LAWRENCE — The Hall Center for the Humanities’ speaker series for 2021-22 will focus on the theme In Search of Harmony: The Humanities and Our Natural World. The evolving relationship with the natural world we inhabit and questions of environmental sustainability in an era of climate change figure among the most pressing issues that we face today.
Debates relating to the environment and questions of sustainability often center on work by scientists, yet humanities scholars and creative writers have much to contribute to these conversations. The rapidly growing field of environmental humanities incorporates a range of disciplinary approaches, including but not limited to history, literary studies, philosophy and religious studies. The Hall Center series features a range of humanities scholars and creative writers whose exciting, thought-provoking work explores the complicated relationships between humans and the living world that surrounds us, including Amitav Ghosh, Bathsheba Demuth, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Terry Tempest Williams.
In addition, Clint Smith will visit to speak about his new book, “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America.” Andrew Denning, associate professor of history, will give a Meet KU’s Authors talk about video gaming at the public library. Irin Carmon, co-author of “Notorious RBG,” will speak about late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s inspiring life and career. Renowned pianist and composer Emilio Solla will visit campus for two performances and a talk about the history of tango music. And the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death will be marked by Simone Marchesi speaking about a new digital project that reconstructs the ways in which Dante’s early readers would have visualized the world he evoked in his famous narrative poem, “The Divine Comedy.”
Additional events for spring 2022 will be announced at a later time.
The Hall Center intends to host events in person this fall, yet the situation due to COVID-19 remains volatile, and plans may change based on the concerns of speakers and audience members as well as in response to mandated restrictions. Regardless of the format used for each event in this speaker series — whether in-person, hybrid or entirely virtual — all events will be livestreamed via the Hall Center’s Crowdcast channel. Venue details, registration and ticketing for live events will be announced two weeks prior to each event. Please follow the Hall Center on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), or check the Hall Center’s website for further details as the semester progresses.
Humanities Speaker Series
6:30 p.m. Sept. 14
Meet KU’s Authors
Andrew Denning, “Deep Play? Video Games and the Historical Imagination”
7:30 p.m. Sept. 21
Amitav Ghosh, “The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis”
Postponed; new date TBA
Clint Smith, “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America”
7:30 p.m. Sept. 30
The Emily Taylor and Marilyn Stokstad Women’s Leadership Lecture
Irin Carmon, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Women's Leadership in Modern America”
7:30 p.m. Oct. 27
Bathsheba Demuth, “Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait”
7:30 p.m. Oct. 28
Emilio Solla, “The History of Tango Music”
7:30 p.m. Nov. 10
KU Common Book
Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
7:30 p.m. Dec. 7
Simone Marchesi, “Imagining Dante’s Comedy Today: Using Art and Digital Technology to Re-envisage a Literary Masterpiece”
7:30 p.m. March 22
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, “Dub: Finding Ceremony”
7:30 p.m. April 13
Terry Tempest Williams, “The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks.”
Photo: Author Amitav Ghosh. Credit: Ivo van der Bent.