Author, staff writer for the New Yorker, and best-selling social commentator Adam Gopnik will share his thoughts on the necessity of studying arts and humanities in a society where the sciences are viewed as the primary sources of wisdom during a talk at Virginia Tech’s Moss Arts Center on Saturday, Sept. 6, at 2 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

The event will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. 

An award-winning journalist, Gopnik speaks with singular wit, eloquence, and insight on modern life and culture and why the liberal arts are so important. With a rich trove of stories and revealing observations about people and places, Gopnik will display the importance of humanities now and in the future.

The talk is particularly cogent, given the Virginia Tech’s strength in integrating the arts, science and technology.

Gopnik writes long essays on big thinkers for The New Yorker. He has a genius for bringing people and their ideas to life and for communicating the emotions behind these ideas, the feelings they evoke, and their relevance to modern life.

Gopnik also writes in another genre, which he calls “comicpersonal essays” — funny and touching stories about how families live, especially his own family, in the storied cities of Paris and New York. His most recent book, “The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food,” is a strong example of this comic-personal style. His previous book is “Angels & Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life.” In it, Gopnik uses historical biography to explore the way we live today. He looks at the birth of the modern era through the lives of Lincoln and Darwin.

Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986, and his work for the magazine has won both the National Magazine Award for Essay and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. He has broadcasted regularly for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and wrote the article on American culture for the last two editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica. In 2012, the French government named him a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Adam Gopnik’s talk is presented by the School of Visual Arts as part of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies’ 50th Anniversary Celebration and Creative Writing in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences' Department of English; the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology; and the Center for the Arts.

Parking for the Moss Arts Center is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.



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