In this lecture, Jerome McGann, John Stewart Bryan Professor at the University of Virginia, discusses the idea that Humanist studies focus primarily on phenomena that is singular, idiosyncratic, and – in a word – personal. As such, they can appear to lack the procedural rigor that we rightly associate with STEM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. But the rigor of humanist studies is not STEM-deficient, it is just STEM-different. We can see the difference most clearly if we seek a philological rather than a philosophical view of the humanities, and if we look at some salient American examples.. The truth of the humanities is not an idea but a practice, not a theory but a method. And the state of our social and cultural life today underscores our urgent, ongoing, and very practical need for a rigorous humanist ethics. This lecture, in memory of Walter A. Strauss (1923-2008), who was the Elizabeth and William T. Treuhaft Professor of Humanities, is generously supported by funds provided by the Paul Wurzberger Endowment.
About the Speaker:
Jerome McGann is University Professor and John Stewart Bryan Professor in the Department of English at the University of Virginia. He is an American academic and textual scholar whose work focuses on the history of literature and culture from the late eighteenth-century to the present. McGann graduated from Le Moyne College, received his Master of Arts from Syracuse University and his PhD from Yale University.
Click HERE for Jerome McGann’s Faculty Page