We are proud to announce that the 2020 keynote speaker will be William Egginton, speaking on the subject of “A Humanities for Fractured Times.”
As we are told almost daily, we live in a divisive age. Can our democracy survive the new political reality wherein each faction not only claims the right to its own facts, but even to its very reality? Using the lenses of cultural history, literature, and political thought, Professor Egginton argues for a vision of humanistic education as central to the very survival of democratic governance.
Egginton holds the Decker and Mellon Chairs in the Humanities and is the inaugural director of the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute at the Johns Hopkins University. Previously he was vice-dean for graduate education of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins, and was chair of the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures for six years. He is the author, editor, or translator of more than a dozen books on such topics as the relationship between literature and philosophy; religion and politics; and science and the humanities. His self-authored books include How the World Became a Stage (2003), Perversity and Ethics (2006), A Wrinkle in History (2007), The Philosopher’s Desire (2007), The Theater of Truth (2010), In Defense of Religious Moderation (2011), The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered In the Modern World (2016), Medialogies: Reading Reality in the Age of Inflationary Media (2017, with David Castillo), and The Splintering of the American Mind: Identity Politics, Inequality, and Community on Today’s College Campuses (2018).