The Plummer Lecture was endowed in 1999 in honor of the late Atlanta arts patron.
The Hellen Ingram Plummer Lecture is the College of Arts and Sciences’ annual endowed lecture, featuring noted scholars, scientists, artists and performers who have made important contributions to their fields of achievement and to society at large. The Plummer Lecture was endowed in 1999 in honor of the late Atlanta arts patron. Hellen Ingram Plummer was a strong supporter of the arts in Atlanta for decades. The mother of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James I. Merrill and the former wife of Merrill Lynch founder Charles E. Merrill, Mrs. Plummer counted among her friends such artistic greats as George Gershwin, Charlie Chaplin, Katherine Hepburn and Gloria Swanson.
Dana Williams, Howard University
Thursday, March 31, 2022
College of Law, Ceremonial Courtroom (lower level)
85 Park Place NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Public lecture with a reception to follow; event will also be live-streamed over Zoom
Dana A. Williams is a Professor of African American literature and Dean of the Graduate School at Howard University. Prior to serving as Dean, she served as Chair of English at Howard University for nine years. She currently serves as president of the Toni Morrison Society. She has previously served as president of the College Language Association and president of the Association of Departments of English. In 2016, she was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a member of the National Humanities Council.
Dr. Williams is the author of the first and only book-length study on Leon Forest, In the Light of Likeness–Transformed: The Literary Art of Leon Forrest (Ohio State UP, 2005) and the editor of August Wilson and Black Aesthetics (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2004) with Dr. Sandra G. Shannon, edited African American Humor, Irony, and Satire: Ishmael Reed, Satirically Speaking (Cambridge Scholars, 2007), Conversations with Leon Forrest (UP of Mississippi, 2007), and Contemporary African American Fiction: New Critical Essays (Ohio State UP, 2009). She is currently completing a book-length study on Toni Morrison’s editorship at Random House Publishing Company.
2019 David George Haskell
Professor of biology and environmental studies, University of the South, "Life is Made of Community: Lessons from Trees in Cities and Forests."
2017 Carol Anderson
Charles Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University, "White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide."
2016 Roy Foster
Carroll Professor of Irish History at Oxford University and prominent public intellectual.
2015 Anthony M. Tung
Author and urbanist, “Preserving the World's Great Cities: The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis.”
2014 Mustafa Akyol
Turkish political commentator and author, “The Future of Islamism: Lessons from Tunisia, Egypt, and Turkey.”
2013 Benjamin D. Santer
Atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, “The Search for Human ‘Fingerprints’ in Observed Records of Climate Change.”
2012 Mark Danner
MacArthur Fellow and award-winning journalist, “Living with the New Normal: Human Rights, U.S. Foreign Policy and the 2012 Elections.”
2010 Tu Wei-Ming
Confucian ethicist, “The Application of Confucian Ethical Thought to Current Political and Social Issues.”
2009 Susan Faludi
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, in conjunction the exhibition Losing Yourself in The 21st Century in the Welch School of Art and Design Galleries.
2008 Daniel Levitin
James McGill Professor of Psychology at McGill University in Montreal, author of This Is Your Brain on Music.
2007 Melissa Fay Greene
Author of There is No Me Without You: One Woman’s Odyssey to Rescue Africa’s Children.
2006 Vassilios Lambropoulos
Professor of Modern Greek at the University of Michigan, “The Tragedy of Politics in N. Kazantzakis’ play Capodistria.”
2005 Paul M. Churchland
Department of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, “Impossible Colors: Some Unexpected Predictions, from Cognitive Neuroscience, Concerning the Human Visual System.”
2004 Lawrence W. Levine
Professor of History at George Mason University, “Man and Superman: Success, Individualism, and Institutions in Depression America.”
2003 Walter Kohn
Nobel Laureate and Professor of Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, “Science in the New Century: For Better or Worse.”
2002 Alfred Crosby
Professor Emeritus in the American Studies, Geography, and History departments at the U. of Texas at Austin, “Humanity and Biological Invasions.”
2001 Matthew Golombek
Chief Scientist for NASA’s Mars Voyager project, “Exploring the Red Planet in 3D with the Mars Pathfinder Rover.”
2000 Gerhard Weinberg
William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, ”New Perspectives on World War II.”
1999 J. D. McClatchy
Inaugural lecture. Editor of The Yale Review, “The Mother of Invention: Memory and the Plot of Poetry.”