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Syracuse Professor Featured in Humanities Documentary

Gregg Lambert interviewed in ‘Value of the Humanities,’ airing this weekend on Dutch television

Sep 19, 2014 | Article by: Sarah Scalese

Photo of Gregg Lambert

Gregg Lambert


A professor in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences will be featured in a new documentary about the role of the humanities in contemporary society.

Gregg Lambert, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities and director of the Central New York Humanities Corridor, is among eight prominent thinkers and scholars profiled in The Value of the Humanities (ValueMedia, 2014).

The documentary will be presented by Netherlands Public Broadcasting (NPB), in conjunction with the Liberal Protestant Radio Broadcasting Corporation, on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 2:30 p.m. (ET). Viewers are encouraged to share their reactions via Twitter at #ValueHumanities.

The Value of the Humanities is produced and directed by Shanti van Dam, an NPB veteran who is an internationally renowned media consult.

"The humanities are under attack,” says Lambert, alluding to the recent rash of humanities programs that have been downsized or eliminated at institutions on both sides of the Atlantic. “When we compromise the humanities, we undercut who we are as a society—specifically, the ability to nurture our capacity to articulate. This film looks at the purpose of the humanities and why it really matters."

The documentary also features commentary by scholars from Harvard University; the University of California, Berkeley; King’s College (U.K.); Birbeck, University of London (U.K.); and Utretch University (Netherlands), where Lambert spent last fall as a Visiting Distinguished Professor in the Centre for the Humanities.

In July, Lambert stepped down as founding director of Syracuse’s Humanities Center to focus on leadership of the CNY Humanities Corridor. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, the Corridor involves nine New York State institutions, including Syracuse, that engage in collaborative scholarship.

Lambert’s new role also affords him time to work on the Perpetual Peace Project (PPP), a multilateral curatorial program that he helped launch in 2008; to serve on the International Advisory Board of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes; and to lecture around the globe.

A scholar of comparative literature and critical theory, Lambert joined Syracuse’s English faculty in 1996. He served as chair for three years and was appointed in spring of 2008 to head up the newly established Humanities Center, located in the historic Tolley Building. That same year, he was appointed director and principal investigator of the Corridor.

“I am honored to be in this documentary—an opportunity that stems from my work at Syracuse,” he says. “I am proud to represent the University in what is surely an engaging conversation about the critical importance of the public humanities."

Plans are underway to release The Value of the Humanities in the United States via Vimeo on Demand. Keep checking the documentary's website for details.
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Contact Information

Sarah Scalese
315-443-8085
sescales@syr.edu