The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin has formed a distinguished lecture and residency program in the arts and humanities.
Funded by a grant from the University Co-operative Society, the Harry Ransom Lectures will bring internationally recognized writers, artists and intellectuals to the Austin campus to deliver a public address or performance and meet with students and faculty during multi-day visits.
The program will be introduced in the spring semester of 2009 with visits from playwright and filmmaker David Mamet, artist Ed Ruscha, Booker Prize-winning British novelist Barry Unsworth and writer Azar Nafisi.
The program will bring at least three distinguished visitors to the campus each year, many of whom will spend three to five days in residence meeting with graduate students, undergraduate students and faculty in seminars, classes and other forums. The visiting lecturers will be writers, critics, artists and scholars who have an international reputation and wide public recognition.
"This program will enrich the intellectual life of the university and enable students and faculty to engage with some of the most important artists and thinkers of our time," said Thomas F. Staley, director of the Ransom Center. "It is a key component of an initiative begun by President Bill Powers and Provost Steven Leslie to strengthen the humanities at the university. We are deeply grateful to the University Co-op and its board for their support."
"The University Co-op is proud to support and be part of the initiative to strengthen the humanities on campus," said George Mitchell, president and CEO of the University Co-op. "I have no doubt this will be a fine program benefiting the entire university community, offering a rare treat for the intellectually enlightened and food for thought for those on their way."