Simon joins a distinguished roster of authors that has made the Ellmanns one of the leading literary lectures series in the English-speaking world. Ellmann Lecturers have included Nobel Prize laureates Seamus Heaney (1988) and Mario Vargas Llosa (2006), Salman Rushdie (2004), Umberto Eco (2008) and Margaret Atwood (2010).
The Ellmann Lectures are ticketed but free and open to the public. Tickets will be available near the end of Emory’s fall semester. Simon’s lectures will concern, in part, an overview of the historical antecedents of the music made between 1966 and 1970.
The selection of Simon, “a consummate songwriter,” to deliver the lectures, aims to “slightly open up the concept of what literature is,” says Joseph Skibell, associate professor of English and creative writing at Emory and director of the lectures. The international selection committee discussed song as a part of world literature, and agreed that Simon was the obvious first choice.
Emory established the biennial lectures in 1988 in honor of Richard Ellmann (1918-1987), who served as the university’s first Robert W. Woodruff Professor from 1980-1987. The biographer of James Joyce and Oscar Wilde, Ellmann was one of the 20th century’s greatest literary biographers and critics of modern Irish, English and American literature.
If you missed Margaret Atwood’s lectures as part of the 2010 Richard Ellmann Lecture Series, you can find them on Emory’s iTunesU at the links below (the free iTunes app is needed… see the iTunesU intro for more information).
Margaret Atwood raised the level of excitement and literary passion in the Emory community during her three-day visit as the presenter of the 2010 Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature.
In addition to three lectures (with the theme of “In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination”), a book reading/signing, and Creativity Conversation with students, she participated in a full lineup of social events celebrating her contributions to the world of literature. The video features remarks by Michael Kramer (Professor of English, Bar-Ilan University) and Sharon Green (Associate Professor of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto), who are members of the Ellmann Lectures International Selection Committee.
Emory musicians serenaded Margaret Atwood at a dinner before her second Ellmann Lecture at Emory University (Oct. 26, 2010). The songs below are from the hymns of God’s Gardeners in The Year of the Flood and performed by Don Saliers (Professor Emeritus at Candler School of Theology), Cynthia Patterson (Professor of History), Richard Patterson (Professor of Philosophy), and on vocals, Elizabeth Saliers.
What makes the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature so special? Listen to members and friends of the Emory community share their perspectives on the lecture series and the man, Richard Ellmann. Margaret Atwood, Canadian scholar and author, will be presenting three original lectures from October 24-26, 2010.
Overview of the Ellmann Lectures Series
Joseph Skibell, director of the Ellmann Lectures Series and associate professor of English, talks about the role of the three-day event in the intellectual life of the community — and shares insights about the theme of Margaret Atwood’s lectures.
Rosemary Magee, Vice President and Secretary of Emory University, on the build-up to the Ellmann Lectures.
James T. Laney, President of Emory University from 1977 to 1993, shares his memories of Richard Ellmann and the start-up of the lectures.
Emory University President James Wagner recounts a lighter moment from the 2004 Ellmann Lecture Series that led to Salman Rushdie’s “informal” invitation to join Emory as a distinguished professor and to add his archives to MARBL.
Gary Hauk, Vice President and Deputy to the President of Emory University, describes how the Ellmann Lectures Series has grown over the years, underscoring Emory as an international destination, and how it spans people and departments.
Michelle Miles, an Emory graduate student in the English Department, describes what she’s learned about the Ellmann Lecture Series from working on them behind the scenes with Prof. Ron Schuchard, and the impact of the series on her academic career.
Katy Crowther, PhD, talks about how the Ellmann Lecture Series opens up the university environment by inviting people from the community to engage with world-renowned writers.
Levin Arnsperger, an Emory graduate student in the English Department, enjoys the Ellmann Lecture Series for the imaginative use of language — no matter what the topic.
Glenn Kellum, senior associate vice president of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, recalls his former Emory professor Richard Ellmann (his style of instruction was “take it slowly”).
Thomas Jenkins, executive director of Academic & Strategic Partnerships at Emory, describes the Ellmann Lectures as a “jewel” for the University and the city.
Jeff Levy, CEO of Activate3D, explains why the Ellmann Lectures are so valuable to the Atlanta community.