Menu Close

Sister Sophie Lecture

October 29, 2019

On October 29 Queen’s welcomes Amanda Anderson, who will deliver the inaugural Sister Sophie lecture in the Department of English. Dr. Anderson, who is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities and English and Director of the Cogut Institute for the Humanities at Brown University, is among the foremost literary theorists and critics in the English-speaking world.  She is the author most recently of Psyche and Ethos: Moral Life after Psychology, which was delivered as the 2015 Clarendon Lectures at Oxford University, and Bleak Liberalism (Chicago: 2016).

Her lecture at Queen’s, titled “Moral Thought in the Age of Psychology,” will examine how in the twentieth century the emerging discipline of psychology changed how we understand the moral life.  Considering psychological paradigms from psychoanalysis to cognitive science, Anderson will discuss how Hannah Arendt, William James, Iris Murdoch, George Eliot, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf among other writers treat the specific mental act of rumination, mulling things over in an open-ended way that is different from judging.

The Sister Sophie lecture series are the result a generous donation from Sophie Yang to the Department of English for the purpose of bringing speakers from around the world who are engaged in the highest levels of literary scholarship to Queen’s.  Ms. Yang is the CEO of the “Sister Sophie” school based in Markham and dedicated to assisting the children of families who have recently immigrated to Canada from China succeed in North American education. The donation reflects Ms. Yang’s conviction, as a result of her experience in the MA program English at Queen’s, that the humanities provide the key to the higher order thinking toward which she wants to guide her students.

The lecture will be held at the University Club on October 29th at 4:00 p.m. with a reception to follow. The event is free and open to the public.