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Humanities Center launches faculty colloquium series

The works-in-progress series debuted on Sept. 12 with William Fowler, Distinguished Professor of History
September 19th, 2011

The Human­i­ties Center has launched a new col­lo­quium series to high­light fac­ulty research and works-​​in-​​progress. Intro­duced by Georges Van Den Abbeele, founding dean of the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties, the weekly series encour­ages inspi­ra­tional dis­cus­sions with Northeastern’s leading scholars and marks a revi­tal­iza­tion of the center.

“I ini­ti­ated the col­lo­quium series to give our fac­ulty the oppor­tu­nity to share their exciting work with a diverse group of stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff from across the Uni­ver­sity,” said Van Den Abbeele. “North­eastern is home to leading scholars in a variety of fields. Though we enjoy and learn much from vis­iting aca­d­e­mics, there is a wealth of knowl­edge to be shared amongst our own faculty.”

Van Den Abbeele noted the series is just one of sev­eral new Human­i­ties Center initiatives.

“I’d like to refocus the center’s mis­sion and infuse more excite­ment into the human­i­ties,” Van Den Abbeele said, adding that he intends to bring some of the most pres­ti­gious and rec­og­niz­able names in the human­i­ties to North­eastern as guest lec­turers and vis­iting scholars.

The series also incor­po­rates the Human­i­ties Center’s goal to bring together the human­i­ties and social sci­ences to con­sider issues from an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary perspective.

The works-​​in-​​progress series debuted on Sept. 12 with a dis­cus­sion led by William Fowler, Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of His­tory. Fowler enter­tained his audi­ence with sur­prising and even com­ical sto­ries from his time spent con­ducting research for his 12th book, “Amer­ican Crisis: George Wash­ington and the Dan­gerous Two Years After York­town, 1781–1783.” During his talk, Fowler under­scored the impor­tance of and his appre­ci­a­tion for the dig­i­ti­za­tion of doc­u­ments and robust resources avail­able online.

“As a his­to­rian, it is very impor­tant for me to visit the sites I write about to get a sense of space, to smell the smells and stand in the places where these events took place,” Fowler said. “I’m also extremely grateful for the many librar­ians and archivists that pointed me to sources that I might have never found on my own.”

The col­lo­quium series takes place every Monday at noon in 162 Meserve Hall. Today, Joan Fitzgerald, director of the Law and Public Policy pro­gram, will con­tinue the series with a talk enti­tled, “Grand Visions vs. Low-​​Hanging Fruit: How Cities Respond to Cli­mate Change.”

The entire schedule can be found here.

- by Greg St. Martin


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