The University Record, January 17, 1994

Rackham book launching offers opportunity for intellectual exchange

A new book that examines how ancient codes of honor are reflected in the social discomforts of daily life will be the subject of a free public celebratory symposium at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 in Rackham Amphitheater.

The book launching for Humiliation, And Other Essays on Honor, Social Discomfort, and Violence by law Prof. William Ian Miller is the fifth in an occasional series sponsored by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

“The Graduate School’s book launchings offer a unique occasion for people across the University to engage in intellectual exchange and to form their own opinions about a work before the critics can tell them what to think,” observes John H. D’Arms, dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for academic affairs.

“William Miller’s book offers us especially rich opportunities for discussion from a wide range of perspectives.”

Miller was educated as a literary critic and philologist and is by profession a historian of medieval Iceland. His multi-faceted study ranges among a variety of disciplines as he contemplates emotions across time and culture. While his scenarios may range from local incidents to those from Icelandic sagas, he also explores the emotional worlds represented in Middle English poetry, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky and others.

Faculty members who will offer brief presentations on the book from the perspectives of their disciplines include Leonard Barkan, professor of English and of history of art; Allan F. Gibbard, the Richard B. Brandt Professor of Philosophy; Diane Owen Hughes, associate professor of history; and Hazel J. Markus, professor of psychology, the Helen Peak Professor of Psychology and research scientist in the Research Center for Group Dynamics. A general discussion and response from the author will follow.