Charles Eliot Norton Lectures

The Charles Eliot Norton Professorship of Poetry at Harvard University was established in 1925 as an annual lectureship in "poetry in the broadest sense" and named for the university's former professor of fine arts. Distinguished creative figures and scholars in the arts, including painting, architecture, and music deliver customarily six lectures. The lectures are usually dated by the academic year in which they are given, though sometimes by just the calendar year.

Many but not all of the Norton Lectures have subsequently been published by the Harvard University Press. The following table lists all the published lecture series, with academic year given and year of publication, together with unpublished lectures as are known. Titles under which the lectures were published are not necessarily titles under which they were given.

Charles Eliot Norton LecturesEdit

Table of lecturers and lectures held:
Years Lecturer Title Published
1926–1927 Gilbert Murray The Classical Tradition in Poetry 1927
1927–1928 Eric Maclagan Italian Sculpture of the Renaissance 1935
1929–1930 H. W. Garrod Poetry and the Criticism of Life 1931
1930–1931 Arthur Mayger Hind Rembrandt 1932
1931–1932 Sigurður Nordal The Spirit of Icelandic Literature (8 lectures: ???—The Old Poetry—The Sagas of Iceland—...—The World of Reality—The World of Dreams...)[1][2][3][4]
1932–1933 T. S. Eliot The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism: Studies in the Relation of Criticism to Poetry in England (The Relation of Criticism and Poetry—Poetry and Criticism in the Time of Elizabeth—The Classical Tradition: Dryden and Johnson—The Theories of Coleridge and Wordsworth—The Practice of Shelley and Keats—Arnold and the Academic Mind—The Modern Mind: I—The Modern Mind: II)[1][5] 1933
1933–1934 Laurence Binyon The Spirit of Man in Asian Art 1935
1935–1936 Robert Frost The Renewal of Words (The Old Way to Be New—Vocal Imagination, the Merger of Form and Content—Does Wisdom Signify—Poetry as Prowess (Feat of Words)—Before the Beginning of a Poem—After the End of a Poem)[6]
1936–1937 Johnny Roosval The Poetry of Chiaroscuro
1937–1938 Chauncey Brewster Tinker Painter and Poet: Studies in the Literary Relations of English Painting 1938
1938–1939 Sigfried Giedion Space, Time and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition 1941
1939–1940 Igor Stravinsky Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons 1942
1940–1941 Pedro Henriquez Ureña Literary Currents in Hispanic America 1945
1947–1948 Erwin Panofsky Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character 1953
1948–1949 C. M. Bowra The Romantic Imagination 1949
1949–1950 Paul Hindemith A Composer's World: Horizons and Limitations 1952
1950–1951 Thornton Wilder The American Characteristics in Classic American Literature (Adapting an Island Language to a Continental Thought—Thoreau, or the Bean-Row in the Wilderness—Emily Dickinson, or the Articulate Inarticulate—Walt Whitman and the American Loneliness)[7][8][9]
1951–1952 Aaron Copland Music and Imagination 1952
1952–1953 E. E. Cummings i: six nonlectures 1953
1953–1954 Herbert Read Icon and Idea: The Function of Art in the Development of Human Consciousness 1955
1955–1956 Edwin Muir The Estate of Poetry 1962
1956–1957 Ben Shahn The Shape of Content 1957
1957–1958 Jorge Guillén Language and Poetry: Some Poets of Spain 1961
1958–1959 Carlos Chávez Musical Thought 1961
1960–1961 Eric Bentley The Springs of Pathos[10]
1961–1962 Pier Luigi Nervi Aesthetics and Technology in Building 1965
1962–1963 Leo Schrade Tragedy in the Art of Music 1964
1964–1965 Cecil Day-Lewis The Lyric Impulse 1965
1966–1967 Meyer Schapiro Romanesque Architectural Sculpture 2006
1967–1968 Jorge Luis Borges This Craft of Verse 2000
1968–1969 Roger Sessions Questions about Music 1970
1969–1970 Lionel Trilling Sincerity and Authenticity 1972
1970–1971 Charles Eames Problems Relating to Visual Communication and the Visual Environment
1971–1972 Octavio Paz Children of the Mire: Modern Poetry from Romanticism to the Avant-Garde 1974
1973–1974 Leonard Bernstein The Unanswered Question 1976
1974–1975 Northrop Frye The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance 1976
1977–1978 Frank Kermode The Genesis of Secrecy: On the Interpretation of Narrative 1979
1978–1979 James Cahill The Compelling Image: Nature and Style in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Painting 1982
1979–1980 Helen Gardner In Defence of the Imagination 1982
1980–1981 Charles Rosen The Romantic Generation 1995
1981–1982 Czesław Miłosz The Witness of Poetry 1983
1983–1984 Frank Stella Working Space 1986
1985–1986 Italo Calvino Six Memos for the Next Millennium 1988
1987–1988 Harold Bloom Ruin the Sacred Truths: Poetry and Belief from the Bible to the Present 1989
1988–1989 John Cage I-VI 1990
1989–1990 John Ashbery Other Traditions 2000
1992–1993 Umberto Eco Six Walks in the Fictional Woods 1994
1993–1994 Luciano Berio Remembering the Future 2006
1994–1995 Nadine Gordimer Writing and Being 1995
1995–1996 Leo Steinberg "The Mute Image and the Meddling Text"
1997–1998 Joseph Kerman Concerto Conversations 1999
2001–2002 George Steiner Lessons of the Masters (published as: Lasting Origins—Rain of Fire—Magnificus—Maîtres à Penser—On Native Ground—Unaging Intellect)[11] 2003
2003–2004 Linda Nochlin Bathers, Bodies, Beauty: The Visceral Eye (published as: Renoir's Great Bathers: Bathing as Practice, Bathing as Representation—Manet's Le Bain: The Déjuner and the Death of the Heroic Landscape—The Man in the Bathtub: Picasso's Le Meutre and the Gender of Bathing—Monet's Hôtel des Roches Noires: Anxiety and Perspective at the Seashore—Real Beauty: The Body in Realism—More Beautiful than a Beautiful Thing: The Body, Old Age, Ruin, and Death)[12] 2006
2006–2007 Daniel Barenboim Sound and Thought (published in Music Quickens Time as: Sound and Thought—Listening and Hearing—Freedom of Thought and Interpretation—The Orchestra—A Tale of Two Palestinians—Finale)[13][14] 2008
2009–2010 Orhan Pamuk The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist (What Happens to Us as We Read Novels—Mr. Pamuk, Did You Really Live All of This?—Character, Time, Plot—Pictures and Things—Museums and Novels—The Center)[15] 2010
2011–2012 William Kentridge Six Drawing Lessons (In Praise of Shadows—A Brief History of Colonial Revolts—Vertical Thinking: A Johannesburg Biography—Practical Epistemology: Life in the Studio—In Praise of Mistranslation—Anti-Entropy)[16] 2012
2013–2014 Herbie Hancock The Ethics of Jazz (The Wisdom of Miles Davis—Breaking the Rules—Cultural Diplomacy and the Voice of Freedom—Innovation and New Technologies—Buddhism and Creativity—Once upon a Time...)[17]
2015–2016 Toni Morrison The Origin of Others - The Literature of Belonging (Romancing Slavery—Being and Becoming the Stranger—The Color Fetish—Configurations of Blackness—Narrating the Other—The Foreigner's Home)[18] 2017
Frederick Wiseman
Wide Angle: The Norton Lectures on Cinema
(The Search for Story, Structure, and Meaning in Documentary Film: Part I—The Search for Story, Structure, and Meaning in Documentary Film: Part II)
Agnès Varda (The 7th Art and Me—Crossing the Borders)  
Wim Wenders (Poetry in Motion—The Visible and the Invisible)  

