Lifto Amundson Lecture Highlights Initiation of New Members of Phi Beta Kappa

Image Timothy Brennan Timothy Brennan, professor at the University of Minnesota, will speak Wednesday at USD.

VERMILLION, S.D. – A University of Minnesota professor will present the 28th annual Lifto Amundson Lecture on Wednesday at the University of South Dakota in conjunction with the initiation of new members of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society.

Timothy Brennan holds the Samuel Russell Chair in the Humanities and is a professor in the University of Minnesota Departments of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature and English. His lecture, “Green Misanthropy,” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 20 in the ballroom of the Muenster University Center. Brennan, who is hosted by the USD English department, will discuss the public and media devaluation of the humanities, deference to the sciences and the unacknowledged dependence of science on ideas originating in the humanities.

The initiation ceremony begins at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday. Prior to Brennan’s lecture, Matthew C. Moen, dean of the USD College of Arts and Sciences, will present the James M. Doyle Humanities Teaching Award.

Brennan has authored books, essays and chapters on topics that include continental literary and cultural theory, comparative literature, post-colonial theory and Afro-Latin music and modern jazz. He has taught at Cornell University, Humboldt University in Berlin, and has been a featured speaker at over 70 universities and cultural institutions around the world.

The Lifto Amundson Lecture series was established in 1988 by Marjorie Lifto Amundson and her son, Dr. Loren H. Amundson of Sioux Falls. The program brings distinguished speakers to USD each year from disciplines in the liberal arts and sciences. Both Mrs. Amundson and her son were members of Phi Beta Kappa at USD. Dr. Amundson received his M.D. degree in 1954 and was named a distinguished alumnus in 2004. The lecture and event are free and open to the public.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News