March 27, 2014
On Tuesday, April 1, Hampden-Sydney College hosts writer Matt Crawford lecturing on "The Case for Working With Your Hands." Crawford is the author of Shop Class for Soulcraft, which was released in 2009.
Shop Class for Soulcraft has been described by The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and The New York Times as a revolutionary piece. The book is "an inquiry into the value of work." Crawford utilizes economics and psychology to explore the benefits of manual labor and depict why it can never be an obsolete trade. He works to restore the reputation of working with one's hands as an honorable and respected line of work.
Harvey Mansfield, a Professor of Government at Harvard University comments that, "It is a superb combination of testimony and reflection, and you can't put it down." Slate Magazine says, "It's appropriate that [Shop Class as Soulcraft] arrives in May, the month when college seniors commence real life."
As an undergrad, Crawford majored in physics and later focused on political philosophy (Ph.D. Chicago). His essay, The New Atlantis, combined his areas of study to explore the implications of science and technology on the human machine. This text acted as the precursor to his book Shop Class for Soulcraft (Penguin Press 2009). He has gained fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, and he currently manages a business in Richmond, Virginia.
The students at Hampden-Sydney will engage in an informal dialogue to discuss his work. There will be a later, free and open to the public lecture at 7:00 PM in Crawley Forum. Both talks are presented by the Lectures and Programs Committee and The Rhetoric Program.