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Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. Delivers Fifth Annual Eva Holtby Lecture at the ROM


American author discusses the Image of the African in Western Art, November 8th

The Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presents the fifth annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture, on Monday, November 8, 2010. This year the ICC at the ROM welcomes American literary critic, author and public intellectual Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., speaking on the topic of The Image of the African in Western Art. The lecture begins at 7 pm in the ROMís Samuel Hall Currelly Gallery. General admission is $25, ROM members $23 and Friends of the ICC $20. Tickets can be purchased online here.

Professor Gates is the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University and Professor at Alphonse Fletcher University.

Born in Keyser, West Virginia, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a literary critic, editor, educator and scholar. After earning his B.A summa cum laude in History from Yale University, Professor Gates went on to complete his M.A and Ph. D in English Literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge. In addition Professor Gates has received 50 honorary degrees from institutions such as Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Williams College and the University of Toronto.

An accomplished academic, Professor Gates is the author of several books, including The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (Oxford, 1988), winner of the 1989 American Book Award, Colored People: A Memoir (Knopf, 1994), Finding Oprahís Roots, Finding Your Own (Crown, 2007), and In Search of Our Roots (Crown, 2009).

In 2006, Professor Gates wrote and produced a documentary for PBS, entitled African American Lives which used genealogy and science to provide an understanding of African American history. The first of its kind, African American Lives was followed by a one-hour documentary Oprahís Roots: An American Lives Special which also aired on PBS. This documentary further examined the genetic heritage of Oprah Winfrey, who had been featured in the original documentary.

The Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture

This annual lecture, named in honour of the late Eva Holtby, was made possible through the generosity of Mrs. Holtbyís husband, former ROM Trustee Philip Holtby, and Eva Holtbyís parents, Rudolph and Paula Schury.

Institute for Contemporary Culture

The Institute for Contemporary Culture is the Royal Ontario Museumís window on contemporary societies around the globe. Playing a vital role within the historical museum, the ICC examines current cultural, social and political issues throughout the modern world in thought-provoking exhibitions of contemporary art, architecture and design that are presented in the Roloff Beny Gallery and other galleries of the Museum. In addition, a roster of public events such as lectures, film series, debates and performances further explore relevant themes addressed in ICC exhibitions, and serves as a catalyst for stimulating public conversations. The ROMís extensive collections of world cultures and natural history through the ages add context, meaning and depth to these engaging discussions of contemporary ideas. More information at:


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