KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 28, 2003 -- The 2002 Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Metaphysical Club, an exploration of American pragmatism, Louis Menand, will deliver the University of Rhode Island's Distinguished Scholar lecture on Thursday, April 3. His talk, "The Cat Who Came in from the Cold: Language and the Cold War," will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Barry Marks Auditorium, Chaffee Social Science Center. Sponsored by the URI Foundation, the Honors Program, and the Honors and Visiting Scholars Committee, the lecture is free and open to the public.
Menand's book, The Metaphysical Club tells the story of the creation of ideas and values that changed the way Americans think and the way they live. It explores the transformation of American thinking from 1865 to 1919 and traces the emergence of pragmatic ideas and ideals. Menand's current work and his talk will focus on American culture during the Cold War, including the growth of such things as the children's literature industry bolstered by stories like the familiar "Cat in the Hat."
In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize for History for The Metaphysical Club (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001), Menand's work also garnered the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians, and the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction for the Chicago Tribune. He was named the 2002 New York Council for the Humanities "Scholar of the Year," and The Metaphysical Club was named an Editors Choice as one of the nine best books of 2001 by the New York Times Book Review.
Currently a staff writer at The New Yorker and a distinguished professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Menand has taught at Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Virginia School of Law. He is on the Board of Supervisors of the English Institute, and has served as a Vice President of the PEN-American Center and as Program Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. He was associate editor of The New Republic from 1986-1987, literary editor and staff writer at The New Yorker from 1993-1994, and contributing editor of The New York Review of Books from 1994-2001.
Menand is also the author of American Studies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002) and Discovering Modernism: T.S. Eliot and His Context (Oxford University Press, 1987), which is being published in a new edition in 2003; the editor of The Future of Academic Freedom (University of Chicago Press, 1996) and Pragmatism: A Reader (Vintage, 1997); and co-editor of volume seven of The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and America in Theory (Oxford University Press, 1988).
Menand earned a M.A. with high honors in 1975 and a Ph.D. with distinction in 1980 from Columbia University. He attended Harvard Law School, received a B.A. magna cum laude from Pomona College in 1973 and attended the University of California at Berkeley from 1970-1971.
For further information, contact Deborah Gardiner, 401-874-2303.