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Steel Center to Host Dr. David Livingstone Smith as 2020 Altheimer Scholar


CONWAY, Ark. (October 9, 2020) — The Marshall T. Steel Center for the Study of Religion and Philosophy at Hendrix College presents Dr. David Livingstone Smith as the 2020 Altheimer Scholar. He will lead the Wednesday Afternoon Discussion at 4:10 p.m. Oct. 21, and will deliver the Altheimer Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public and will be hosted via Zoom.

Smith is a professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of New England, and is the founder and director of The Human Nature Project. His books include Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others (St. Martins Press, 2011) and a new release this year, On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It (Oxford University Press).

The Oct. 22 lecture will focus on Smith’s recent book On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It. He will draw upon a decade of research and use real examples, such as the Holocaust and the enslavement and lynching of Black Americans, to explain how dehumanization works, focusing on its close connection to racism, its psychological dynamics, and how resist and combat its toxic power.

The Steel Center has sponsored a reading group with students and faculty on Smith’s recent book. “On Inhumanity presents a thorough and careful analysis of dehumanization, using clear language, precise examples, and rigorous argument to illuminate the psychological and political nature of thinking of others as less than human,” says Director of the Steel Center Dr. James M. Dow. “We are looking forward to continuing this conversation with Dr. Smith and welcome and encourage people to attend the lectures and discussions.”

Pre-registration is required to gain access to the Zoom links for both events. To register, email and specify Wednesday Afternoon Discussion, Thursday Altheimer Lecture, or both. Registration for the Wednesday Afternoon Discussion closes at noon on Oct. 21; registration for the lecture closes at noon on Oct. 22.

Supported by a grant from the Ben J. Altheimer Charitable Foundation, Inc., the annual Altheimer Judaism and Civil Rights Lecture is intended to highlight the role of Jews and/or Judaism in the pursuit of civil rights.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit