Past Event

2022 Dean’s Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons: Carol Becker

October 27, 2022
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
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Hybrid Event
Images from left to right: Photograph of Ernesto Cardenal used with permission of Sandra Eleta. Photograph of Thomas Merton used with permission of the Estate of John Howard Griffin.

Ernesto Cardenal and Thomas Merton: Poets, Priests, Mystics, Revolutionaries

In 2015 Carol Becker visited an exhibition at Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library called Seasons of Celebration: Thomas Merton at 100. There she learned of the lifelong correspondence between Ernesto Cardenal and Thomas Merton. Both graduated from Columbia University and spent their lives committed to the Church, but nonetheless struggled with its structures as well. They both worked for radical change and the transformation of society. Cardenal, whom she knew personally, participated in the Nicaraguan revolution that toppled the Somoza dictatorship. Merton was an anti-Vietnam War and Civil Rights advocate. This lecture is a result of Becker's fascination with how they lived their lives as writers, artists, monks, and activists. 

Carol Becker is Dean of Columbia University School of the Arts. She is the author of The Invisible Drama: Women and the Anxiety of Change; Zones of Contention: Essays on Art, Institutions, Gender and Anxiety; Thinking in Place: Art, Action, and Cultural Production; Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and the Changing Politics of Art and The Artist in Society: Rights, Roles, and Responsibilities. Her recent memoir is Losing Helen: An Essay.

Carol was Dean of Faculty and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before arriving at Columbia University. She travels widely and lectures on issues of art and society.

This is a hybrid event. A current Columbia University ID is required to attend this lecture in person. Non-Columbia affiliates/ID holders may register now to watch the lecture as a webinar.

Alumni Auditorium, William H. Black Building
650 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032

Presented by the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dean Carol Becker gave The Dean’s Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons last month, to a live audience at Vagelos College, and an online audience of hundreds.