The University Record, October 9, 1995

Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates Jr. to give Tanner Lecture Friday

By Diane Swanbrow
News and Information Services

Henry Louis Gates Jr., the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, will deliver this year’s Tanner Lecture on Human Valrues. Titled “Enlightenment’s Esau: On Burke and Wright,” the lecture will begin at 4 p.m. Fri. (Oct. 13) in Rackham Auditorium.

A panel of three scholars will respond to Gates’ lecture in a symposium at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14 in Rackham Amphitheater. Both the Tanner Lecture and the symposium are free and open to the public.

Gates, who chairs Harvard’s Department of Afro-American Studies, is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant and the author of Figures in Black: Words, Signs & the ‘Racial’ Self, The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism, Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars and Colored People, a memoir about growing up in a small West Virginia town in the 1950s and 1960s.

In addition to authoring hundreds of articles in the popular as well as the academic press, Gates also has edited several literary anthologies, including The Oxford-Schomburg Library of Nineteenth Century Black Women Writers, devoting considerable energy to recovering Black literature that would otherwise be lost.

Participants in the Oct. 14 symposium include Gerald Graff, the George M. Pullman Professor of English and Education at the University of Chicago; Nell Painter, the Edwards Professor of American History at Princeton University; and Hortense Spillers, professor of English at Cornell Unirverrsity.

The Tanner Lecture on Human Values is funded by a grant from Obert C. Tanner and is established at six universities in the United States and in England: the U-M, Utah, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge.

Previous U-M Tanner lecturers have included sociologist William Julius Wilson, novelists Amos Oz and Toni Morrison, and political economist and historian Albert O. Hirschman.