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Provocative essayist, cultural critic and author William Deresiewicz presents “Through the Vale of Soul-Making: The Journey of the Liberal Arts” Thursday, April 19 at 11:10 a.m. in a Lawrence University convocation. The presentation, in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, will be followed by a question-and-answer session at 2:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. Both events are free and open to the public.

Focusing on higher education, social media and other culture issues, Deresiewicz is a contributing writer for The Nation and a contributing editor for The New Republic. His weekly “All Points” blog on culture and society appears in The American Scholar.

A three-time National Magazine Award nominee (2008, ’09, ’11), his essays include “Generation Sell” (the business plan as art form of our age), “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education” (what the Ivy League won’t teach you) and “Faux Friendship” (about Facebook).

“Solitude and Leadership,” an essay that encourages the practice of introspection, concentration and nonconformity he delivered as an address to the plebe class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2009, has been used as a teaching tool across the U.S. military, the corporate world, schools of business and at the Aspen Institute.

Deresiewicz spent 10 years (1998-2008) as an English professor at Yale University before embarking on a full-time writing career. He chronicled the transformative effect literature has had on his life in the 2011 novel “A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter.”