Kirk French to deliver Liberal Arts First-Year Lecture

August 28, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Kirk French, associate teaching professor of anthropology, will deliver the third annual Liberal Arts First-Year Faculty Lecture at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 29, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. The theme of French’s presentation will be “Live, Learn, Share – Diving Into the Liberal Arts.” 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.

The First-Year Faculty Lecture has become a yearly tradition that welcomes students to the College of the Liberal Arts and promotes a sense of community and shared purpose among first-year students majoring in liberal arts disciplines.

“Many liberal arts students are focused on their specific majors and fields of study,” said Richard Page, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of the Liberal Arts. “All the disciplines in the ‘liberal arts’ share a centuries-old tradition that teaches us to engage the world in particular ways. That is true for economics majors, psychology majors, English majors and every other major in the college. Through this lecture and other programs in the Liberal Arts First-Year Experience, we hope that students will start their liberal arts journey by understanding what our disciplines have in common.”

“After this lecture,” French said, “I hope the students walk away with a better sense of the importance of getting involved with the Liberal Arts community as quickly as possible. Dive in.”

French has become known for his Anthropology of Alcohol course, which is being offered to 500 students this semester. The class reflects French's interest in small-scale alcohol production around the world and his desire to share the study of anthropology with as many students as possible. He recently returned from Mexico where he was working on the Land and Water Revisited Project, which aims to document the drastic changes that have occurred to the people and the environment of the Teotihuacan Valley in the last 60 years. He is producing a new documentary that will provide a tangible example of human impact on the environment.

To learn more about the Liberal Arts First-Year Experience, visit

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Last Updated August 29, 2018