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March 16, 2011

Richard Sennett to Deliver 7th Mumford Lecture April 11

 Richard Sennett

Richard Sennett

Dr. Richard Sennett, author and professor of sociology at the London School of Economics and New York University, will deliver the seventh Lewis Mumford Lecture on Urbanism 6 p.m. Monday, April 11, at The City College of New York.  His topic will be “The Edge: Borders and Boundaries in the City.”  The lecture, held in The Great Hall of Shepard Hall, located at 160 Convent Ave., New York, is free and open to the public.

Professor Sennett is a social analyst who studies how people in urban populations understand material facts surrounding where they live and work to interpret their life experiences.  He argues that only with the mix of different classes and cultures is it possible to truly understand human relationships.  His research includes interviews and ethnography and also draws on historical record to set accounts into context.

“Richard Sennett is one of the most nuanced, passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated writers about the city and its impact on our lives, our culture and our politics: the Mumford of our time,” said Michael Sorkin, director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at CCNY, which presents the lecture.

In over a dozen path-blazing works on sociology and three novels - including  “The Uses of Disorder” (Knopf, 1970), “Flesh and Stone: The Body and The City in Western Civilization” (W.W. Norton, 1994) and “Families Against The City: Middle Class Homes of Industrial Chicago” (Harvard University Press, 1970) – Professor  Sennett explores the impact urban life has on individuals, authority and their perception of reality.  His more recent books include: “The Craftsman” (Yale University Press, 2008), “Practicing Culture” (Routledge, 2007) and “The Culture of the New Capitalism” (Yale University Press, 2005.)

Professor Sennett is a founding director of The New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University, a fellowship for academics, professionals, journalists, musicians (Sennett is himself an accomplished cellist) and artists in New York City.   His numerous honors include the 2009 Heinrich Tessenow Medal, the 2004 Helen and Robert Lynd Award for Sociology and the 2001 Berlin Prize for Sociology.  He holds a PhD from Harvard University and earned his bachelor’s degree at University of Chicago.

About the Lewis Mumford Lecture
Named for writer, architecture critic and urbanist Lewis Mumford, who attended City College, the series invites the world’s most distinguished urbanists to speak freely and publicly about the future of cities.  The series was initiated and is organized by the Graduate Program in Urban Design in the Spitzer School of Architecture.  Jane Jacobs, author of several seminal books on urbanism, including “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” delivered the first lecture in 2004.  For more information about the Lewis Mumford Lecture, contact Distinguished Professor Michael Sorkin at msorkin@ccny.cuny.edu.

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