Alexander Nemerov, the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Stanford University, will present the lecture “Lightness: In the Air with William Faulkner and Margaret Bourke-White” on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in Peter Graham Scholarly Commons in Bird Library. He will also conduct a mini-seminar on Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 10:00 a.m.–noon in the Special Collections Research Center on the sixth floor of Bird Library. Both events are free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required for the mini-seminar. To register, contact Barbara Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 315-443-9763.
Professor Nemerov will examine two great figures of the 1930s who do not seem to go together, the novelist William Faulkner and the photographer Margaret Bourke-White. Considering aerial moments in Faulkner’s novels Absalom, Absalom!, The Wild Palms, and Pylon, he will also speak of Bourke-White’s cult of heights, her dizzying vantages far above the streets of Manhattan.
A scholar of American art, Nemerov writes about the presence of art, the recollection of the past, and the importance of the humanities in our lives today. Committed to teaching the history of art more broadly, as well as topics in American visual culture—the history of American photography, for example—he is a noted writer and speaker on the arts. His most recent books are To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America (2011), the catalog to the exhibition of the same title he curated at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Acting in the Night: Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War (2010). His latest book, Wartime Kiss: Visions of the Moment in the 1940s, was published by Princeton University Press in 2012.
The Alexander Nemerov lecture is co-sponsored by the Syracuse Symposium™ in the SU Humanities Center.