UB English Department announces new Necessary Voices visiting scholar program to promote the humanities

The University of Bridgeport English Department, has launched a new visiting scholar program featuring Dr. Cleo McNelly Kearns—an expert in medieval and modern literature, feminist theory, and religion—who will inaugurate the 2013-14 Necessary Voices arts-and-ideas lecture series with an exploration into “The Dharma in American Culture” at 6 p.m., Thursday, October 3.

The lecture will be held in the Arnold Bernhard Center, 18 Iranistan Avenue. It is free and open to the public.

Prior to her talk, Kearns will spend Oct. 2-3 to meet with undergraduate classes in various disciplines, including English, composition, and philosophy, and convene with UB faculty for discussions about the interface between humanities and science education.

“This is a wonderful way to celebrate the fourth year of Necessary Voices,” said UB English Professor Diane Krumrey. “Dr. Kearns’s unique perspective on the predicament of the humanities in American higher education stems from her background in literature and religion and her current research in philosophy and cognitive science. We are truly fortunate to have an intensive two-day visit from her.”

Dr. Kearns is an independent scholar in the fields of modern literature, philosophy of religion, and comparative theology and serves as an adjunct faculty member in the departments of English and Medieval and Renaissance Studies at New York University. She has published extensively on issues in continental philosophy, feminist theory, and anthropology, and has recently completed a major study of the figure of the Virgin Mary and her relationship to Christian orthodoxy. Her work now focuses on the comparative study of sacrificial ritual, drawing on cognitive science and evolutionary biology as well as on her background in religious studies.
Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu