authors who, like Ellison, set out to challenge the nation's racial status quo—might, paradoxically, tend to underwrite our commitment to a racially unequal social order. Prof. Warren teaches courses reflecting his interest in genre, the politics of race, and the relation of culture to politics. He has been a member of the faculty at the University of Chicago since 1991.
John S. Nuveen was one of Chicago’s most influential business leaders and an active civil and cultural leader with ties to many educational institutions. At the University of Chicago, he served as chairman of the University’s Alumni Association and as a trustee of the Baptist Theological Union, who established the Nuveen lecture in 1972 and manage an endowment that supports the University of Chicago Divinity School. Each year, a prominent member of the University's faculty is invited by the BTU and the Divinity School to deliver the lecture. Past lecturers have included Janet Rowley, Jonathan Lear, and Leon Kass.
This year’s lecture will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2016, at 4:30 pm in Swift Hall's third-floor Lecture Hall. This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.