posted February 11, 2002

Lecture on 3,000 Years of Multimedia

Dr. Richard A. Lanham, distinguished professor emeritus of the University of California, Los Angeles, will make two public presentations at Hope College on Thursday, Feb. 21.

He will present "3,000 Years of Multimedia: A Pastist View" at 11 a.m. in the Maas Center auditorium. At 4 p.m., he will present "Freshman Composition in an Age of Design," a talk geared particularly toward teachers of writing, in the DeWitt Center Herrick Room.

The public is invited to both events. Admission is free.

Lanham received his doctorate in English literature from Yale University and has distinguished himself as a scholar and teacher of the Renaissance and rhetoric. He compiled the widely-used "A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms," and has published a myriad of journal articles and 10 books, including "The Motives of Eloquence" and "The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts."

Lanham breaks the scholar's mold in many ways. His work on style and composition established him as an expert in new electronic media and communication in the digital age. He is an authority on electronic books, an emerging means of delivering content.

He has served as an expert witness on copyright issues in scores of court cases. He recently wrote a law review article titled "Barbie and the Teacher of Righteousness: Two Lessons in the Economics of Attention." In the article, Barbie, of doll fame, argues a recent case with the second century B.C. Qumran leader, looking to make sense of recent copyright claims as applied to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

On the rhetoric front, Lanham has published a variety of books designed to encourage and nurture style and substance in modern writing, with his titles "Style: An Anti-Textbook," "Revising Prose," "Revising Business Prose" and "Analyzing Prose." He has formed a company called Rhetorica with his wife, which offers literary expert services and teaching.

Richard Lanham is coming to Hope College under the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar program. The Phi Beta Kappa honor society is the oldest and most respected undergraduate honors organization in the United States. It has pursued its mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences since 1776.

The Maas Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street. The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street, and the Herrick Room is on the southwest corner of the building's second floor.