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Program in the Humanities

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2013 Adams Lecture

Professor H. Holden Thorp to give 2013 Adams Lecture

“From Salesman to Hamletmachine:  The Need for the Humanities”

November 3, 2013
4:00 p.m.
Auditorium, School of Social Work (click for map to parking)
Open to the public at no charge

holden thorp

H. Holden Thorp, Professor of Chemistry and Medicine and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis will give the 2013 E. Maynard Adams Lecture in the Humanities and Human values at 4:00 pm on November 3, 2013.  Professor Thorp’s talk is entitled “From Salesman to Hamletmachine:  The Need for the Humanities.” The lecture is free of charge and open to the public. A celebratory dinner at the Carolina Inn will follow the lecture (see menu). Tickets for the dinner can be purchased online or by calling 919-962-1544.

Professor Thorp will consider the current state of the humanities in American higher education and examine the arguments and strategies being used to garner support for teaching and research in the humanities in the current fiscal and political context.  Recent texts such as “The Heart of the Matter” from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Martha Nussbaum’s Not for Profit will be discussed. Professor Thorp will provide perspective from his years of arguing for the humanities as a dean, chancellor and provost at UNC-Chapel Hill and Washington University.

There are many areas of current debate and disagreement among groups and individuals making the case for the humanities. Some questions that will be considered are: Is there a crisis in the humanities?  Should the same arguments used for STEM education in the report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” be used to mobilize support for the humanities?  Can we find a way to talk about the humanities to our external stakeholders that also resonates internally?

HOLDEN THORP is Professor of Chemistry and Medicine and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis where he has served since July 1, 2013. Prior to moving to Washington University, he was Kenan Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he served in a number of  administrative roles, including chair of chemistry, dean of the college of arts and sciences, and chancellor. He is co-author with Buck Goldstein of Engines of Innovation, which is published by UNC Press.  He is a co-founder of Viamet Pharmaceuticals, which is commercializing new drugs for prostate cancer and anti-fungal indications.

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