January 21, 2014

Ronald Pelias to present Tenney lecture

by Andrea Hahn

Ronald PeliasCARBONDALE, Ill. -- Maybe what academia needs is some heart. 

Ronald J. Pelias, Southern Illinois University Carbondale professor emeritus, who returns to campus to deliver the Charles D. Tenney Distinguished Lecture, is suggesting just that. Pelias will talk about “Writing to the Heart of the Matter” beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 4, in the Student Center Auditorium. 

The presentation is free and open to the public. 

Pelias wrote, in the opening pages of his book, “A Methodology of the Heart: Evoking Academic and Daily Life,” that he wants “a scholarship that fosters connections, opens space for dialogue, heals.”  He argues that education without ethics and without feelings is only a shell of what it could be.  To understand, he writes, one must also feel. 

Pelias joined the SIU faculty in the Department of Communication Studies, formerly known as Speech Communication in 1981 and retired last year. 

Pelias, who was with the Department of Communication Studies, formerly known as Speech Communication, is the author of several books, including “Leaning: A Poetics of Personal Relations,” and “Performance: An Alphabet of Performative Writing.”  His scholarly writing appears in many peer-reviewed journals.  He is also a performance director and a poet. 

In 2000, Pelias received the Lilla A. Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies from the National Communication Association. He earned the SIU College of Liberal Arts Scholar of Excellence Award in 2005. 

The University Honors Program sponsors the Charles D. Tenney Distinguished Lecture Series.  Tenney served as the university’s provost and vice president from 1952 to 1971.