Journalist, authors, philosopher all on tap for spring lecture season at KU’s Hall Center

photo by: Dan Oetting/KU

Michael Holtz, a fellow with the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas, is pictured.

A journalist who has covered controversies with wind farm developments across the country will open a new season of humanities lectures at the University of Kansas.

Journalist Michael Holtz will explore the controversies related to expanding wind energy in Kansas during a 7 p.m. lecture on Tuesday at the Hall Center for the Humanities on KU’s Lawrence campus.

Holtz, a freelance journalist and KU alumnus, has had his work recently appear in The Atlantic and The New Yorker as he writes about the environment and rural communities, which has included prolific reporting related to wind farms.

Holtz, who is serving for a year as the humanities fellow at the Hall Center, is the first of several speakers and events planned for the spring semester at the center. Others include:

• Philosopher Lewis Gordon will deliver a lecture on the importance of “everyday philosophy” and how the concept can help promote equality, justice and freedom. The lecture is set for 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the Hall Center.

• Author Beth Bailey will present “An Army Afire: How the U.S. Army Confronted its Racial Crisis in the Vietnam Era.” Bailey has researched how the Army “creatively came to terms” with demands for racial change during the Vietnam War. The lecture is set for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.

• Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Ada Ferrer will participate in a panel discussion about the history of Cuba and examine how intertwined Cuba and the United States have been over the years. The event is set for 4 p.m. on Feb. 29 at the Hall Center.

• Science fiction author N.K. Jemisin will participate in a virtual event to discuss the current KU Common Book of the Year, Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower.” Butler died in 2006, but was influential to the career of Jemisin. The online event is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on April 25. Information on how to access the online event is available through the Hall Center at


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