Humanities scholars honored at annual publications celebration

publications celebration
Law School faculty members Amalia Kessler, left, and Barbara Babcock at the Stanford Humanities Center’s 24th Annual Publications Celebration. (Photos by L.A. Cicero)

On March 2, the Stanford Humanities Center hosted its 24th annual publications celebration to showcase publications in the humanities and arts at Stanford. Gathering in the center’s Levinthal Hall, guests perused books, music and radio shows produced by Stanford colleagues in the previous year.

The published works reflect the depth and breadth of humanities scholarship at Stanford. In 2016, scholars from 16 departments and nine schools and interdisciplinary centers submitted 63 works. Topics ranged from humorous poetry in medieval Germany to expanding one’s worldview through close reading to ideas about enlightenment.

publications celebration
President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. left, was among the participants at the Stanford Humanities Center’s 24th Annual Publications Celebration.

CAROLINE WINTERER, director of the Humanities Center, saluted the wide range of topics on display and encouraged attendees to “think about a larger circle of the humanities and arts at Stanford that extends to all parts of campus, not just humanities departments.”

Of the published works on display, half were created by current or former fellows at the Humanities Center—a statistic Winterer called “a visible tribute to the importance of this center, now 37 years old, with nearly 900 former fellows, and the largest campus-based humanities center on earth, in nurturing advanced research in the humanities and arts on the Stanford campus and far beyond.”

She added, “You have all shown today that the humanities include everyone, everywhere, in all times and places.”

President MARC TESSIER-LAVIGNE also addressed the group, reflecting on the role the humanities played in his own education.

“While I studied science and became a scientist, the most important experience in my academic career was studying philosophy,” he recalled, adding, “The sciences gave me my vocation, but philosophy taught me how to think and forever changed me.”

Stressing the merits of a well-rounded education, Tessier-Lavigne said, “A priority for my administration is to strengthen support for the humanities here at Stanford, to affirm the importance of a liberal education for our students with a strong foundation in the humanities and to continue celebrating your incredible scholarship and accomplishments in the humanities.”