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Boise State Distinguished Lecture Series Presents Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Louis Menand April 18

Louis-MenandThe Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series at Boise State University presents Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Menand at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts. The lecture is free and no tickets are required. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Free parking is available.

The topic of Menand’s lecture is “Marketplace of Ideas: Reform and Resistance in the American University.” He is planning to target questions central to the national conversation about education, including why problems that should be easy for universities to solve are so difficult. At a time when competition to get into and succeed in college has never been more intense, Menand argues that universities are providing a less-useful education, especially given how technology has drastically transformed the way people produce and disseminate knowledge. Part of his discussion will focus on university requirements known broadly as general education.

Sparking a long-overdue debate about the future of American education, “The Marketplace of Ideas” examines what professors and students -and all the rest of us- might be better off without, while assessing what it is worth saving in our traditional university institutions.

Louis Menand is widely considered to be the foremost modern scholar of American studies. His book “The Metaphysical Club” is a detailed history of American intellectual and philosophical life in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize in history in 2002, the book also received the 2002 Francis Parkman Prize. Menand then went on to publish “American Studies,” a collection of essays and articles on people who have greatly contributed to American culture.

Menand currently is a staff writer for The New Yorker and a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. He completed his undergraduate work at Pomona College and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1980. He was a Distinguished Professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York before moving to Harvard in 2003, where he currently is a professor of English and American literature and language.

The Distinguished Lecture Series features speakers who have had major impacts in politics, the arts, science, business or other realms of contemporary significance. Former speakers in the series include environmental architect William McDonough, National Book Award winner Jonathan Kozol, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, Nobel Laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz, biologist E.O. Wilson and Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former president of Poland Lech Walesa, among others.


Media Contact: Melinda Keckler, University Communications, (208) 426-1578,

About Boise State University
A public metropolitan research university with more than 22,000 students, Boise State is proud to be powered by creativity and innovation. Located in Idaho’s capital city, the university has a growing research agenda and plays a crucial role in the region’s knowledge economy and famed quality of life. In the past 10 years, the university has quadrupled the number of doctoral degrees, doubled its masters degrees and now offers 13 online degree programs. Learn more at

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