Julia Sedlack / Contributing Writer
Samford University’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences will welcome Columbia University professor Roosevelt Montás to campus on Monday Oct. 10. She will deliver the 2019 J. Roderick Davis Lecture in Reid Chapel at 7 p.m.
Montás is senior lecturer in Columbia’s english department and teaches comparative literature in the Center of American Studies at Columbia University. He is the former director of the Center for the Core Curriculum at Columbia University.
His lecture will be titled “Liberal Education and Human Freedom” and Montás will discuss Samford’s Core Curriculum in conjunction with the greatest aims and most basic, human foundations of liberal education.
This lecture is part of an annual series which honors Samford alum and former dean of Howard College J. Roderick Davis. It was created to enrich Samford’s intellectual culture by inviting celebrated academics and innovators to engage students with contemporary issues and time-honored traditions.
Montás holds an A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He specializes in Antebellum American literature with particular interest in citizenship and local and national identity.
As a graduate student, Montás received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching from Columbia University in 2000. He won Columbia University’s Bancroft Award in 2004 for his dissertation, Rethinking America: Abolitionism and the Antebellum Transformation of the Discourse of National Identity, and became director of the Center for the Core Curriculum just four years later in 2008.
This time brought many new additions to the curriculum.
“During Montás’s tenure as director, the Literature Humanities syllabus saw a host of new texts, including Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, which is the first text written by a black author on the syllabus, as well as Sappho’s Lyrics, and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse,” the Columbia Spectator said.
Montás stepped down from his position as director of the Core Curriculum this past spring. However, Montás still teaches within Core in addition to his work as an instructor at the Center for American Studies and the Double Discovery Center.