Christopher L. Pye

Shakespeare Scholar to Deliver Babcock Lecture at Hartwick

April 18, 2012

Christopher L. Pye, the Class of 1924 Professor of English at Williams College, will deliver the 2012 Babcock Lecture on Shakespeare's The Tempest on Tuesday, May 1, at 7 p.m. in Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall, on the Hartwick College campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Pye's talk, titled "The Storm at Sea: The Tempest and Political Aesthetics," will discuss the relation between the art work and political sovereignty in the time of Shakespeare. Pye's book in progress, from which the talk is taken, develops the argument that "the aesthetic emerges as a category in the early modern era well before its philosophical elaboration in the 18th century, and that it is a vital category for understanding the political stakes of early modern art."

With advanced degrees from University College, London (M.Phil, 1977) and Cornell University (Ph.D., 1984), Pye has taught a variety of courses in Shakespeare, Early Modernism, and literary and psychoanalytic theory at Williams since 1984. Among his many publications are two scholarly books: "The Regal Phantasm: Shakespeare and the Politics of Spectacle" (Routledge, 1990) and "The Vanishing: Shakespeare, the Subject, and Early-Modern Culture" (Duke University Press, 2000). He returned to Cornell in 1995-96 as a Fellow of the Society for the Humanities.

 The Babcock Lectures are funded by the Babcock Chair of English endowment, with additional support from the Department of English and Theatre Arts. The Babcock Lecture Series originated in the early 1970s as an offshoot of Miss Cora A. Babcock's bequest in 1941 to establish the Babcock Chair in English. This endowment was substantially augmented by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in the late 1980's after Hartwick College raised substantial funds to support the humanities through capital campaigns.

For additional information, contact Kim H. Noling, Babcock Professor of English, at 607-431-4106, or at

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030