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Humanities Speaker Series History

Founded in 1947, the Humanities Speaker Series is the oldest continuing speaker series at the University of Kansas. More than two hundred eminent scholars from around the world have participated in the program. A complete list of participants can be found below:

9/16/20 Juan Felipe Herrera An Evening with Juan Felipe Herrera

7/18/20 Kwame Anthony Appiah The Lies That Bind

2/27/20 Nadine Strossen HATE: Why We Should Fight It with Free Speech, Not Censorship

11/25/19 Alan Alda An Evening with Alan Alda

10/1/19 Sarah Deer Sovereignty of the Soul: Centering the Voices of Native Women

9/12/19 Brittney Cooper Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpowers

4/11/19 Jesmyn Ward An Evening with Jesmyn Ward

2/7/19 Walter Mosley Political Optimism in the Age of Trump

11/19/18 Neil Gaiman An Evening with Neil Gaiman

10/25/18 Marie Grace Brown Body Movements: Positioning Sudanese Women in an Age of Empire

9/25/18 Maria Hinojosa Frontline: Latinos and Immigration from a Woman's Perspective

4/19/18 Andrea Wulf The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt's New World

3/26/18 Brian Donovan American Gold Digger: Law, Culture, and Marriage in the Early 20th Century

2/23/18 Peter Balakian A Conversation with Poet Peter Balakian

11/14/17 Matthew Desmond Evicted: Poverty & Profit in the American City

10/5/17 Joan Breton Connelly The Parthenon Enigma

9/26/17 Siddhartha Mukherjee The Gene: An Intimate History

4/11/17 Evan Osnos The Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

2/23/17 Matthew Stewart Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic

12/1/16 Zadie Smith Why Write?: An Evening with Zadie Smith

11/17/16 Terrance Hayes An Evening with Terrance Hayes

9/13/16 Alice Dreger Good Causes, Bad Acts

4/14/16 Robin D.G. Kelley Mike Brown's Body: A Meditation on War, Race, and Democracy

3/22/16 Hannah Britton Human Trafficking in the Heartland

2/10/16 Iain McCalman The Great Barrier Reef

11/17/15 Krista Tippet The Adventure of Civility

10/21/15 Alice Goffman On the Run: Fugitive Life in the American City

9/16/15 Rick Perlstein The Invisible Bridge: From Nixon to Reagan to Palin and Beyond

4/9/15 James Oakes Rethinking Emancipation: Freedom National

3/3/15 Natasha Trethewey Poetry & History: An Evening with U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey

2/18/15 Anna Deveare Smith Snapshots: Portraits of a World in Transition

11/3/14 Amy Wilentz Haiti: Tragedy & Hope

10/7/14 John Symons What Can We Teach Our Posthuman Descendants?

9/16/14 Katherine Boo Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

4/24/14 Jeffrey Toobin The Supreme Court in the Age of Obama

3/11/14 Peter Brown Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-500 AD

2/13/14 Anne D. Hedeman Imagining the Past: Interplay Between Literary & Visual Imagery in Late Medieval France

11/18/13 Junot Diaz An Evening with Junot Diaz: Literature, Diaspora, and Immigration

10/22/13 Jill Lepore Unseen - The History of Privacy

9/12/13 Arsalan Iftikhar The Role of Islam in Post 9/11 America

3/13/13 Edwidge Danticat An Evening with Edwidge Danticat

11/14/12 Stephen Greenblatt The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

10/24/12 Robin Rowland From Hope to Audacity: The Evolution of President Obama's Rhetoric and the 2012 Campaign

10/10/12 Sarah Vowell An Evening with Sarah Vowell

9/6/12 Nikky Finney Making Poetry in Our Anthropocene Age

4/10/12 Jamaica Kincaid Landscapes and Memory

3/14/12 Alain de Botton Religion for Athiests

2/16/12 Jeff Moran The Antievolution Controversies and American Culture

11/17/11 Luois Menand A Man is Shot: The Cold War Meaning of a Cinematic Technique

10/18/11 Diane Ravitch Will School Reform Improve the Schools?

9/20/11 Laurance Rees Talking with Nazis

4/14/11 Henry Louis Gates, Jr African American Lives: Geneaology, Genetics, and Black History

3/10/11 Mae Ngai Illegal Immigration: Origins and Consequences

2/9/11 Susan Harris Pious Hypocrisies: Mark Twain, the Phillipines, and America's Christian Mission

11/16/10 Joseph O'Neill An Evening with Joseph O'Neill

10/19/10 Ross Douthat The Obama Presidency in the Shadow of the Midterms

9/13/10 Elizabeth Kolbert Science, Politics, and Climate Change

4/20/10 Kevin Wilmott Revolution, History, and the Power of Independent Film to Change the World

3/23/10 Mary Oliver An Evening with Poet Mary Oliver

2/16/10 Rory Stewart Afghanistan: Rhetoric and Reality

11/17/09 Chris Abani Stories of Struggle, Stories of Hope: Art, Politics, and Human Rights

