The Distinguished Speaker in the Humanities Series was inaugurated in 2000 to emphasize the humanities as a critical component of a meaningful education. Our series brings to Ithaca College scholars from across the humanities disciplines whose work embodies our belief that the humanities belong to and serve the greater good. Inaugurated by Robert Pinsky, poet laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000, the series has given audience to an impressive array of intellectuals who have challenged us to work toward a more just and sustainable world.
Each distinguished speaker engages with the campus and regional community through a lecture that is free and open to the public. Prior to the lecture, Ithaca College students and faculty will have an opportunity to engage with the invited speaker through a class visit, or open session.
A committee of humanities faculty work to identify scholars, artists, and intellectuals. As a criterion, the committee looks for those whose work illuminates the relationship between humanistic forms of knowledge and the texts and institutions that give shape to our worlds. Past speakers have included Salman Rushdie, Peter Singer, Tony Kushner, and Martha Nussbaum, to name a few.