Annual Brown Lecture
IN MEMORY OF JOHN D. M. BROWN
(1883 – 1951)
In March or April of every year the department hosts a major literary critic who visits campus for a day, gives a lecture and participates in classes. The lecture is free and open to the campus community as well as the public.
John D. M. Brown graduated from Muhlenberg College in 1906 and joined the Muhlenberg faculty in 1912. Dr. Brown was a remarkably versatile scholar and teacher. He taught courses not only in English and American Literature, but also in Italian, Spanish, French, and Art History. Dr. Brown was especially devoted to the literature of the English Renaissance, particularly to the plays and poems of Shakespeare.
Dr. Brown served as Head of the Muhlenberg English Department from 1927 to 1949. He was honored in his lifetime as the first recipient of the college’s Florence T. Saeger Professorship. In addition, Wittenberg University named him a Doctor of Literature in 1922 and Muhlenberg awarded him a Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1948, the year before his retirement from the college.
It is through the continuing generosity of the Brown family that the English Department is able to invite the caliber of lecturers listed below.
PREVIOUS BROWN LECTURERS
2012 Kenneth W. Warren, The University of Chicago,“The Bluest Eye: Toni Morrison and the Post-Segregation Black Writer"
2011 Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University, "The Madness of the Unexpected: Marcel Duchamp and the High/Low Controversy"
2010 Andrew Delbanco, Columbia University, "Melville, our Contemporary"
2009 Marjorie Howes, Boston College, “Yeats’s Graves: Death and Modernism in Last Poems”
2008 Joseph Viscomi, UNC – Chapel Hill, “William Blake’s Enlightened Graphics: Illuminated
Books and New Technologies”
2007 John Matthews, Boston University, “Southern Discomfort: The Problem of the South in
2006 Alan Wald, University of Michigan, “One Long Conspiracy: Oppositional Novels in Cold
2005 Luke Gibbons, University of Notre Dame, “Fracturing the Future: James Joyce,
Contingency, and the Irish Narrative”
2004 Jonathan Bate, University of Warwick, “Shakespeare and the Discovery of England”
2003 Martha Nell Smith, University of Maryland, “Emily Dickinson: A User’s Guide”
2002 Alan Sinfield, University of Sussex, “Character in Shakespeare from Bradley to Cultural
2001 John F. Callahan, Lewis and Clark College, “That Same Pain, That Same Pleasure: Editing
2000 David Kastan, Columbia University, “Shakespeare and the Printed Book, or, Making a
1999 Nina Auerbach, University of Pennsylvania, “Common Fears: Victorian Monsters Invade
1998 Michael Neill, University of Auckland, “Mulattoes, Blacks, and Indian Moors: Othello and
Early Modern Constructions of Human Difference”
1997 Terry Hawkes, University of Cardiff, “Bryn Glas”
1995 Michael Bristol, McGill University, “Calvin and Hobbes, or What Was Democracy?:
Apprehensions of the Public Sphere in Hamlet”
1994 Jean Howard, Columbia University, “London Places, London Voices and the Staging of
England in Shakespeare’s Henriad”
1993 Gerald Graff, University of Chicago
1992 Peter Stallybrass, University of Pennsylvania, “Shakespeare and the Reproduction of the
1991 Jerome McGann, University of Virginia, “‘My Brain is Feminine’: Byron and the Poetry
1990 Harry Berger, Jr., University of California at Santa Cruz, “The Trouble with Edgar:
Shakespeare’s King Lear and the Gloucester Family Romance”
1989 Nina Baym, University of Illinois
1988 Stanley Fish, Duke University, “Masculine Persuasive Force: John Donne and Verbal
1987 Christopher Ricks, Boston University, “King Lear and the Double Bind”