Why Humanity Needs the Humanities Now

Public Humanities Hub Speaker Series presents

Why Humanity Needs the Humanities Now: Five ways to move the humanities into public space and public action

a talk by Paul Yachnin, Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies, McGill University

October 24, 2019
3:30 – 5:00 pm
Buchanan Tower, 3rd floor, Room 323

In this talk, Paul Yachnin brings forward an argument about why we need the humanities now more than ever, and how humanities scholars of every age and at every stage of their careers can bring their knowledge, skills, and ways of seeing the world to others outside the walls of the academy.

Paul Yachnin is Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies and former Director of the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas at McGill University. From 2013-2019, he was Director of the Early Modern Conversions Project. Before that, he directed the Making Publics Project (2005-2010). His ideas about the social life of art were featured on the 14-episode CBC Radio IDEAS series, “The Origins of the Modern Public.” Among his publications are the books, Stage-Wrights and The Culture of Playgoing in Early Modern England (with Anthony Dawson) editions of Richard II (with Dawson) and The Tempest, and edited books such as Making Publics in Early Modern Europe and Forms of Association. His book, Making Publics in Shakespeare’s Playhouse, is forthcoming. For the past seven years, he has been working on higher education policy. He was lead author of the White Paper on the Future of the PhD in the Humanities. He is leading the TRaCE McGill Project, which is tracking the career pathways of 5,000+ PhD graduates from across the university and telling the stories of 500+ of them. Recently, he has started to publish non-academic essays about Shakespeare and modern life, including titles such as “Alzheimer’s Disease: What would Shakespeare Do?” and “Tragedy as a Way of Life.”


Co-sponsored by the Public Humanities Hub and Department of English Language and Literatures.