Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities

Arts and Humanities Month at Auburn Culminates with Botstein Lecture

Arts and Humanities Month at Auburn Culminates with Botstein Lecture

In towns and communities across America, arts organizations are planning and developing events, celebrations, and innovative programming to highlight National Arts and Humanities Month. Throughout the month of October, the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University is hosting special events to capture the spirit that the arts and humanities bring to everyday life.

On Monday, Oct. 27, Dr. Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, will give a keynote lecture at 5 p.m. at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center to conclude our commemoration of National Arts and Humanities Month. His lecture, “Speech and Action: The Arts, the Humanities, and Technology in American Political Life,” is free and open to the public.

Botstein has been the president of Bard College since 1975, where he is also the Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities. Dr. Botstein’s accomplishments at Bard College speak to his long-time advocacy for the reform of education and the right of disadvantaged populations to its access. Not only has Bard College become a premiere American educational institution but an international leader in liberal arts education with joint-degree programs with universities in Russia, the West Bank of the Jordan River, Kazakhstan, and Myanmar.

Botstein’s lecture will explore the continuities and discontinuities in the character of public life, the role of traditions, and the place of the university.

“The shape of our public space and the influence of technology will be explored in relationship to how we think about practice, scholarship, and teaching in the arts and humanities,” Botstein explained in his correspondence to the college.

“We are indeed honored to have Dr. Leon Botstein as our keynote speaker,” said College of Liberal Arts Associate Dean Dr. Giovanna Summerfield. “A 'citizen soldier,' as he justly labeled himself in a 2004 interview, a polymath, a visionary and fearless leader, Dr. Botstein will offer our community some food for thought during this special time of the year.  By analyzing the intersection of arts, humanities, and technology, he will motivate us to reflect on these key elements and their impacts but primarily on our roles as citizens, as practitioners, and as public agents and institutions, generating an ongoing discussion on the place and value of the humanities in our contemporary society.”

Since 1992, Leon Botstein has also been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra and a conductor of international renown. With the American Symphony, he has pioneered the concept of thematic concert programming, relating musical works to cohering extra-musical themes drawn from history, literature, politics, and the visual arts. 

“We are thrilled to have one of the most skilled conductors and progressive minds among currently practicing musicians on the Auburn campus,” said Dr. Sara Lynn Baird, chairperson for the Department of Music. “His career has been characterized by innovation and prestige. We are eager to engage him in discussion and hear his lecture.”  

Botstein publishes widely on the subjects of music, history, culture, and education.  He has written extensively on the historical and political contexts of major musical figures from Haydn, Mendelssohn and Brahms to Schoenberg, Shostakovich, and Copland, and analyzed the relation of their accomplishments to other disciplines such as the visual arts and literature.

The college is hosting many special performances, exhibits, lectures, films, forums, and other events that offer opportunities to learn about, experience, and participate in the arts and humanities. Please join us at the scheduled events listed here and be sure to check the website often for new additions to the calendar. All events are open to the public.


Last Updated: November 01, 2016