Nina Jablonski to deliver inaugural Liberal Arts First-Year Lecture

August 26, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Nina Jablonski, Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology, will deliver the inaugural Liberal Arts First-Year Lecture at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, in 129 Waring Commons. The theme of Jablonski's presentation will be “You, the Liberal Arts, and the Human Condition.” First-year students in the College of the Liberal Arts are expected to attend the event; other students and faculty are also invited and will be admitted as space permits.

Leadership in the College of the Liberal Arts plans to make this lecture an annual event and hopes that it will create a sense of community and shared purpose among first-year students majoring in liberal arts disciplines.

“It is easy for liberal arts students to become very narrowly focused on their specific majors and fields of study,” said Paul Taylor, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of the Liberal Arts. “We want to expose our students to the idea that the ‘liberal arts’ is not just the namesake of their college; it is also a centuries-old tradition that teaches us to engage the world in particular ways. That is true for psychology majors, economics majors, history majors, and every other major in the college. Through this lecture and other first-year programming, we hope that students will start their liberal arts journey by understanding what our disciplines share in common.”

Jablonski is among Penn State’s most distinguished faculty and one of the most recognized names in the field of anthropology. Among other topics, she studies the evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation. She has been a guest on the "Colbert Report" and several NPR programs, and her TED Talk, “Skin Color is an Illusion,” has been viewed nearly 900,000 times.

“After this lecture,” Jablonski said, “I am hopeful that students will appreciate that the liberal arts strives to illuminate the nature of the human condition, and that this approach is more important and relevant in the 21st century than it has ever been in human history.”

  • Photo of Nina Jablonski

    Nina Jablonski

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated August 26, 2016