Marianne Janack

The Phi Beta Kappa Society has awarded Professor of Philosophy Marianne Janack the 2017-2018 Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professorship. The annual professorship to scholars in the field of philosophy, given without restriction to any one school of philosophical thought, carries a stipend of $7,500.

The recipient gives a series of three special lectures during the year of the professorship at a Phi Beta Kappa chapter sheltering institution. These lectures are open to the general public as well as to the academic community. The Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professorship was established in 1983 by Phi Beta Kappa member Patrick Romanell and his wife Edna.

Janack, the John Stewart Kennedy Professor of Philosophy at Hamilton, was awarded the Romanell Professorship for her proposed lecture series on the alleged uselessness of philosophy, its literary possibilities and its shifting history. She plans to explore the following in her lecture series titled Metaphilosophical Investigations:

Lecture 1: The charges against philosophy: abstraction; a lack of attention to the concrete details of life, or practice; uselessness
Lecture 2: Philosophy as Literature/ Literature as Philosophy: The cases of Simone de Beauvoir, Wittgenstein, and David Foster Wallace.
Lecture 3: Loneliness, Escape, Entertainment, and Writing: Why do we read? Why do we write?

The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society. It has chapters at 286 colleges and universities in the United States, almost 50 alumni associations, and more than half a million members worldwide.

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