Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Thomas Laqueur:

The Work of the Dead

Wednesday, October 4, 4:30 p.m.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, 115 Fayerweather
Amherst College

Laqueur-Phi Beta Kappa

Thomas Laqueur, Fawcett Distinguished Professor of History at Berkeley, specializes in the cultural history of the body, and in the history of humanitarianism and of popular religion and literacy. His books include Work of the Dead; Solitary Sex; Making Sex, Religion and Respectability; and, in progress, a short history of humanitarianism and a book about dogs in Western art. He writes for the London Review of Books and was a founding editor of the journal Representations. He received a Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award, which he used to commission and write a libretto for an opera based on José Saramago’s novel Death with Interruptions; as well as to support projects on human rights, religion, and science studies. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society.  He comes to Amherst as Part of the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Visiting Scholar Program. This lecture explains why the living need the dead and therefore care for their bodies. Free and open to the public, with a reception to follow.

The PHI BETA KAPPA Society:  Founded in 1776, the Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society. It has chapters at 286 colleges and universities and more than half a million members throughout the country. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression.

This lecture is sponsored by Amherst College’s Beta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the Corliss Lamont Lectureship for a Peaceful World, and the Departments of English, History, Religion and Art & the History of Art.