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UDALLAS RELEASE: Renowned Biblical Scholar Robert Alter to Deliver 2022 McDermott Lecture

Irving, TX (Feb. 11, 2022) — Robert Alter, professor of the Graduate School and Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, will be the featured speaker of the University of Dallas’ 2022 Eugene McDermott Lecture. Alter, who has taught at Berkeley since 1967, will deliver an address on the topic “The Challenge of Translating the Bible” on Monday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Irving Arts Center’s Carpenter Hall.

Alter’s completed translation of the Hebrew Bible with commentary was published in 2018 in a three-volume set. In 2019, he published The Art of Bible Translation, adding to his other publications over the past three decades, which have included Necessary Angels: Tradition and Modernity in Kafka, Benjamin, and Scholem (1991), Imagined Cities (2005), Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King James Bible (2010), and Nabokov and the Real World (2021). Alter has published 28 books in all, including two prize-winning volumes on biblical narrative and poetry and award-winning translations of Genesis and the Five Books of Moses. He has written extensively on the literary aspects of the Bible.

Alter also has written widely on the European novel from the 18th century to the present, on American fiction and on modern Hebrew literature and has devoted book-length studies to Fielding, Stendhal and the self-reflexive tradition of the novel. His books have been translated into 10 different languages.

Alter is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress. He is past president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. He has twice been a Guggenheim fellow and has been a senior fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem and Old Dominion Fellow at Princeton University. 

In 2009, Alter received the Robert Kirsch Award from the Los Angeles Times for lifetime contributions to American letters, in 2013 the Charles Homer Haskins Prize for career achievement from the American Council of Learned Societies, and in 2019 an award for literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has honorary degrees from Yale University, Northwestern University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and three other institutions. 

In 1974, the university established the Eugene McDermott Lectureship, an endowed lecture series created in honor of Eugene McDermott, the late scientist, businessman, civic leader and philanthropist. It was established on behalf of Margaret and Eugene McDermott to recognize Donald and Louise Cowan's vision and leadership at the University of Dallas and in the city of Dallas. Beginning with the venerable historian Jacques Barzun, the McDermott Lectureship continues to bring notable public intellectuals to the university for short courses and seminars. 

Through the McDermott Lectureship, the University of Dallas and the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts host exceptional guest lecturers and distinguished faculty members on thought-provoking topics within the Western tradition. Prominent scholars have spoken on Homer, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Plato, Dante, St. Thomas Aquinas, Locke, Tocqueville and Leo Strauss, to name a few. 

About the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts

The Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts is committed to the renewal of the Western heritage of liberal arts and the Christian intellectual tradition. Through master’s programs in American studies, art, classics, classical education, English, humanities, leadership, philosophy, politics, psychology and theology, students receive an academically rigorous education for virtuous leadership. At the doctoral level, the Institute of Philosophic Studies offers degrees in literature, philosophy and politics rooted in a Great Books core curriculum. For more information, visit udallas.edu/braniff.

About the University of Dallas

Located in one of the largest and fastest-growing metropolitan areas of the U.S., the University of Dallas is a nationally recognized Catholic liberal arts university with campuses in Irving, Texas, and Rome, Italy. Known for the academic rigor of its undergraduate Core Curriculum, rooted in the great works of Western civilization and Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of Dallas also offers flexible graduate degrees in business, liberal arts and ministry, all taught by exceptional faculty who are dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom, truth and virtue. For more information, visit udallas.edu.

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