Faculty Research Forums Fall 2013

Benjamin Hufbauer, Art History, "America's Pyramids: Presidential Libraries in the 20th and 21st Centuries"
When Oct 25, 2013
from 03:30 PM to 04:30 PM
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Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson at the site of the LBJ Presidental Library.
Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson at the site of the LBJ Presidental Library.

Art historian Ben Hufbauer will talk about how presidents, starting with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, took on a role similar to the Pharaohs of Egypt by building increasingly grandiose temples to themselves.  The architecture of these presidential temples reflects the personalities of the presidents they commemorate, from the aggressively stark Lyndon Johnson Library in Austin, Texas, to the traditional values projected by the George W. Bush Library in Dallas. Almost all of these libraries have exact full-scale replicas of the Oval Office in their museums, helping to enshrine this as an almost sacred room in American culture in a way that elevates the Imperial Presidency.

Ben Hufbauer earned his doctorate from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is the author of the book Presidential Temples: How Memorials and Libraries Shape Public Memory.

Faculty Research Forum is a venue where colleagues try out or report on their scholarly or creative work to interdisciplinary audiences. Commonly FRF meets once a month on Friday at 3:30, following the Arts and Sciences Faculty Assembly, almost always in Bingham Humanities Room 300. It includes a presentation followed by a lively Q&A, fueled by various sorts of refreshments.

Faculty Research Forum, an ongoing project of the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society (CCHS), offers research-based talks for an interdisciplinary audience by UofL faculty and occasional guests. 

Faculty Research Forums are open to all: faculty, students, staff, and the public.