Vanderbilt professor to give talk April 15 on AT&T’s ”Cold War modernism”

Mark WollaegerOn April 15, Mark Wollaeger, professor of English at Vanderbilt University, will give the 2013 Edward S. and Melinda Melton Sadar Lecture in Writing in the Disciplines. His talk, titled “AT&T’s Cold War Modernism: Narrating the Liberal Arts in Times of Crisis,” will be given at 4:30 p.m. in the 1914 Lounge of the Thwing Center. The talk will be preceded by a reception at 4 p.m.

Wollaeger’s talk will assess the place of the liberal arts in American society today by looking at a 1950s executive training program in the humanities run jointly by AT&T and the University of Pennsylvania. From 1953 to 1960, the Institute for Humanistic Studies for Executives offered a 10-month program in the liberal arts for Bell System middle management. The institute’s intensive program aimed to produce more flexible, less conformist and more creative executives for an increasingly international and politically divided world.

How might this experiment in corporate and university collaboration speak to North American universities and corporations today? Find out during the lecture.

For more information on the talk, which is part of Writing Week, visit