10/22/09 T.R. Reid We're Number 37! Why Other Countries Have Better, Fairier, and Cheaper Healthcare than the USA

9/25/09 Lewis Hyde Culture as Commonwealth

4/20/09 Dipesh Chakrabarty The Decline and Prospect of Universal History

2/24/09 James McBride The Color Of Water: Search for Identity

2/5/09 Anthony Corbeill Androgynous Gods, Androgynous Nouns, and the Invention of Heterosexuality in Ancient Rome

11/18/08 Jeannette Walls The Glass Castle: Hunting Demons and Other Life Lessons

10/27/08 Michael Chabon Conquering the Wilderness: Imaginative Imperialism and the Invasion of Legoland

9/23/08 Susan Estrich The 2008 Election: What's at Stake

4/24/08 Carol Ann Carter Art @ Work: Mapping Transformation

4/2/08 Ian Buruma Among the Unbelievers: Muslims in Europe

2/27/08 Paul Muldoon The Eternity of the Poem

11/8/07 Orville Schell The China Miracle: How Did It Happen and How Durable Is It?

10/22/07 Sara Ahmed The Promise of Happiness

9/24/07 Alexander McCall Smith The Very Small Things of Life: An Evening with Alexander McCall Smith

4/10/07 Maria Carlson Culture and History Matter: Russia's Search for Identity After the Fall

3/1/07 Kwame Anthony Appiah Making Sense of Moral Conflict

11/2/06 Nancy Cott Grooming Citizens: Marriage and Civic Status in U.S. History

10/16/06 Richard Dawkins The God Delusion

9/12/06 Nuruddin Farah The Fork in the Fork in the Road

8/28/06 Andrei Codrescu An Evening with Andrei Codrescu

4/5/06 Allan Cigler The New Electoral Landscape: Two Political Churches and an Unbelieving Mass Electorate

2/16/06 Scott Turow Confessions of a Death Penalty Agnostic

11/17/05 Samantha Power Can U.S. Foreign Policy Be Fixed?

10/6/05 Salman Rushdie Step Across This Line: An Evening with Salman Rushdie

9/14/05 Deborah Lipstadt History On Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving

4/5/05 Ted Wilson The GI Generations: Sending American Soldiers into Battle in World War II

2/17/05 Akbar Ahmed Islam Under Siege

11/11/04 Rita Dove The Poet at the Dance

10/28/04 Steven Pinker The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

9/30/04 Gary Hart Security in the New Age of the 21st Century

4/15/04 E.O. Wilson The Future of Life

2/26/04 Linda Stone-Ferrier (KU, History of Art) The Rembrandt Research Project: Issues and Controversies

4/3/03 David Bergeron Shakespeare in the Closet

10/29/03 Sherman Alexie Killing Indians: Myths, Lies and Exaggerations

9/4/03 Peter Gay Modernism in Exile

1/31/03 Paule Marshall Triangular Quest for Self and Community: Brooklyn - Barbados - Benin

11/21/02 Robert D. Kaplan The Roots of Future Conflict

10/24/02 Jared Diamond Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

4/25/02 Dava Sobel Galileo's Reconciliation: Science and Faith

2/21/02 Frances Reid & Deborah Hoffman Long Night's Journey into Day

1/31/02 Alice Walker Remembering Langston

11/15/01 Joane Nagel The Color of Sex: Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality in America

10/4/01 Edward Said The Dilemmas of American Humanism

4/5/01 Stan Lombardo Homer's Light

3/8/01 Donna J. Haraway The Birth of the Kennel: Diversity in the Dog Genome

11/1/00 Robert Darnton Poetry and the Police in the 18th Century

10/24/00 Julian Bond  Crossing the Color Line: From Rhythm and Blues to Rock'n'Roll

4/26/00 Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Year 2000: Global Issues

2/10/00 Anna Deavere Smith Snapshots: Glimpses of America in Change

11/13/99 Jonathan Kozol Love Against Fear: The Ethics and Compassion of Young Children Under Siege

10/6/99 Stephen Jay Gould Questioning the Millennium: Why We Cannot Predict the Future

3/15/99 Patricia Williams Toward a Theory of Grace

2/11/99 John Michael Vlach The Strength of These Arms: Endurance, Creativity and Authority in the Plantation Landscape

10/21/98 JoAnne Akalaitis Living in Performance

9/23/98 Sandra Zimdars-Swartz Wounds on Wounds: Christianity, Pain and Religious Experience

4/7/98 Robert Hemenway Humanities and American Politics

3/2/98 Nancy Kassabaum Baker An Evening with Nancy

2/5/98 Ira Michael Heyman Exhibition Dilemmas

11/18/97 Donald Worster The Inhabited Prairie: Nature and Culture on the Great Plains

11/5/97 Winona LaDuke Native American Environmentalism at the Cusp of the Millennium

