Dr. Joseph Luzzi named featured speaker for 2024 Johnson Colloquium
By Kala Allen-Dunn | Jan 26, 2024
MURRAY, Ky. – The College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Murray State University is pleased to announce that Dr. Joseph Luzzi will be the speaker for the 2024 Johnson Colloquium Series event. The lecture, titled “The Play’s the Thing: Shakespeare’s Poetics and Our World Today,” will be given on Thursday, February 15, at 6 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium. The event is presented in collaboration with the Murray Shakespeare Festival, and admission is free to the public.
The purpose of the lecture is to connect great works of literature to the present-day reality of our lives in an accessible way that is enjoyable for all audiences, regardless of their prior knowledge of Shakespeare.
Luzzi writes, “In my presentation, I will explore how Shakespeare’s work – including his great tragedies Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear – can provide us with essential insights for understanding some of the most pressing problems in the world today. As part of my discussion, I will also show how the theatrical space became the site for cognitive discoveries in Shakespeare, as he used fictional representation to consider issues that could not be fathomed through rational means alone.”
Dr. Rusty Jones, chair of the Murray Shakespeare Festival and the Murray State University Department of English and Philosophy, encourages the community to attend the event and expresses his enthusiasm about the speaker.
“The Murray Shakespeare Festival is excited to partner with the Johnson Colloquium Series to bring Dr. Luzzi to Lovett Auditorium. As evident from his very popular TEDx Talk titled ‘How Literature Can Change Your Life,’ Dr. Luzzi uses literature as a means to explore and to illuminate the most essential components of the Human condition.”
Luzzi is the Asher B. Edelman Professor of Literature at Bard College, where he also teaches Italian Studies and film courses. He is the author of five books, including “Botticelli’s Secret: The Lost Drawings and the Rediscovery of the Renaissance,” which was named as one of New Yorker’s Best Books of 2022 and as a Guardian Book of the Day selection. In addition to many scholarly publications, Luzzi’s essays and reviews have been published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, TLS, Bookforum, and American Scholar. Recent speaking engagements have included NYU Stern Business School, Harvard University, Yale University, Cambridge University, and others.
The Charles and Marlene Johnson Colloquium Series was established with the goal of bringing guest lecturers, visiting artists, musicians, and academic experts to the stage of historic Lovett Auditorium. Dr. Charles Johnson, ’56, and the late Mrs. Marlene Rann Johnson, ’57, shared a great appreciation for the performing arts and higher education. Their support of Murray State University has enhanced not only the College of Humanities and Fine Arts but the institution as a whole.