Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

Morris Berman to Explore Post-9/11 America

Morris Berman, cultural historian and social critic, will give a lecture at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m. in Leyburn Library’s Northen Auditorium. Berman is currently serving as Class of ’63 Scholar in Residence.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

A book signing will follow the talk. Berman is the author of “Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire,” “Wandering God: A Study in Nomadic Spirituality” and “Coming to Our Senses: Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West.” Copies of those books are available in the W&L Store.

In Berman’s lecture, “9/11 and Counting: How Far Have We Come?” he will contend that in the wake of the Boston marathon bombings that took place earlier this year, Americans were suddenly made aware of the fact that the war on terror is far from over.

He will consider what we have learned since the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and whether we understand our motives and the motives of our enemies, or whether we are stuck in a kind of unconscious programming that makes these attacks inevitable. After 12 years, Berman argues, it’s time to take a closer look.

On Monday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m., Berman will be interviewed by Professor Larry Boetsch, W&L’s director of international education, on WLUR Radio (91.5 FM).

Berman has taught at a number of universities in Europe and North America and has held visiting endowed chairs at Incarnate Word College (San Antonio), the University of New Mexico and Weber State University. During 1982-88 he was the Lansdowne Professor in the History of Science at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

He won the Governor’s Writers Award for Washington State in 1990, the Rollo May Center Grant for Humanistic Studies in 1992 and the Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity from the Media Ecology Association in 2013.

Berman has written widely about the history of consciousness, civilization and contemporary American culture.  He is the author of a trilogy on the evolution of human consciousness, “The Reenchantment of the World” (1981), “Coming to Our Senses” (1989) and “Wandering God: A Study in Nomadic Spirituality” (2000). In 2000, his “Twilight of American Culture” was named a Notable Book by the New York Times Book Review. Berman relocated to Mexico in 2006, and during 2008-09 was a visiting professor at the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico City.

He has a B.A. in mathematics from Cornell and a Ph.D. in the history of science from Johns Hopkins.

See his blog at http://morrisberman.blogspot.com.

Berman’s visit is sponsored by the Washington and Lee Philosophy Department, the Provost’s office and the Class of ’63 Scholars in Residence Program.