This Tuesday: “Mark Lilla: The Artist, the Autist and the Fool”

Mark Lilla poster

This coming Tuesday, February 19th, The Visual & Critical Studies program will present “Mark Lilla: The Artist, the Autist and the Fool,” the latest entry in SVA’s Art in the First Person lecture series for the spring 2013 semester. Here is an overview of the lecture from SVA’s Events & Exhibitions page:

Despite the irony, cynicism and calculation that govern the making and selling of art, viewers remain drawn to works that seem to come from “beyond”—such as so-called outsider art, the work of autistic or mentally ill individuals. Academic, philosopher and writer Mark Lilla discusses this long-held fascination and its roots in primitive religion and ancient philosophy. A professor of humanities at Columbia University, Lilla specializes in intellectual history, with a particular focus on Western political and religious thought. He has taught in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and at New York University. A regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, he is also the author of The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West (Knopf, 2007), The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics (New York Review Books, 2001) and G.B. Vico: The Making of an Anti-Modern (Harvard University Press, 1993). He also edited The Legacy of Isaiah Berlin (New York Review Books, 2001), with Ronald Dworkin and Robert Silvers, and The Public Face of Architecture (Free Press, 1987), with Nathan Glazer. He is currently writing a book titled Ignorance and Bliss and another on the history of the idea of conversion.

“Mark Lilla: The Artist, the Autist and the Fool” will take place at 7 p.m. this Tuesday, February 19th in the SVA Theatre at 333 West 23rd Street in New York City, between 8th and 9th avenues. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, you can contact the theatre at 212-592-298 or


The following links lead to a few of Mark Lilla’s writings about politics, and a video of an interview with him from China National Television:

Visual & Critical Studies