Keynote Talk: Nicholas A. Basbanes: “Among the Gently Mad"
Saturday, December 2 at 5:15pm: Keynote Lecture at Smith College Graham Hall Auditorium
at the Brown Fine Arts Center
Basbanes is an acclaimed bibliophile, author, independent scholar, and lecturer with an expertise in the history of the book and book culture. His talk is a reflection drawn on thirty years of in-the-field research conducted among a variety of book people: collectors, booksellers, librarians, conservators, and readers -- people he affectionately refers to as the "gently mad."
Basbanes is the author of nine critically acclaimed works of cultural history, with a particular emphasis on various aspects of books and book culture. His first, A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books (1995), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction, and was named a New York Times Notable Book. His most recent, On Paper: The Everything of Its Two Thousand Year History (2013) was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities research fellowship, and was one of three finalists for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. In 2015 he was awarded a Public Scholar research grant by the NEH in support of his work-in-progress for Knopf, Cross of Snow: The Love Story and Lasting Legacy of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He also writes the “Gently Mad” column for Fine Books & Collections magazine, lectures widely on book related subjects, and is a frequent contributor to Humanities magazine.