TORONTO, ONTARIO - The Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presents the fifth annual Eva Holtby Lecture on
Contemporary Culture on Monday, November 8, 2010. This year the ICC at the ROM welcomes American literary critic, author and public intellectual Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., speaking on the topic of The Image of the African in Western Art. The lecture begins at 7 pm in the ROM’s Samuel Hall Currelly Gallery.
Professor Gates is the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University and Professor at Alphonse Fletcher University.
Born in Keyser, West Virginia, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a literary critic, editor, educator and scholar. After earning his B.A summa cum laude in History from Yale University, Professor Gates went on to complete his M.A and Ph. D in English Literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge. In addition Professor Gates has received 50 honorary degrees from institutions such as Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Williams College and the University of Toronto.
An accomplished academic, Professor Gates is the author of several books, including The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (Oxford, 1988), winner of the 1989 American Book Award, Colored People: A Memoir (Knopf, 1994), Finding Oprah’s Roots, Finding Your Own (Crown, 2007), and In Search of Our Roots (Crown, 2009).
In 2006, Professor Gates wrote and produced a documentary for PBS, entitled African American Lives which used genealogy and science to provide an understanding of African American history. The first of its kind, African American Lives was followed by a one-hour documentary Oprah’s Roots: An American Lives Special which also aired on PBS. This documentary further examined the genetic heritage of Oprah Winfrey, who had been featured in the original documentary.
The Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture
This annual lecture, named in honour of the late Eva Holtby, was made possible through the generosity of Mrs. Holtby’s husband, former ROM Trustee Philip Holtby, and Eva Holtby’s parents, Rudolph and Paula Schury.
Institute for Contemporary Culture
The Institute for Contemporary Culture is the Royal Ontario Museum's window on contemporary societies around the globe. Playing a vital role within the historical museum, the ICC examines current cultural, social and political issues throughout the modern world in thought-provoking exhibitions of contemporary art, architecture and design that are presented in the Roloff Beny Gallery and other galleries of the Museum. In addition, a roster of public events such as lectures, film series, debates and performances further explore relevant themes addressed in ICC exhibitions, and serves as a catalyst for stimulating public conversations. The ROM's extensive collections of world cultures and natural history through the ages add context, meaning and depth to these engaging discussions of contemporary ideas.
The Royal Ontario Museum is an agency of the Government of Ontario. Opened in 1914, Canada’s largest museum of natural history and world cultures has six million objects in its collections and galleries showcasing art, archaeology and natural science.