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Humanitas events

In Trinity Term we will be joined by four visiting professors for the Humanitas Programme: Vik Muniz (Contemporary Art), Michael Govan (Museums, Galleries & Libraries), Lynn Hunt (Historiography) & Kelly Reichardt (Film and Television).

Vik Muniz is a world-renowned photographer who, although he works and lives in America, is greatly inspired by his birthplace, Brazil, where he has become a celebrity. His photographs are very distinctive, as he incorporates unusual objects, including diamonds, sand, chocolate and rubbish into his photographic process. One of the most striking examples of this is his project "Pictures of Garbage", which are monumental photographic portraits, created from industrial rubbish. This series was created in collaboration with the rubbish pickers of Jardim Gramacho, an enormous dump just outside Rio that is one of the largest landfills in Latin America. Muniz donated all the money he recieved through the sales of the artworks to the workers, which is just one example of the charitable work that he considers a vital part of his life and art.

Muniz will be giving a lecture entitled "Class dismissed... Art, creativity and education". He will also participate in a symposium entitled "Between the artist and the museum" alongside Michael Govan, the Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Under Govan's directorship the museum has sponsored striking installations, that have garnered worldwide attention. Michael Heizer's "Levitated Mass" saw a 340-ton granite rock be transported to the LACMA from a quarry 105 miles away, realising a project that was first conceived in 1968. Chris Burden's "Urban Light" brought two hundred vintage LA street lamps to the museum's entrance.

For the Humanitas chair in Historiography, the well respected historian Lynn Hunt will be giving a series of lectures. Hunt works primarily on the French Revolution, which she has used as a platform to think about human rights issues and gender equality concerns. In her first lecture she will be asking whether human rights need a history. She also lectures on the French Revolution in a global context, as well as particpating in a roundtable discussion of "Histories of the Self".

This term also sees the arrival of the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Film and Television, indie director Kelly Reichardt. Reichardt's credits include Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff. Both these films will be screened during her visit. She will also be participating in an "In Conversation" event and giving a masterclass.