Meaning and Meaningfulness

Do we live in a post-truth age where objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to belief and emotion, and if so, does this matter? How should we respond? How can we navigate through current debates over which aspects of our pasts we should recognize, celebrate in public spaces, or even mention in classrooms, given that these debates reveal deep-seated disagreements over what constitutes legitimate or desirable knowledge about our histories and their legacies?
Meanwhile, we have all experienced the transformative impact of the pandemic: millions of fatalities, the bereavement suffered by countless people, the hardships, anxieties, and upheaval that many have experienced, and the multilayered uncertainties we all face going forward. That cumulative crisis has drawn renewed and intensified attention to age-old questions about the meanings we ascribe to our lives in a world that seems at times to be careening who-knows-where.
This year, the Humanities Speaker Series at KU, hosted by the Hall Center, will address questions of meaning and meaningfulness in a variety of thought-provoking presentations, reminding us once again that the humanities remain key to understanding our world and ourselves.

All events in this series will be held in-person and also live-streamed via The Hall Center's Crowdcast Page. Please follow the Hall Center on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or check our calendar on the Hall Center website to stay up-to-date on all Hall Center events.

Upcoming Events in the Series

Daniel Wildcat

WED FEB 1, 7:30 PM
"Exercises of Indigenuity in an Age of Global Crises"
The Commons (and live-streamed via Hall Center Crowdcast)
Daniel Wildcat seated at desk

Jonathan Lamb

WED MAR 1, 7:30 PM
"How the World Became a Book in Shakespeare's England"
Hall Center Conference Hall (and live-streamed via Hall Center Crowdcast)
Jonathan Lamb sitting at desk

Susan Wolf

WED APR 19, 7:30 PM
"Meaning in Life and Why It Matters"
The Commons (and live-streamed via Hall Center Crowdcast)
Author Susan Wolf alongside cover of her book Meaning in Life and Why it Matters

Previous Events in the Series

Victoria Chang

THU SEP 15, 2022, 7:30 PM
"Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief"
The Commons (and live-streamed via Hall Center Crowdcast)
Author Victoria Chang alongside the cover of her book

Lee McIntyre

THU OCT 13, 2022, 7:30 PM
Woodruff Auditorium (and live-streamed via Hall Center Crowdcast)
Author Lee McIntyre alongside Post-Truth book cover

Cynthia Prescott

THU NOV 3, 2022, 7:30 PM
"Pioneer Mother Monuments: Constructing Cultural Memory"
Woodruff Auditorium (and live-streamed via Hall Center Crowdcast)
Author Cynthia Prescott alongside book cover for Pioneer Mother Monuments