Speaker to talk about Pultizer Prize winner Arthur Miller

On Jan. 10, Oakland University welcomed Nathan Abrams to the Oakland Center for a lecture about Pulitzer Prize winner and playwright, Arthur Miller.

Abrams’ interest in Miller’s Jewish heritage role as a public intellectual, affected his approach to understanding Miller’s work. This unique approach is why Graeme Harper, director of the honors college, invited Abrams to speak.

“These are two areas of research on Miller that have not been covered all that extensively as yet. Dr. Abrams covers both,” Harper said.

Harper not only has an interest in Abrams’ approach to understanding Miller’s work, but the work itself.

“Miller’s work so powerfully explores social responsibility, dignity, the nature of the humanity,” Harper said.

What interests Abrams is not the work Miller produced but the man who produced it.

“(Miller) provided a case study of someone resisting the oppression of conformity of the 1940s and 1950s,” Abrams said. “He used art as his vehicle.”

Abrams attended Bangor University in Wales, and is currently the director of graduate studies and senior lecturer in film studies at the university.

Having written a case study on Miller to obtain his doctorate, Abrams spent the evening lecturing on many aspects of both Miller’s work and life.

“Many people know (Miller) because he was a great American playwright,” Abrams said.

Miller graduated from the University of Michigan in 1938 and later wrote “Death of a Salesman,” in 1949, and “The Crucible”, in 1953, among other works.

Although Miller received a Pulitzer Prize for “Death of a Salesman”, some of Miller’s work did not go without criticism.

“The time period required to turn (The Crucible) into metaphors,” Abrams said.

Miller lived through the Great Depression and World War II.


Contact staff intern Natalie Popovski via e-mail at [email protected]