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Arnold Davidson and George Lewis Engage in Scholarly Discussion at the Chicago Humanities Forum on October 20, 2010

Entering its eleventh year of programming, the Chicago Humanities Forum provides an opportunity for University of Chicago faculty to engage with a public audience by presenting some aspect of their current research. With the support of the Humanities Division Visiting Committee Centennial Endowment, the Franke Institute for the Humanities sponsors this annual series as part of their broader mission to make the humanities relevant to people’s everyday life.

This year’s program continues the tradition of broadening the dialogue between academia and the community-at-large.  Arnold Davidson, the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, and the Divinity School, will start the year off on October 20, 2010 with a conversation with Columbia University professor George Lewis entitled “Improvisation as a Way of Life: Time, Form, Technology, Ethics.”  Davidson and Lewis will contend that the practice of improvisation is not limited to the artistic domain, but is instead a ubiquitous aspect of everyday life.  The study of improvisation can lead to new models of intelligibility, agency, expression, and social responsibility.

Tableau, the magazine of the Division of the Humanities, interviewed Arnold Davidson in the Spring 2010 issue.   To learn more about Davidson’s current work, a list of his suggested readings, and his thoughts on not using a computer, please click here.

A talk by Adrian Johns on “The Politics of Media Piracy” will follow on February 2, 2011; the series will conclude with Lauren Berlant’s discussion “On Media, Sensationalism, and Political Desire” on May 4, 2011.

Engage yourself in the humanities at the University of Chicago by attending Professor Davidson’s lecture (and future Humanities Forum events) at the Gleacher Center, located in downtown Chicago at 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive. All the lectures are free, but advance registration is recommended. To reserve your spot for the lecture, please call 773-702-8274, and for more information about the Franke Institute please visit

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