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Part III: Optimism and Disenchantment: Artistic, Literary, and Philosophical “-Isms”
A Distinguished Scholar Seminar featuring Lloyd S. Kramer 

September 21-22, 2012

In this seminar, the final part of a three-part series, Professor Lloyd Kramer concludes his examination of the rise and fall of Western ideologies—the “isms”—in modern thought and cultures. Turning to literature, the arts, and philosophy, Professor Kramer will explore how artists, writers, and intellectuals sought to find a language that would adequately express the changes and disruptions associated with modern life. On the canvas, artists sought to convey modern transitions with vivid colors and forms, or they rejected traditional forms of representation and held art to be an expression of subjective emotions. In literature, writers explored stream of consciousness narratives and challenged conventional notions of time and experience. Existentialist thinkers grappled with the apparent meaningless of modern life and attempted to describe the nature of human freedom. Postmodernists both embraced and deconstructed modernity, exploring the fluidity of human identities or sometimes rejecting the idea that there could ever be an autonomous modern selfhood. In a series of four lectures, Professor Kramer will link these cultural developments to the historical period in which they emerged and consider how these movements continue to influence cultures in our own time. Although these lectures will expand on themes in earlier seminars, this is a “stand-alone” program that does not assume participation in previous sessions of this three-part series.


Lloyd S. Kramer is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also serves as chair of the History Department. He has been teaching European and trans-Atlantic history at Chapel Hill since 1986. He is a past recipient of both the Johnston Teaching Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. He is the author of several books, including Lafayette in Two Worlds: Public Cultures and Personal Identities in an Age of Revolutions and Nationalism in Europe and America: Politics, Cultures, and Identities since 1775.


Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism

Literary Modernism

Existentialism and Structuralism

Postmodernism and Skepticism about the “-Isms”

Time and Cost

4:30 p.m. Friday, September 21, through 12:00 p.m. Saturday, September 22, 2012. The tuition is $125 ($110 by September 13). Tuition for teachers is $62.50 ($55 by September 13). 10 contact hours for 1 unit of renewal credit. The optional dinner on Friday evening is $20.00.

Note: There is a home football game scheduled for this weekend which might affect hotel availability. Please contact us for recommendations by calling 919-843-9386.

For information about lodging click here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Register for this seminar.