Hall Center announces 2018-19 Humanities Lecture Series

Thursday, April 05, 2018

LAWRENCE — The Hall Center for the Humanities will feature a diverse lineup of authors, journalists and academics for its 2018-19 Humanities Lecture Series. Speakers in the coming academic year will focus on topics ranging from Latinos and immigration from a woman’s perspective to political optimism in the age of Trump.

The first speaker is Maria Hinojosa, four-time Emmy award-winning news anchor and journalist, executive producer of NPR’s "Latinos USA" and PBS’s "America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa." She is a frequent guest on MSNBC and "CBS Sunday Morning," the author of two books and the recipient of many awards, including 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.

Next in the series will be Marie Grace Brown, assistant professor of history at KU and 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," which traces gestures, intimacies and adornment to give a history of northern Sudanese women’s lives under imperial rule. 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 20th century.

Neil Gaiman will be featured at the Lied Center in November. He is the award-winning author of "American Gods," "The Graveyard Book," "Coraline," "The Sandman" series and numerous other works of short fiction, novels, audio theater and films. 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 four Hugo Awards, two Nebula Awards, one World Fantasy Award, four Bram Stoker Awards, six Locus Awards, two British Science Fiction Awards, one British Fantasy Award, three Geffen Awards, one International Horror Guild Award and two Mythopoeic Awards.

The series will also feature novelist and social commentator Walter Mosley, author of more than 50 books, from crime novels to political essays to science fiction. He 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 Risk-Taker 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 is a 2017 MacArthur Genius Award recipient and the first woman to receive two National Book Awards for fiction, "Salvage the Bones" (2011) and "Sing, Unburied, Sing" (2017). A native of DeLisle, Mississippi, she 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.

Founded in 1947, the Humanities Lecture Series is the oldest continuing series at KU. More than 150 eminent scholars from around the world have participated in the program, including authors Salman Rushdie and Junot Diaz, actress and playwright Anna Deveare Smith, poets Nikky Finney and Terrance Hayes, and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

The full schedule is below All events are free and open to the public.

  • Maria Hinojosa, “Frontline: Latinos and Immigration from a Woman’s Perspective,”  7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at The Commons, Spooner Hall. This lecture is supported by the Sosland Foundation.
  • Marie Grace Brown, “Body Movements: Positioning Sudanese Women in an Age of Empire,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25, Lied Center Pavilion.
  • Neil Gaiman, “An Evening with Neil Gaiman,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Lied Center. This lecture is supported by the Hall Family Foundation.
  • Walter Mosely, “Political Optimism in the Age of Trump,” 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7, 2019, in the Kansas Union Ballroom.
  • Jesmyn Ward, “An Evening with Jesmyn Ward,” 7:30 p.m. April 11, 2019, at Liberty Hall, 642 Massachusetts St. This lecture is supported by the Hall Family Foundation.