Tanner Lectures will explore the ‘Black Atlantic’ and humanism

Paul Gilroy, professor of American and English literature at King’s College London will deliver the 2014 Tanner Lectures on Human Values at the Whitney Humanities Center (WHC), 53 Wall St. Feb. 19-20. 

His talks are on the theme “The Black Atlantic and the Re-enchantment of Humanism.” Gilroy will deliver the first lecture, titled “Suffering and Infrahumanity,” on Wednesday, Feb. 19, and the second, “Humanities and a New Humanism,” on Thursday, Feb. 20. Both will take place at 5 p.m. in the WHC auditorium. Gilroy will be joined by Yale scholars Hazel Carby, Kobena Mercer, Michael Veal, and Jonathan Holloway for a roundtable discussion on Friday, Feb. 21, at 10:30 a.m. The lectures and the panel discussion are free and open to the public.

Gilroy is known for his writing on black politics and culture in the United Kingdom and for his research on the history of the African diaspora. He is the author of “There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation”; “Small Acts: Thoughts on the Politics of Black Cultures”; “The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness,” which received an American Book Award; and “Darker Than Blue: On the Moral Economies of Black Atlantic Culture,” among other works. He co-authored “The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in 1970s Britain.”

Gilroy studied at Sussex and Birmingham universities, completing his Ph.D. at the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. He taught in various disciplines at South Bank, Essex, and Goldsmiths College prior to joining the Yale faculty as the Charlotte Marian Saden Professor of African American Studies and Sociology. Gilroy subsequently held the first Anthony Giddens Professorship in Social Theory at the London School of Economics. Until recently, he was also the Treaty of Utrecht Visiting Professor at Utrecht University. 

The Tanner Lectures on Human Values were established by the American scholar, industrialist, and philanthropist Obert Clark Tanner, who hoped that these lectures would contribute to the intellectual and moral life of humankind.

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Whitney Humanities Center: whitneyhumanitiescenter@yale.edu, 203-432-0670