The Hall Center for the Humanities has announced the lineup for its 2013-2014 Humanities Lecture Series.
All lectures are free and open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. on the following dates. With the exception of Anne Hedeman, each speaker also will participate in a conversation session at 10 a.m. the day after their lectures. Locations have yet to be announced; for updates check hallcenter.ku.edu or call the Hall Center at 864-4798.
• Sept. 12: Arsalan Iftikhar, “The Role of Islam in Post 9/11 America”
Iftikhar — considered one of the most effective ambassadors for a critical understanding of the post-9/11 Muslim experience — is an international human rights lawyer, author and founder of TheMuslimGuy.com. His most recent book, "Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era” (2011), argues for a pacifist alternative to religious extremism.
• Oct. 22: Jill Lepore, “Unseen — The History of Privacy”
Lepore is the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History and chairwoman of the History and Literature Program at Harvard University. She is the author of eight books, including "New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan" (2006), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history. In “Unseen,” ranging from the mysteries of the medieval church to the privacy settings on Facebook, Lepore traces invisible people to argue that what was once mysterious became secret and, finally, private.
• Nov. 18: Junot Díaz, “An Evening with Junot Díaz: Literature, Diaspora, and Immigration”
Dominican-American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz is the author of the genre-spanning, critically acclaimed "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" (2007) and short story collections "Drown" (1996) and "This Is How You Lose Her" (2012). His own immigration experience serves as a thematic focus for most of his work, which critics have described as "electrifying," "distinct" and "vulgar, brave and poetic.”
• Feb. 13: Anne Hedeman, “Imagining the Past: Interplay between Literary and Visual Imagery in Late Medieval France”
Hedeman, Judith Harris Murphy Distinguished Professor of Art History, is a scholar of late Medieval and Northern Renaissance art and the history of the book, particularly illustrations in medieval manuscripts and early printed books. Her book in progress, "Visual Translation and the First French Humanists," analyzes this dynamic in works owned or made by three early 15th-century French humanists.
• March 11: Peter Brown, “Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-500 AD”
Brown, Princeton Professor Emeritus of History, is credited with creating the field of study referred to as late antiquity, during which Rome fell, the three major monotheistic religions took shape and Christianity spread across Europe. His most recent book, "Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD" (2012), examines the rise of the church through the lens of money and the challenges it posed to an institution that espoused the virtue of poverty.
• April 24: Jeffrey Toobin, “The Supreme Court in the Age of Obama”
Toobin, a staff writer at The New Yorker, has offered legal analysis on some of the most high-profile cases in recent history. He is a senior legal analyst for CNN, lawyer and author of six books, including "The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson" (1997), "Too Close to Call: the Thirty-Six-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election" (2001) and his most recent publication, "The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court" (2012).