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The Myron Marty Lectureship in the Arts + Humanities

The Center for the Humanities, in collaboration with the Departments of Art and Design, Music, and Theatre Arts, invite Nominations for the Myron “Mike” Marty Arts and Humanities Lectureship, supported by the Ralph and Sylvia Green Foundation. Nominations may be made for an individual or a group of practitioners/scholars working together.

The Lectureship offers a $5,000 award, inclusive of meals, travel and accommodation, to an established practitioner, or a collaborative team/troupe of practitioners of the interdisciplinary fine or performing arts and humanities from outside Drake. The individual(s) invited to accept this lectureship will spend up to five days at Drake during the following academic year, interacting with students and faculty, leading workshops or other interactive learning activities, and delivering a public lecture/performance.

Letters of nomination from Drake faculty should be sent to by April 1, and should provide the following information:

  • The name, institutional affiliation, and contact information of the nominee.
  • A brief (1-page maximum) overview of the nominees work in the fields of the fine and performing arts, humanities, and/or social sciences, with emphasis on the way his/her work integrates approaches or topics from more than one of these fields.
  • An explanation of how the nominee’s visit would advance the integrative study of the arts and humanities at Drake.
  • When available, links to online materials, such as images, work samples, reviews and other press, and the like.
  • Where applicable, disclosure of any prior or current connection the nominator has to the nominee.


The following criteria will guide the Select Committee on the Arts + Humanities in their deliberations:

  • The degree to which the nominees’ work engages across arts and humanities disciplines.
  • The relevance of nominees’ work to teaching, research, and creative activity currently represented at Drake.
  • The nominees’ expertise, accomplishments, and reputation.
  • Performances, workshops, lectures, demonstrations, or other activities the nominee(s) would be suited to engage in while at Drake.

Nominations will be reviewed by a select committee, including the Board of Directors of the Center and members of the fine and performing arts faculty, and will be held in confidence.

About Mike Marty

Myron “Mike” Marty served as Drake’s Dean of Liberal Arts from 1984-1986, when he oversaw the integration of the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Fine Arts. He continued to serve as Dean of the newly formed College of Arts and Sciences until 1994, at which time he joined the Department of History as the Ann G. and Sigurd E. Anderson University Professor, a distinction he still holds. He continued to teach and write until his retirement in 2002. In addition to uniting the Fine and Liberal Arts into a single College, Marty was instrumental in the founding and chartering the Humanities Center and the Friends of Drake Arts. Because of his dedication to sustaining Arts and Humanities scholarship and programming at Drake, The Ralph and Sylvia Green Foundation has named the Center’s Arts and Humanities Lectureship in his honor.

The Spring 2018 Marty Lecture

The Rev. Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman is the recipient of the Myron Marty Lectureship in the Arts and Humanities for 2018. Dr. Turman is Assistant Professor of Theology and African American Religion at Yale University.

Dr. Turman will present the 2018 Marty Lecture on Wednesday evening, February 28, 2018.

Dr. Turman brings to Drake and the Des Moines community, the opportunity to explore interconnections in this current political moment between Black activism, the power of the arts (especially dance), the importance of honoring and visualizing the meaning of bodies and our experiences of embodiment, and the public moral relevance of religious communities.

Dr. Turman is a nationally acclaimed author, preacher and public intellectual whose work crosses disciplinary boundaries and institutional ones. Her work engages in questions about the relationship of the body—specifically Black women’s bodies—to movements for justice and meaning-making. Working in the womanist tradition, which always centers the arts and the creative work and voice of Black women in its methodologies, Dr. Turman’s thought focuses on dance, choreography and the embodiment of movements “in the flesh,” as sites that generate moral vision and public ethics.

Formerly a professional dancer herself, Dr. Turman is an active member of the Society of Dance History Scholars. She is a self-identified “millennial” whose awards and distinctions are far too many to be listed here. A few include her induction into the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegium of Scholars, being featured in JET Magazine (2014) and being named in Ebony Magazine’s, “30 Under Thirty” as one of the most outstanding Young Faith Leaders in the Black Community (2009).  She was selected as one of the “Top 25 Women in Higher Education” by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education in 2017.

Dr. Turman has published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, and Dallas Morning News, and is the author of Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church and the Council of Chalcedon. Her second book, A Womanist Companion, is forthcoming this year and she is currently working on a third volume, tentatively “Black Women’s Burden: Sexism, Sacred Witness, and Transforming the Moral Life of the Black Church.”

In addition to presenting on the evening of February 26th, Dr. Turman will also speak to classes and offer workshops at Drake and in the broader Des Moines community, between February 24th and February 26th as part of her lectureship.

Further details regarding Dr. Turman’s time at Drake will be forthcoming. However, faculty planning to teach spring courses that intersect with her endeavors, and who would like for students to have the chance to interact with this esteemed scholar, should email the Center Director at

Past Marty Lecureships

Tiffany Stern (Professor of Shakespeare, University of London) and Daniel Grimley (Professor of Music at Oxford University), “Sounding Shakespeare,” Spring 2017

Mazz Swift (violinist, activist, cultural ambassador, Brooklyn, NY), “An Evening with Mazz Swift,” Spring 2016

Mark Franz (Ohio University, Graphic Design), “Form, Content, Behavior,” Spring 2015

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