Albert Einstein once declared that imagination was more important than knowledge.
The value of imagination, and how it inspires critical thinking and new ideas, is the focus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's spring Nebraska Lecture April 16. UNL English professor Stephen Behrendt will present "So What Good Are the Humanities, Anyway?" at 2:30 p.m. in the Nebraska Union, 14th and R streets, with a reception following. A live webcast will be available athttp://research.unl.edu/nebraskalectures.
Modern examples of criticism of the arts and humanities will provide a framework for Behrendt to discuss how a humanities-based education stimulates learning, curiosity and discovery. His lecture also will explore the critical role the humanities play in addressing major societal challenges such as climate change, economics and social justice.
"The arts and humanities help us ask the hard questions we have as humans," Behrendt said.
Behrendt, a University Professor and George Holmes Distinguished Professor of English, joined UNL in 1980. His research interests include British Romantic literature, women writers and radical politics during the Romantic period, and poet and artist William Blake. He is also a widely published poet.
His lecture, part of The Nebraska Lectures: Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series, is sponsored by the UNL Research Council, Office of the Chancellor, Office of Research and Economic Development, and Humanities Nebraska, in partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.