The Commons KU | Spencer Lecture

The Kenneth A. Spencer Lectures give The Commons an opportunity to invite seminal figures to speak to the University of Kansas and area communities. The voices represented include scholars and public figures whose work applies across disciplines as they approach larger themes and topics that affect humans on a broad scale.

Since 2008, The Commons has been organizing and implementing the lecture series, because of its interdisciplinary mission and values. A complete list of events supported by the Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture fund is listed below.


Jessica Green, "The Hidden City: Landscape, Urban Design, and the Microbial Universe"

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Andy Borowitz, in Conversation with Steve Kraske.

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Maximilian Schich, “A Network Framework of Cultural History"
Margaret Atwood, "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?: The Arts, The Sciences, The Humanities, the Inhumanities, and the Non-Humanities. Zombies Thrown In Extra."

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Nicco Mele "Why Radical Connectivity Means the End of Big"
Panel: "What is Free Speech in the Age of Social Media?"
Robert McChesney, "Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America”
David Krakauer, "The Future of the University"


James Moor (with KU Professor Perry Alexander) "Data & Democracy: Our Technology, Our Future”


Rebecca Solnit, "Civil Society, the Phoenix in the Ruins: Disaster, Carnival, Revolution, and Public Joy"


Braden R. Allenby, Arizona State University "Mind, Body, Machine: The Human Design Space 2"


Bruce Mau, "Massive Change: The Future of Design and Life on Earth"