Holder Lecture

Each Spring semester, the Kenneth R. Holder Memorial Lecture brings a scholar in language theory, writing, or education to meet with classes and to deliver a lecture open to the public.

The Holder Lecture was established in 1991 by the Department of English to honor the life of Dr. Kenneth R. Holder, Professor of English and Provost at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Dr. Holder joined the faculty in 1972, and served as Provost from 1987 to 1991. His specialties in the English Department were linguistics—which he introduced as a course to the department—history of English, writing, and English Education. As Provost, he focused on strengthening instructional practices through technology and writing among the faculty.

Spring 2019 Holder Lecture

Cover design for Navigating PluralismOn April 25 at 4 p.m., Dr. K. David Harrison, Associate Provost and Professor of Linguistics, Swarthmore College, will present "Endangered Languages" in the Callen Conference Room in the Smith Curtis Building.  

Half of the world's languages are endangered and may go extinct in this century. The loss of these languages will have dire consequences not only for their speakers, but also for culture, science, and the environment. Around the world, speakers of endangered languages are mounting strategic efforts to save their languages. This presentation features photos and video clips of speakers of some of the world’s most endangered languages, from Siberia, India, the USA and other locations, and will demonstrate how indigenous activists and linguists are working to sustain languages through technology and art.


Past Holder Lecturers

Year Lecturers Topic
2017-18 Ben Crystal
Actor, author and producer
"Spehk thuh speech uh press yuh Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation"
2016-17 Tessa Jolls
President and CEO of the Center for Media Literacy
“Powershift: Redefining our Media Relationships and Culture”
2015-16 Dr. Stephen Buhler
University of Nebraksa – Lincoln
“Eloquence in Action: Rhetorics of Response in Shakespeare”
2014-15 Joan Hughes
University of Texas – Austin
“iPads and Their Impact on Literacy”
2013-14 Carole Levine and Patricia Sullivan
University of Nebraska and State University of New York, New Paltz
"Powerful Women in the Renaissance and Today: The Rhetoric of Queen Elizabeth I and Hillary Clinton"
2012-13 Malea Powell
Michigan State University
“Rhetorical Powwows: Making American Indian Rhetorics”
2011-12 LuMing Mao
Miami University
“Beyond Bias, Binary, and Border
Enacting a Discursive Third in Comparative Rhetoric”
2010-11 Maha Baddar
Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ
“From Athens (Via Alexander) to Baghdad: Medieval Arabic Rhetoric as Dialogic”
2009-10 Jennifer Cognard-Black
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
“Eat My Words: Teaching Writing through the Literatures of Food”
2008-09 Sid Dobrin
University of Florida
"Ecoseeing: Rhetoric, Writing, Images, and Nature”
2007-08 Jeffrey Hammond
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
“Hugging the Shore: Reflections on Creative Nonfiction”
2006-07 John McWhorter
Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow in Public Policy Contributing Editor to City Journal
“Language is a Lava Lamp”
2005-06 Daryl Baldwin
Miami University
“The Myaamia Project: Language and Culture Reclamation”
2004-05 Robert Jensen
University of Texas – Austin
“The Myth of Neutrality: Journalists, Academics and Power”
2003-04 Susan Swan
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
“Civic Engagement and Rhetorical Praxis: Strategies for Making Social Justice Work”
2002-03 Jan Swearingen
Texas A&M University
“Rhetorical Traditions and the Contemporary Academy: the Past Meets the Present, Once Again”
2001-02 Peter Vandenberg
DePaul University
“Intentions in Tension: Advanced Composition As Literate Practice”
2000-01 William Thelin
University of Cincinnati
“Issues of Class and Composition Theory”
1999-00 Mary Rose O’Reilley
Saint Thomas University
“Taking the Moi Out of Memoir”
1998-99 Richard Leo Enos
Texas Christian University
“Recovering the Lost Art of Researching the History of Rhetoric”
1997-98 Jim Corder
Texas Christian University
"How Many Rhetorics Can Dance on the Head of a Pin?”
1996-97 Andrea Lunsford
The Ohio State University
“Women and the Rhetorical Tradition”
1995-96 Jeanne Gunner
Chapman University
“The Story of Basic Writing”
1994-95 Cynthia Selfe
Michigan Technological University
“The Practice, Instruction, Politics, and Study of Literacy in Computer Supported Environments”
1993-94 Christina Murphy
Texas Christian University; now Marshall University
1992-93 Fern Kupfer
Iowa State University, with husband Joe Geha
1991-92 Joy Ritchie
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
1990-91 Les Whipp
University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Inaugural Lecture

Contact or visit us

English Department
Stephanie Loos, Staff Assistant
Old Main, Room 102
Lincoln, NE 68504
(402) 465-2343
sloos [at] nebrwesleyan.edu