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Crimmel Colloquium 2014 ~ Speaker: Andrew Delbanco

9/11/14 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Eben Main

The Hays and Margaret Crimmel Colloquium on Liberal Education

"What is College For?"
Andrew Delbanco

Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies
Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities
Columbia University

Thursday, September 11, 2014
Eben Holden

Under scrutiny, under stress, and underfunded, America's colleges are among our most important resources for sustaining democracy.  They have a great history, and, if the United States is to remain a strong and fair nation, they must have a great destiny.  Andrew Delbanco, author of College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be, will speak about the past, present, and future of the American college.  What is a college at its core?  How can we safeguard and strengthen it for future generations?

Andrew Delbanco is Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University.  He was awarded the 2011 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama “for his writing that spans the literature of Melville and Emerson to contemporary issues in higher education.” In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and named by Time Magazine as “America’s Best Social Critic.” In 2003, he was named New York State Scholar of the Year by the New York Council for the Humanities, in 2006, he received the “Great Teacher Award” from the Society of Columbia Graduates, and in 2013 he was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society.

Professor Delbanco is the author of many books, including College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be (Princeton University Press, 2012), which has won several awards, is required reading on many campuses, and will soon appear in Chinese and Korean translation.

Melville: His World and Work (2005) was published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, in Britain under the Picador imprint, and has been translated into German and Spanish. Melville was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography, appeared on “best books” lists in the Washington Post, Independent (London), and TLS, and was awarded the Lionel Trilling Award by Columbia University.

Other books include The Death of Satan (1995), Required Reading: Why Our American Classics Matter Now (1997), and The Real American Dream (1999), which were named notable books by the editors of The New York Times Book Review, and, most recently, The Abolitionist Imagination (2012).  The Puritan Ordeal (1989) also won the Lionel Trilling Award. He has edited Writing New England (2001), The Portable Abraham Lincoln (1992, 2009), volume two of The Sermons of Ralph Waldo Emerson (with Teresa Toulouse), and, with Alan Heimert, The Puritans in America (1985).

Andrew Delbanco’s essays appear regularly in The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and other journals, on topics ranging from American literary and religious history to contemporary issues in higher education. 

Mr. Delbanco has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a member of the inaugural class of fellows at the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.  He is a trustee of the Library of America, and the Teagle Foundation, and trustee emeritus of the National Humanities Center.  He has also served as Vice President of PEN American Center, and as a trustee of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.