2012 Adams Lecture (UNC)-“Dramas of History and Vision: Three Contemporary Artists and the Necessity of the Arts”

On November 11th Dr. Joy S. Kasson, Professor of American Studies and English and Comparative Literature as well as the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Scholar for Carolina Performing Arts, will give the 2012 Adams Lecture.  As described on The Program in the Humanities webpage, Dr. Kasson’s lecture,  “Dramas of History and Vision: Three Contemporary Artists and the Necessity of the Arts” will examine the work of three specific artists, “the artist Judy Chicago, the playwright Tony Kushner, and the choreographer Bill T. Jones,” and, as Dr. Kasson elaborated to me in our conversation, the lecture will examine what these artists’ work “suggests about the world and arts.” The lecture will be aided by a variety of multimedia including PowerPoint and film and, as Dr. Kasson herself suggests, is sure to be “thought-provoking” and engaging for any audience member regardless of their familiarity with the three artists discussed.

I recently spoke with Dr. Kasson about the upcoming lecture to get a deeper understanding of the state of the arts in the digital age, which is as she  points out, an underlying issue in her talk.  When asked to comment on the state of the arts in the digital age and whether this period in our culture is ultimately good or bad for the arts, Dr. Kasson remarked that there is “No sense in holding back the ocean,” and that the digital revolution is “inevitable.” Though she believes that the increasing accessibility is ultimately a good thing, Dr. Kasson is concerned about the gap between instant  access and context that this level and speed of accessibility engenders.   Being able to locate a film, a poem, or the image of a painting or photograph with a few clicks of the mouse or swipes of the finger leaves little time for analysis and understanding and for Dr. Kasson a deep understanding of the arts is crucial as it holds the potential to lead us in “how we can think about ourselves as citizens and how we can understand the world.”

The 2012   Adams Lecture at UNC-Chapel Hill will be given on November 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm.  The lecture will be held at the Auditorium of the School of Social Work.  The lecture is open to the public and is free to all.

About the Adams Lecture Series

To read more about the lecture series as well as past lecture topics please visit The Program in the Humanities Adam Lecture webpage.

About Dr. Joy S. Kasson

To read more about Dr. Joy S. Kasson, her distinguished career at UNC, and her work please visit her faculty page.