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W&L Presents Speaker on Iconoclasm

James Simpson, the Douglas P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English at Harvard University, will give a public lecture on Monday, March 23, at 7 p.m. in Northen Auditorium in the Leyburn Library at Washington and Lee University.

The title of the talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Learn to Die: Late Medieval English Images Before the Law.”

“Simpson is one of the three or four most influential people in his field,” said Edwin D. Craun, Henry S. Fox Jr. Professor of English at W&L. Simpson has written over eight books including volume two of the “Oxford English Literary History,” entitled “Reform and Cultural Revolution, 1350-1547.” His most recent book, “Burning to Read: English Fundamentalism and its Reformation Opponents,” examines how early Protestant attitudes toward reading the Bible led to fundamentalism in both early modern culture and modern culture.

Simpson also is an editor of the “Norton Anthology of English Literature.” He is currently at work on a book on iconoclasm in England and America from Medieval culture down to contemporary painting.

His lecture is sponsored by the Department of English and the program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.