3/11/97 Rolena Adorno The Spanish New World in the Narrative Imagination

2/21/97 Richard White Working with Nature

10/23/96 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Reading

9/10/96 Charles Eldredge John Steuart Curry, Prairie Prodigal

3/7/96 Kwame Anthony Appiah Against National Culture: For Cosmopolitan Patriotism

11/16/95 Bernard Williams Truthfulness and Democratic Politics

10/5/95 Carol Gluck War and Memory in Japan- Fifty Years Later

9/28/95 Daniel T. Politoske From Berlin to Krakow: Musical Treasures Rediscovered

3/15/95 Drucilla Cornell Pornography's Temptation

11/10/94 Manning Marable Beyond Black and White: Unlearning Racism

10/18/94 Elizabeth Broun Childe Hassam's America

9/29/94 Janet Sharistanian Gender, Modernism, Politics: The Case of Tess Slesinger

4/14/94 Sheldon Hackney Beyond the Culture Wars

4/14/94 Cornel West Beyond Eurocentrism and Multiculturalism

11/11/93 Dominick LaCapra The Return of the Historically Repressed: Secularization and Approaches to the Holocaust

10/5/93 Del Brinkman William Allen Wight and the Presidents: Fifty Years of Influence on Washington by a Small-Town Kansas Editor

4/24/93 Gordon Parks Creativity

3/18/93 Rex Martin Are Rights Enough? Social Justice in Our Nations Third Century

2/25/93 Martin Jay Modernism, Post Modernism: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth Century French Thought

10/20/92 Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria The Second Discovery of America: History and Literature in the Writings of Peter Martyr d'Anghiera

3/26/92 Patricia Limerick Troubled Land and Haunted Places: A Re-envisioning of the American West

2/27/92 Martha Banta Imperialist Acts and Efficiency Movements at the Turn of the Century: Veblen, Cuba and the Jameses

10/21/91 Jacques D'Amboise The Arts Set the Stage for Life

9/26/91 Ronald Willis The Answer is Theater! What's the Question?

3/26/91 Lawrence Levine The Meaning of America: Frank Capra and the Politics of Culture During the Great Depression

2/21/91 Arnold Rampersad Four Black American Lives: Du Bois, Hughes, Hurston and Wright

11/15/90 Patricia Graham Collaborating for Children in Schools: Historical Views

10/10/90 Boris Notkin Good Evening from Moscow

9/25/90 John G. Clark Her Huge Shadow: Energy and America's Responsibilities to the Globe

4/26/90 William Cronon Dust Bowl Days: Stories of Environmental Change

11/2/89 Catharine R. Stimpson Women, Literature and Society

10/2/89 Anthony Seeger Folk Music and American Culture

9/21/89 Peter Cassagrande Moving Easy in Harness: Creativity and Constraint

4/20/89 Ivar Ivask An Evening with Ivar Ivask

2/23/89 Paul Kurtz What is Secular Humanism?

1/31/89 William McGlaughlin An Evening with William McGlaughlin

1988-89 Chu-Tsing Li (KU, History of Art)        

1987-88 Robert Hudson (KU, History of Medicine)    

1986-87 Victor Papanek (KU, Arch & Urban Design)  

1985-86 Elizabeth Shultz (KU, English)            

1984-85 Richard Schowen (KU, Biochemistry)            

1983-84 Frances Heller (KU, Law)       

1982-83 Frances Horowitz (KU, Hum Development)              

1981-82 Jim Moeser (KU, Music)        

1980-81 Richard DeGeorge (KU, Philosophy)              

1979-80 Harold Orel (KU, English        

1978-79 William Griffith(KU, History)             

1977-78 Barbara Craig (KU, French)    

1976-77 Andrew Debicki (KU, Span & Port)    

1975-76 Stitt Robinson (KU, History)  

1974-75 George Lawner (KU, Music)  

1973-74 Marilyn Stokstad (KU, Art History)    

1972-73 William P. Albrecht (KU, English)      

1971-72 Oswald P. Backus (KU, History)         

1970-71 John Brushwood (KU, Span and Port)           

1969-70 Milton Steinhardt (KU, Music)          

1968-69 Donald R McCoy (KU, History)          

1967-68 Merrel D. Clubb (KU, English)            

1966-67 Clifford Griffin (KU, Hisotry)  

1965-66 Paul Roofe (KU, History of Medicine)           

1964-65 James Seaver (KU, History)  

1963-64 Richard DeGeorge (KU, Philosophy)              

1962-63 Elmer Beth (KU, Journalism)             

1962-63 Errol Harris (KU, Philosophy)             

1961-62 Mary Grant (KU, Classics)      

1960-61 W. Clarke Wescoe (KU, Chancellor)  

1959-60 Jan Chiapusso (KU, Music)    

1958-59 William Paden (KU, Englsh)  

1957-58 M. Carl Slough (KU, Law)       

1956-57 L. R. Lind (KU, Classics)          

1955-56 J. Neale Carman (KU, Frence)            

10/7/47 T.V. Smith “The Humanities and Modern Life”

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