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Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison will speak at Syracuse University Sept. 24
Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison will speak at Syracuse University Sept. 24September 11, 2001Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison will deliver the 2001 Laura Hanhausen Milton Freshman Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium.
Due to space limitations, seating within the auditorium will be limited to College of Arts and Sciences freshmen, freshman forum leaders and Honors seminar students. Morrison’s lecture will be simulcast to the Schine Underground, where seating is open to the public.
“Toni Morrison personifies the values of liberal education, and we are simply delighted that she is the college’s 2001 Milton Freshman lecturer,” says Cathryn Newton, dean of The College of Arts and Sciences. “The power of her writing, and the ethical, social and historical issues she explores, will make for a vivid intellectual experience for our first-year students and for our faculty.”
Born Chloe Anthony Wofford in 1931 in Ohio, Morrison is the second of four children in a black working-class family. She displayed an early interest in literature and studied the humanities at Howard and Cornell universities. Her career in academia has carried her to Texas Southern, Howard and Yale universities and, since 1989, to Princeton University, where she is currently the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Council of the Humanities. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Morrison has lectured widely across the United States and internationally. Her debut as a novelist in 1970 quickly gained the attention of critics and a wider audience for her epic power, unerring ear for dialogue, and her poetically charged and richly expressive depictions of Black America.
Her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “Beloved” (Knopf, 1987), considered one of her best works, tells a powerful story about blacks in America. Set in the years following the Civil War, “Beloved” is the story of a former slave who lives alone in a house haunted by the spirit of a murdered child. It is a dense, complex novel that quietly and powerfully tells the story of the horrors of slavery and of the thousands of black slaves and what they went through. “Beloved” was made into a movie starring Oprah Winfrey.
Morrison’s other novels include “Jazz” (Knopf, 1992), “Tar Baby” (Knopf, 1981), “Song of Solomon” (Knopf, 1977), “Sula” (Knopf, 1973) and “The Bluest Eye” (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970).
A senior editor at Random House for 20 years, Morrison has held the Albert Schweitzer Chair in the Humanities at the State University of New York at Albany. She delivered the Tanner Lectures at the University of Michigan, and the Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge. She was also SU’s Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities.
She has received honorary degrees from Harvard, Dartmouth, Oberlin, Yale and Columbia universities, among many other institutions.
The Milton Freshman Lecture series is part of The College of Arts and Sciences Freshman Forum Program, which brings first-year students together at the beginning of their studies for an intellectual event that highlights the importance of their common undertaking as students of the liberal arts.