Campus News

MLK Center Names Scholar-in-Residence

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2011) -- The University of Kentucky Office for Institutional Diversity has announced the inaugural event for its newly established Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center Scholar-in-Residence Program.  Arnold Farr, associate professor in the UK College of Arts and Sciences Department of Philosophy, has been named as the program’s first Scholar-In-Residence.

The goal of the new Scholar-in-Residence Program is to anchor a critical aspect of the MLK Cultural Center’s programming firmly in the heart of the academic life of the campus through the leadership of faculty from various departments throughout the university.  The Scholar-in-Residence is a two-year faculty appointment, with a faculty member from a different department named each term.  This structure is designed to give greater emphasis to the scope and depth of King’s work far beyond the limited citation of his most popular speeches. 

Over the years, the Scholar-in-Residence will come in turn from such areas as law, economics, literature, sociology, history, journalism, and political science.  Studies and other publications produced by, and under the leadership of the Scholar-in-Residence, will be housed in the William T. Young Library in a planned research archival section. 

The concept of the MLKCC Scholar-in-Residence Program has received strong endorsement from the provost and the deans of the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Law, Communications and Information Studies, Social Work, and Public Health.  The full two-year term of the inaugural position is made possible through the generous support of Mark Kornbluh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  The campus and Lexington communities will continue to enjoy the quality outreach cultural programming that has been a signature of the MLKCC over the years. 

In response to being named to the inaugural Scholar-in-Residence position, Farr said, “I am pleased and excited by this opportunity to offer our students, our campus, and our community a means by which we can examine Dr. King’s thinking, speeches and writings around issues of peace, social justice and racial equity.  Our new MLKCC Scholar-in-Residence program provides us with regular opportunities to explore his vital ideas in an in-depth, substantive way.” 

The public launch of the MLKCC Scholar-in-Residence Program is set for 4 p.m Thursday, April 14, in 102 White Hall Classroom Building.  As the inaugural Scholar-in-Residence, Farr will present his vision for the two-year program and introduce his signature event of the year, a lecture by the nationally renowned scholar of theology, James Cone.  Cone’s inaugural lecture is titled “Let Justice Roll.” 

Currently serving as the Charles A. Briggs Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Cone is widely regarded to be the father and founder of Black Liberation Theology.  His numerous publications on the subject include "Black Theology and Black Power,” “A Black Theology of Liberation,” “God of the Oppressed,” “Martin & Malcolm in America,” “A Dream or a Nightmare,” “For My People: Black Theology and the Black Church,” and “Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going.”  Discussants of Cone’s lecture will include members of the UK faculty and the Lexington community. 

For more information on the MLK Cultural Center Scholar-in-Residence Program, contact the Office for Institutional Diversity at (859) 257-9293, Arnold Farr at (859) 257-9414, or the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center at (859) 257-4130.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, (859) 257-3302, ext. 235,