• Home
  • Humanities Lecture Series

Humanities Lecture Series

Founded in 1947, the Humanities Lecture Series series has consistently been a hallmark for quality, providing a forum for interdisciplinary dialogue between renowned speakers, the university and the surrounding communities. These events are free and open to the public--no tickets are required. Partial funding for the Humanities Lecture Series is provided by The National Endowment for the Humanities’ 2000 Challenge Grant.


Maria Hinojosa
Frontline: Latinos and Immigration from a Woman’s Perspective
The Commons, Spooner Hall
Public Conversation Session:
WED SEPTEMBER 26, 10:00 A.M.
Hall Center Conference Hall

Supported by the Friends of the Sosland Foundation

Maria Hinojosa is the Executive Producer of NPR’s Latino USA and PBS’s America by the Numbers. One of the most prominent Latina journalists in our country, Maria Hinojosa has been covering major stories for over 20 years. She is a frequent guest on MSNBC and CBS Sunday Morning, the author of two books, and the recipient of many awards, including: four Emmys, the John Chancellor Award, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award. In this insightful and engaging presentation, she will speak about her experiences covering immigration for NPR and PBS. As a woman and a mother, she has a particular interest in how immigration is impacting the mental health of Latinas and their families. She also speaks about how Latinos and Latinas are the new face of the civil rights movement in our country.

Marie Grace Brown
Body Movements: Positioning Sudanese Women in an Age of Empire
THU OCTOBER 25, 7:30 P.M.
Lied Center Pavilion

Supported by the Friends of the Hall Center

From 1898 to 1956, amidst the upheaval of imperial rule, a generation of young Sudanese women performed a careful choreography of body movements to adapt to imperial morals and affirm a new standard of modern Sudanese womanhood. Marie Grace Brown traces these gestures, intimacies, and adornment to demonstrate how the imperial experience was inscribed on women’s bodies. The result is a highly participatory tale of empire that honors the ways in which Sudanese women told their own stories in the swing of their hips and the tucks and folds of their clothes. Marie Grace Brown is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Kansas and a cultural historian of the Modern Middle East with a special interest in questions of gender, empire, and the body as historical text. She is the author of Khartoum at Night: Fashion and Body Politics in Imperial Sudan. Brown’s second book-length project continues the exploration of the relationship between bodies and imperial power. Sex on the Edge: Adventures in Romance in Imperial Sudan examines the romantic behaviors of European women in Sudan in the first half of the twentieth century.

An Evening with Neil Gaiman
MON NOVEMBER 19, 7:30 P.M.
The Lied Center

Supported by the Hall Family Foundation

Bestselling author Neil Gaiman is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is the author of American Gods, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, The Sandman series, and countless other works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama. Gaiman's work has been honored with many awards internationally, including the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. His books and stories have also been honored with 4 Hugos, 2 Nebulas, 1 World Fantasy Award, 4 Bram Stoker Awards, 6 Locus Awards, 2 British SF Awards, 1 British Fantasy Award, 3 Geffens, 1 International Horror Guild Award, and 2 Mythopoeic Awards.

Walter Mosley
Political Optimism in the Age of Trump
Kansas Memorial Union Ballroom
Friends Breakfast & Public Conversation Session:
Hall Center Conference Hall

Please RSVP by February 1 to hallcenter@ku.edu

Novelist and social commentator Walter Mosley is the author of more than fifty books, from crime novels to political essays to science fiction, and is perhaps most well-known for his Easy Rawlins detective series. The first African-American to serve on the board of directors of the National Book Awards, Mosley has received an O’Henry Award, The Sundance Risktaker Award, a Grammy, and two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work. In 2016, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Edgar Awards, and was named the first African-American “Grand Master” by the Mystery Writers of America.

Jesmyn Ward
An Evening with Jesmyn Ward
THU APRIL 11, 7:30 P.M.
Liberty Hall
Public Conversation Session:
FRI APRIL 12, 10:00 A.M.
Hall Center Conference Hall

Supported by the Hall Family Foundation

Jesmyn Ward is a 2017 MacArthur Genius Award recipient and the first woman to receive two National Book Awards for fiction, for her novels Salvage the Bones (2011) and Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017). Betsy Burton of the American Booksellers Association has called her “the new Toni Morrison.” Ward’s stories are largely set on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, where she grew up and still lives. Shortly after Ward received her MFA, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, and she was forced to evacuate her rapidly flooding home. Ward’s writing is deeply informed by the trauma of Katrina, not to mention its unimaginable social and economic repercussions. Ward received her undergraduate degree in English and a master's degree in media studies and communication from Stanford University. She is currently an Associate Professor of English at Tulane University.

Upcoming Hall Center Events