The Hall Center for the Humanities Lecture Series shouldn't be thought of as an annual event just for Kansas University students and faculty.
It's for all of Lawrence.
"The series should not be thought of as just a campus event, but as outreach to the whole community," said Victor Bailey, the center's director and a professor of history at KU.
For that reason, the Hall Center has attempted to create a lecture series that has broad appeal. Bailey believes the center is succeeding at this goal.
"We have tried to bring speakers who will appeal to a fairly wide and diverse audience Â not only to faculty, not only to students but also the community. We are developing a series that frankly does not bring in speakers who are overly esoteric and appeal only to a small group of people," he said.
Here is the lineup of speakers for this academic year:
l "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24, Lied Center. Diamond, a professor of physiology at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies." He is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
l "An Evening with Robert D. Kaplan" by Robert D. Kaplan, 8 p.m. Nov. 21, Kansas Ballroom, Kansas Union. Kaplan, a correspondent for The Atlantic, has reported from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the United States. He has been working as a foreign correspondent for more than 20 years.
l "The Triangular Quest for Self and Community" by Paule Marshall, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20, Kansas Ballroom, Kansas Union. Marshall's fiction, from "Brown Girl, Brownstones" to "The Fisher King," has charted a course that deliberately reverses the triangular route of the slave trade. Her work celebrates black immigrant communities, Afro-Diasporic culture and black women. She has taught at Yale, Columbia, Cornell and Oxford universities.
The Humanities Lecture Series is KU's oldest continuing series and one of the most distinguished lecture series in the Midwest. Founded in 1947, the series has provided a forum for ongoing interdisciplinary dialogue between renowned, engaging speakers and the university and surrounding communities.
Visiting speakers spend two days on the KU campus, delivering a public lecture and participating in colloquia with faculty and students.
In the 50-year history of the Humanities Lecture Series, more than 150 eminent scholars from around the world have participated in the program, including author Vladimir Nabokov, painter Thomas Hart Benton and author Aldous Huxley.
Shortly after the program's inception, a lecture by one outstanding KU faculty member each year was added to the schedule.