The William and Rita Bell Lecture is a yearly feature housed in the Kendall College of Arts and Sciences. Begun in the spring of 1991, the program consists of lectures with a distinguished visiting professor joining the university faculty every fourth semester. The lectures focus on a topic generally related to Anglican and Ecumenical concerns, and the faculty appointment is made in either the Departments of Philosophy and Religion, English and/or History.
The Rita and William H. Bell Professorship in Anglican and Ecumenical Studies was created in memory of the late William H. Bell, trustee emeritus of The University of Tulsa and individual trustee for the Chapman-McFarlin charitable trust complex. The professorship also honors his widow, Rita Bell, as well as the Anglican faith and personal commitment to ecumenism of J. A. Chapman and Leta M. Chapman. Approximately every fourth semester, a distinguished visiting professor is brought to campus to teach and to present a public lecture.
2019 LECTURE – Jane Shaw
Professor Jane Shaw is Principal of Harris Manchester College, Professor of the History of Religion and Pro Vice-Chancellor at The University of Oxford. Professor Shaw is a historian, whose research and writing cover a number of areas: modern religion; the arts; gender; and the impact of technology on society. She is the author of several books, including Miracles in Enlightenment England (Yale 2006) and Octavia, Daughter of God: the Story of a Female Messiah and her Followers (Jonathan Cape and Yale, 2011). She is currently writing a book about spirituality and religion in the early twentieth century and is also co-writing a book on the arts and social change with the actress and playwright, Anna Deavere Smith, with whom she has collaborated on a number of projects. Professor Shaw is a member of two research teams for projects based at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University: one on the new moral economy and artificial intelligence, and the other on the iGeneration (18 – 22-year-olds), their values and use of technology. She serves on the advisory board for Stanford University Libraries.