The post had no incumbent in years omitted.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b "ELIOT GIVES FIRST IN NORTON LECTURE GROUP". The Harvard Crimson. November 4, 1932. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  2. ^ "NORDAL LAUDS ICELAND IN FIRST NORTON TALK | News | The Harvard Crimson". The Harvard Crimson. November 28, 1931. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Harvard Alumni Bulletin". 34 (19). 1932: 601. Retrieved 24 November 2018. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Annual Report (Fogg Art Museum). Harvard University. 1931. p. 44. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Harvard Alumni Bulletin". 35 (17). 1933: 488. Retrieved 24 November 2018. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "FROST GIVES SECOND NORTON TALK TONIGHT | News | The Harvard Crimson". The Harvard Crimson. March 18, 1936. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Wilder Views Thoreau". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Wilder Cites 'Independence' Theme of American Classics". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  9. ^ Noven, Penelope. "Penelope Niven on Thornton Wilder, reading". Library of America. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  10. ^ Gardner, Frederick H. "Eric Bentley". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  11. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Nochlin, Linda (2006). Bathers, Bodies, Beauty: The Visceral Eye. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674021167. Retrieved 24 November 2018.[better source needed]
  13. ^ "Barenboim to deliver Charles Eliot Norton Lectures". Harvard Gazette. 21 September 2006. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  14. ^ Barenboim, Daniel (2009). Music Quickens Time. Verso Books. ISBN 9781844674022. Retrieved 24 November 2018.[better source needed]
  15. ^ "Pamuk delivers first Norton lecture; five more to come". Harvard University Press Blog. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  16. ^ "William Kentridge". AFASIAARCHZINE.COM. Retrieved 24 November 2018.[better source needed]
  17. ^ "The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures by Herbie Hancock; Set 1: The Wisdom of Miles Davis | Harvard College". Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  18. ^ Radsken, Jill (22 February 2016). "Morrison's first Norton Lecture set for March 2". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 24 November 2018.