Grace A. Tanner Center

Grace A. Tanner Lecture in Human Values

Obert C. Tanner was an educator (Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah), industrialist and philanthropist. Of all the gifts he has left to universities, the one he was proudest of is the Lectures on Human Values. The Tanner Lecture on Human Values was formally established at the University of Cambridge, England on July 1, 1978. In writing about the purpose of these lectures, Professor Tanner said, “I see them simply as a search for a better understanding of human behavior and human values." To this end, the lecture provides a forum in which to promote scholarly and scientific learning in the field of human values while embracing moral, artistic, intellectual, and spiritual values—both individual and social—and advancing the full register of values pertinent to the human condition, interest, behavior, and aspiration. Accordingly, the lecture may involve the cultivation of ethical, aesthetic, and political theory and such matters as scientific research into the foundations of value behavior, whether in social, psychological, or natural sciences. The Tanner lecturers, therefore, may be drawn from philosophy, the sciences, the creative arts, and the various areas of statesmanship and leadership.

Distinguished Guest Speaker

The Grace A. Tanner Center was pleased to host the 2018 Grace Adams Tanner Lecture in Human Values delivered by distinguished guest speaker, Dr. Sarah Lewis on October 20th 2018.

Sarah Lewis

How do images tie us to a sense of place? How do they operate as a catalyst of memory? And how do they reflect and inform our values? A bestselling author, curator, and Assistant Professor at Harvard University, Sarah Lewis examined how images have shaped culture and history in her lecture titled “Images, Place, and Restorative Justice.” In this new talk, drawing from examples throughout history, Dr. Lewis explored the power of visual artifacts to activate cultural memory, to reflect our surroundings, to shift perceptions, and to affect profound change. The Tanner Lecture took place on Thursday, September 20th, 2018 at 11:30 am in the Gilbert Great Hall of the Hunter Conference Center. An extended Q&A session was held at 2:30 pm at the Southern Utah Museum of Art.

Dr. Lewis’ book The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery has been reviewed widely and translated into seven languages. Dr. Lewis was also the guest editor of the “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture which received the 2017 Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research from the International Center of Photography. Through her groundbreaking scholarship merging visual literacy with social justice, Dr. Lewis uses art and photography to reveal America’s cultural memory. Dr. Lewis’ articles on race, contemporary art, and culture have been published in many academic journals including the Smithsonian and The Museum of Modern Art. She has held positions at Yale’s School of Art, the Tate Modern, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Dr. Sarah Lewis is currently in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.