April 10, 2012
Martha Nussbaum, world-renowned philosopher, scholar and champion of liberal education, will speak at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. The author of more than 25 books, Nussbaum will focus her talk on her 2010 work, “Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities” (Princeton University Press). This event is free and open to the public.
Nussbaum is a passionate defender of humanities education, rejecting the argument that education should be solely focused on workplace preparation. “[Humanities] only do what is much more precious than that, make a world that is worth living in, people who are able to see other human beings as equals, and nations that are able to overcome fear and suspicion in favor of sympathetic and reasoned debate,” asserts Nussbaum.
In 2005, UNC Asheville awarded Nussbaum the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. In accepting the award at the university’s May 2005 Commencement, she told the graduates, “Here at UNC Asheville, you have not only prepared yourself for jobs, you have also received a liberal education … an education that ‘liberates’ your minds so you can take charge of your own thinking and become people who stand for something.”
Nussbaum’s writing and ideas have major importance for UNC Asheville’s students, says Humanities Lecturer Grace Campbell, UNC Asheville’s 2010 Distinguished Teacher of the Year. “There is not a student crossing the stage at a UNC Asheville commencement who has not read Martha Nussbaum,” said Campbell. “Her ideas are fundamental to our curriculum.” Nussbaum will conduct a private talk and discussion with UNC Asheville students as part of her visit to campus.
Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, where she holds appointments in the Philosophy Department, Law School and Divinity School. She is founder and coordinator of the Center for Comparative Constitutionalism and has served as research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, a part of the United Nations University. She has chaired the Committee on International Cooperation, the Committee on the Status of Women of the American Philosophical Association, and the Committee for Public Philosophy. A member of the Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Nussbaum has taught at Harvard, Brown, and Oxford universities.
Nussbaum’s talk is sponsored by these UNC Asheville programs and offices: the National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Professorship, the Office of the Provost, the Associate Provost, the Deans of Humanities, Natural and Social Sciences, the Center for Jewish Studies, the departments of Classics, Drama, Fine Art, History, Literature and Language, Philosophy, and Religious Studies, Arts and Ideas, the UNC Asheville Humanities Program and the Office of the Chancellor.
For more information, please call 828.251.6808.