This year's Benjamin C. Howland Memorial Lecture will take place on Monday February 20 at 5pm in Campbell Hall 153. It will feature Garnette Cadogan on "The New Sound in Our Streets."
How do the spaces we move in shape the people we are? And how might we think of our public spaces as environments which shape the kind of people we want to become? We know more and more about the world around us, thanks to a deluge of data, but somehow seem to be increasingly unaware of the people right before us. It prompts many of us to lament along with the poets. “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?” asked T.S. Eliot. “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
This talk will be a meditation, aided by the voices of poets, essayists, novelists, and other close noticers of our world, that will invite us to be better listeners in public space. “Let the new sound in our streets be the patient sound of your discourse,” suggested Richard Wilbur. And why not? We live in embattled times with an urgent demand that we understand those around us. What might it mean, then, to think of our public spaces as teachers? Places that teach us how to be attentive to the hidden, neglected, repressed? Places, indeed, in which we discover our capacity to listen and create welcome new sounds.