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L. Jackson Newell Lecture Series Kick Off – Featuring Professor Scott Black

The video of this lecture can be accessed using this link:

An exciting, new lecture series, in honor of Jack Newell, has been established within the Honors College. This series highlights the importance of the liberal arts and sciences on our University of Utah campus. The focal point and value in these fields is the ability to “create and conserve knowledge.” A place where ideas and concepts can be “vetted, debated, and refined.”

This new lecture series will exemplify the excellent work of University of Utah faculty to create a forum for these conventions and open conversations. The lecture series has been established with the hope of awakening the students, and the broader public to their sense of creativity and a more deliberate way to look at the world.

The Keynote Speaker at the first lecture series will be Professor Scott Black, who has dedicated a great portion of his life reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s work. Her works have been a part of his life since a kid, in which he was intrigued by her prose and ability to write beautifully. Throughout his life and teaching career he has been able to find new themes and concepts in her works that have truly intrigued him. Her exploration of the ability to find beauty in; darkness, a loss in power, and lulls in our circle of productivity and life.

Professor Black will speak about the importance of reading fiction and how the application and conversations surrounding fiction can lead us to a better life. Fiction can show us the world of possibility, that our reality does not have to be stagnant. Those who are able to attend the lecture will magnify their understanding of the importance of possibility and the celebration of traditionally “tough” circumstances.

The talk will be Thursday, September 19th at 6 pm in the Gardner Commons building room 1900. For those of you who are unable to make it, Professor Black has some words of advice, he says to read Le Guin’s work and to remember to slow down. Pick up a good fiction book and remember it’s not always about productivity, sometimes we just need time to be mindful and live.

Thank you to Professor Scott Black for coming to share his knowledge and thoughts and a huge thank you to all of the donors who contributed to the L. Jackson Newell endowment, which will ensure that the experiences of honors students will be well rounded and rooted in deep thought!


Written by Michelle Valdes

Honors Ambassador, Junior, Writing and Rhetoric major

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