Past Talks & More

Greil Marcus

Lambert Family Lecture

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Lambert Family Lecture: Greil Marcus

In this year's Lambert Lecture you can hear firsthand the views of Greil Marcus--author of the recent Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice and the classic Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century.

Marcus takes on the subject of art and resistance, drawing together several themes from The Shape of Things to Come and posing the questions of how, why, and if art can, should, or does play a role in political life and the political imagination. Some of his specific comments address Philip Roth's novel The Plot Against America and the riot grrrl movement of the early 1990s in Washington state.

Don't forget to come early and get your copy of the book signed by the author! Marcus is among the liveliest and most incisive commentators on contemporary culture. His opinions and ideas have been discussed in Rolling Stone, Artforum, Interview, the New York Times, Esquire,, and numerous other publications.

He is noted for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a much broader framework of culture and politics than is customary in pop music journalism. Redefining the parameters of rock music criticism with his 1975 book Mystery Train, Marcus investigates culture with flash and style. Consequently, he has inspired countless rock scribes. A critic from the Boston Phoenix writes: "After reading Marcus--ordinary life no longer seems ordinary. It seems like an adventure."

Marcus grew up in the cultural metropolis of San Francisco and received an undergraduate degree in American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He later received a degree in Political Science from the same university.

Marcus's work also includes Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads (2005), The Rose and the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad (edited with Sean Wilentz, 2004), The Manchurian Candidate (British Film Institute series, 2002), Double Trouble: Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives (2001), The Dustbin of History (1995), In The Fascist Bath Room: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-1992 (1993), Dead Elvis (1991), Stranded (ed. by Marcus, 1979), Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung (ed. by Marcus), Double Feature (with Michael Goodwin, 1972), and Rock and Roll Will Stand (edited anthology, 1969).

Made possible by generous support from the Lambert Family Lecture Series Endowment Fund.


Past Talks & More

Greil Marcus