Author, film critic and New Yorker staff member David Denby to visit campus

Contact: Cheryl Roland

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The abandonment of truth and the impact of ideology on public discourse will be the focus Thursday, Feb. 8, when author, film critic and New Yorker staff member David Denby speaks at Western Michigan University.

"The Humanities in the Age of Demagoguery" is the title of Denby's free, public talk at 7 p.m. in 3508 Knauss Hall on WMU's main campus. Denby will explore the current environment and examine how the humanities and serious reading at all levels of education can counteract political opportunism in discourse.

The event is jointly sponsored by WMU's Center for the Humanities and its Center for the Study of Ethics in Society.

Headshot, David Denby.



Denby, a New York native, is a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School and the communication program at Stanford University. He was a movie critic for 45 years for such publications as The Atlantic, New York Magazine and The New Yorker. He is the author of a number of books, including "Lit Up," which is being used at WMU this spring as a reading for one of University's Book Clubs on Ethics.

"Lit Up: One Reporter, Three Schools, Twenty-Four Books That Can Change Lives" examines the value of reading and how young people learn to love serious reading in this age of technology. In it, he explores education and the ethics of reading by observing today's high school English classrooms. Denby’s book offers a narrative of discovery and, in his words, "a small demonstration...of why literature should be central to the moral, spiritual and pleasurable life of young people."

The Denby lecture at WMU is part of the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Spring 2018 Lecture Series and the Center for Humanities' Promise of Education Speaker Series.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit