Arts Calendar

Grand Valley State University

Fall Arts Celebration: Distinguished Academic Lecturer Daniel Mendelsohn

Fall Arts Celebration: Distinguished Academic Lecturer Daniel Mendelsohn

Thursday, September 20, 2012
7:00 PM

Grand Valley State University L.V. Eberhard Center, Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Fall Arts Celebration, Humanities, Literary Arts

Award-winning writer, critic and translator Daniel Mendelsohn will present "Medea on the Jersey Shore: Tragedy and the Crisis of Reality in Contemporary Culture."

Earlier this year, Mendelsohn was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as part of a 2012 class that included Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, actor Clint Eastwood, and founder Jeff Bezos. Trying to pigeonhole Mendelsohn's own area of expertise is a challenge, given his broad range of interests and writings. A common element found in much of his work is fresh insight about contemporary culture as influenced by his scholarly training as a classicist.

Mendelsohn, now the Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities at Bard College, studied Classics at the University of Virginia and Princeton University, where he completed his doctorate in 1994. Since then his articles, essays, reviews, and translations have appeared frequently in such diverse publications as The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Esquire, Travel + Leisure, and The Paris Review.

A recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Excellence in Reviewing (2001) and the George Jean Nathan Prize for Drama Criticism (2002), Mendelsohn has written six books, including an award-winning account of his search for the truth about six relatives who perished in the Holocaust, "The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million." A collection of essays, "How Beautiful It Is And How Easily It Can Be Broken," was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2008. "Waiting for the Barbarians," a new collection of Mendelsohn's essays on subjects ranging from Susan Sontag and Noël Coward, to TV's "Mad Men" and Greek myth in "Spider-Man," will be published in October.

His lecture will be followed by book signing and reception. All Fall Arts Celebration events are free and open to the public. Seats fill quickly; arrive early. For more information, visit, call (616) 331-2180.

Grand Valley State University thanks the following sponsors for their commitment to the arts and their generous support of Fall Arts Celebration 2012: Ginny Gearhart and the Gearhart Family, Liesel and Hank Meijer, Elaine and Larry Shay, Judy and Peter Theune, John R. Hunting, Allendale Greatest Needs Fund of the Allendale Community Foundation, and Media Sponsor WOOD 106.9 FM & 1300 AM.