University of Minnesota Morris
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Barber Lecture Series

The Barber Lectures in Literatureare made possible by a gift to UMM from Laird H. Barber and the late Dorothy Klein Barber, both of whom had long and distinguished careers as English faculty at UMM.  The endowed lecture series began in 1999 and is shared, in alternate years, between English and Foreign Languages and Literatures (German Studies, French, Spanish); its intention is to provide a stimulating forum for delving into the multiplicity of issues which confront and enrich literary studies in many areas of the world.

During their careers and after retirement, the Barbers made major contributions to the liberal arts at UMM and to the town of Morris.  Their involvement with UMM began in 1964, when Laird joined the English faculty; Dorothy joined the English faculty the next year.  Dorothy regularly taught courses such as Modern Grammar and Methods of Teaching English in the Secondary School, and she wrote a college text on modern English grammar and a novel, Baldy and the Mohawks, published in 1999.  She retired from UMM in 1991 and passed away in 1998.  Before retiring in 1994, Laird taught a wide array of early modern British literature classes as well as courses in the Bible as literature, and he published an edition of The Late Lancashire Witches in 1979.  He continues to support intellectual life at UMM and in Morris.

Thanks to the Barbers, UMM’s Humanities Division brings to campus each year a distinguished literary scholar to enrich campus dialogue about contemporary literary issues.

Past speakers have included: