Richard Sennett will present at the Seminar in Cultural History on Tuesday, November 12, at 6 pm. His talk is entitled “The Next Frontier: Cities and Climate Change.”

Richard Sennett is University Professor of the humanities at NYU and Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics. He began his studies at the Julliard School and then received his BA from the University of Chicago and his PhD from Harvard, in 1969—50 years ago. Over the course of the last five decades, he has written about social life in cities, changes in labour, and social theory. His books include Families Against the City, The Hidden Injuries of Class, The Fall of Public Man, Authority, The Corrosion of Character, Respect in a World of Inequality, The Culture of the New Capitalism, Together, The Craftsman, and Building and Dwelling. The Craftsman, published in 2008 focuses on a basic human impulse: the desire to do a job well for its own sake. Although the word may suggest a way of life that waned with the advent of industrial society, Sennett argues that the craftsman’s realm is far broader than skilled manual labor; the computer programmer, the doctor, the parent, and the citizen need to learn the values of good craftsmanship today. The past life of craft and craftsmen also suggests ways of using tools, organizing work, and thinking about materials that remain alternative, viable proposals about how to conduct life with skill.

He has had a public career, first as founder of the New York Institute for the Humanities, then as President of the American Council on Work. For the last three decades, he has served as a consultant to various bodies within the United Nations; most recently, he wrote the mission statement for Habitat III, the United Nation’s environmental congress. Five years ago, he created Theatrum Mundi, a research foundation for urban culture, whose board of trustees he now chairs. His talk at Bard Graduate Center is entitled “The Next Frontier: Cities and Climate Change.”