Linda Zerilli to deliver annual Kenneth Burke Memorial Lecture

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Linda M.G. Zerilli, Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of Chicago, will deliver the Penn State Center for Democratic Deliberation’s annual Kenneth Burke Memorial Lecture in Room 101 of the Hintz Family Alumni Center at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21.

The lecture, which is also the second in the McCourtney Institute for Democracy’s Spring 2017 Speaker Series, is free and open to the public. It is named for Kenneth Burke (1897-1993) — a poet, novelist, translator, music reviewer and short-story writer who is more widely known as a philosopher of language. Burke’s papers are held in Penn State’s Eberly Family Special Collections Library.

Zerilli is also faculty director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Chicago. A former Fulbright Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center Fellow, and member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Zerilli has served on the executive committee of Political Theory and currently serves on the editorial or advisory boards of The American Political Science Review; Philosophy and Rhetoric; Constellations; and, Culture, Theory and Critique.

Zerilli has authored three books: “Signifying Woman” (Cornell University Press, 1994); “Feminism and the Abyss of Freedom” (University of Chicago Press, 2005); and, “A Democratic Theory of Judgment” (University of Chicago Press, 2016), which provides the background for her lecture. Her talk will explore what some refer to as “reflective judgment” and its implications for contemporary democratic theory and practice.

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy, based in the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts, promotes rigorous scholarship and practical innovations to advance the democratic process in the United States and abroad. The Center for Democratic Deliberation is one of two research centers associated with the McCourtney Institute.

To learn more about the McCourtney Institute, its associated centers, and its Spring 2017 Speaker Series, visit or email the institute at

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College of the Liberal Arts

Last Updated May 22, 2017