Professor Joseph Flora thinks the humanities are as relevant as ever.
And before an audience of about 200 people on Sunday, he made his case.
The talk, entitled “Teacher! Teacher! Professing the Humanities in a Postmodern World,” was the 13th Adams Lecture in the Humanities and Human Values, a lecture given each fall by a distinguished scholar in the humanities at UNC.
It honors former philosophy professor E.M. Adams, who was a spokesman for the role of the humanities in contemporary education and culture.
Phyllis Adams, E.M. Adams’s wife, expressed her respect for the humanities department and said Flora’s talk was close to her heart.
“He was a wonderful speaker, and this is a great university that continues to do well in the humanities department,” she said.
Flora stressed the importance of educating students in the humanities at a time when the number of liberal arts degrees is decreasing.
“Humanities train students to see a different point of view and use effective language in speaking and writing,” he said.
He said the future of humanities lies with the young people who discover Shakespeare and Hemingway and keep them alive.