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Richard Sennett presented his lecture as part of the Townsend Center for the Humanities' Forum on the Humanities and the Public World. A renowned social critic known best for his studies of class and urban society, Richard Sennett is the Centennial Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, the Bemis Adjunct Professor of Sociology at MIT, and Professor of the Humanities at New York University. His scholarship focuses on social inequality, the effects of urban growth on the individual, and the interconnection between authority, modernism and public life. Professor Sennett has been described as "one of the great urban enthusiasts of our age."