March 15, 2004 James Turner to Speak at Library of Congress on March 31

Turner is Senior Distinguished Scholar in Library's Kluge Center

Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

James Turner, Senior Distinguished Scholar in the John W. Kluge Center and member of the Library's Scholars' Council, will present a lecture titled "Philology and the Generation of New Disciplines, 1825-1900" at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31, in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event, which is sponsored by the Kluge Center, is free and open to the public.

In the19th century, scholars tried to apply methods and approaches of philology to objects of inquiry beyond the sphere of language and texts. In doing so, they created new academic disciplines, including most of what American and British universities today group together as "the humanities" - disciplines that had no place in higher education in 1825 but had become central to liberal studies by 1900. In his talk, Turner will attempt a brief, preliminary overview of this generative process.

Turner is the Reverend John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C. Professor of Humanities at the University of Notre Dame and founding director of the Erasmus Institute. He earned a doctorate in history from Harvard University and specializes in American and British intellectual history with a focus on the history of academic knowledge and higher education.

Under Turner's leadership, the Erasmus Institute, founded in 1997, sponsored research grounded in Catholic intellectual traditions on significant issues in contemporary scholarship as well as research derived from other Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions. His publications include "Reckoning with the Beast: Animals, Pain, and Humanity in the Victorian Mind"; "Without God, Without Creed: The Origins of Unbelief in America"; "The Liberal Education of Charles Eliot Norton"; "The Sacred and the Secular University" (with Jon H. Roberts); and "Language, Religion, Knowledge."

Turner is a member of the Library of Congress Scholars' Council, a body of 21 distinguished international scholars convened by the Librarian of Congress to advise on matters related to the Kluge Center and the Kluge Prize.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington, D.C. For more information about any of the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595, or visit the Web at


PR 04-045
ISSN 0731-3527