Author of “Life as We Know It: A Father, a Family, and an Exceptional Child” to Speak at Allegheny College

Feb. 17, 2016 — Michael Bérubé, a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, will give a talk titled “Disability and Narrative: Self-Awareness” at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 29 in Quigley Auditorium at Allegheny College. The talk is free and open to the public.

Bérubé is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature and director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Penn State, former president of the Modern Language Association (MLA), and author of several books on cultural studies, disability rights, liberal and conservative politics, and debates in higher education.

He is the author of eight books, including “Life as We Know It: A Father, a Family, and an Exceptional Child,” which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 1996 and was chosen as one of the seven best books of the year by Maureen Corrigan of National Public Radio.

Bérubé has also written “Public Access: Literary Theory and American Cultural Politics” and “What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts? Classroom Politics and ‘Bias’ in Higher Education,” among other works. His most recent book is “The Humanities, Higher Education, and Academic Freedom: Three Necessary Arguments,” co-authored with Jennifer Ruth.

His ninth book, “The Secret Life of Stories: From Don Quixote to Harry Potter, How Understanding Intellectual Disability Transforms the Way We Read,” will be published this year. In October 2016, Beacon Press will publish “Life as Jamie Knows It,” the long-awaited sequel to “Life as We Know It.”

The oldest and most prestigious academic honors society in the United States, Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 and has had a chapter at Allegheny since 1902. Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars travel to 100 colleges and universities each year, spending two days on each campus and taking full part in the academic life of the institution. In addition to a public lecture, they meet informally with students and faculty members and participate in classroom discussions and seminars.