Bard College president to give talk on exiles, higher learning

Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, will give a talk, “The Exiled Intellectual and the American University,” Monday, Feb. 25, in Graham Center (GC) 243 at Modesto A. Maidique Campus.

The event, scheduled for 7 p.m., is free and open to the public.

“Dr. Botstein’s writings reflect a deep understanding of the exilic condition and its consequences,” said Asher Z. Milbauer, director of the Exile Studies Program. “I feel he is the ideal artist, writer, thinker, educator and public intellectual to share his views on how the awareness of the bittersweet experiences of the exilic condition may shape what an institution of higher learning in America should be. I am sure that in developing in the FIU Exile Studies Program further, we will benefit handsomely from thoughts on the place and role of an exiled intellectual in an academic setting.”

Leon Botstein_smThe son of Polish refugees turned physicians, Botstein was born in Switzerland and raised in Bronx, NY. He earned a bachelor’s from the University of Chicago. He then went on to earn a master’s and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Botstein is a writer, scholar, educator, musician, and an advocate of progressive education. He became the youngest college president in American history when he was appointed as President of Franconia College at age 23 in 1970. Botstein has been the president of Bard College since 1975 and is a Leon Levy Professor of Arts and Humanities.

He is a conductor and impresario and has been the music director and conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra since 1992 and 2003, respectively. Botstein is also a widely-published author in English and German. He writes about a variety of interests, including music, history, exile, literature, art and education. His book publications include “Jefferson’s Children: Education and Promise of American Culture,” “The History of Listening: How Music Creates Meaning,” and “Music and Modernism.”

The talk is sponsored by the Exile Studies Program in the Department of English and the Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment. It is part of their Spring 2013 lecture series “Exile, the Arts and Patronage.”

The event is also co-sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Architecture + The Arts, FIU Alumni Association, Department of English Alumni Association, Sigma Tau Delta, Books & Books, and WPBT2.


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