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spring 2014 Programs


 

photo by Dominique Nabokov
April 1, 2014

Zadie Smith: Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

A distinguished novelist, short story writer, and essayist, Zadie Smith is one of the most acclaimed young writers working today. Her first novel, White Teeth, was the winner of The Whitbread First Novel Award, The Guardian First Book Award, The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and The Commonwealth Writers’ First Book Award. Her second novel, The Autograph Man, won The Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize. Her third, On Beauty, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won The Commonwealth Writers’ Best Book Award (Eurasia Section) and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her most recent novel, NW, published in 2012, has been shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Smith, who divides her time between her native London and New York, where she is a professor of creative writing at NYU, will read from a new story entitled, “Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets.” 

(Edwidge Danticat, who was originally scheduled on April 1, was obliged by unforeseen circumstances to cancel. Ms. Smith very graciously took her place at Ms. Danticat's request.)



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March 26, 2014

George Packer: The Unwinding: An Inner History of the
New America

Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

George Packer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author, most recently, of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction in 2013. He has published three other works of nonfiction: The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, which received several prizes and was named one of the ten best books of 2005 by The New York Times Book Review; Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade, a collection of articles; The Village of Waiting, a memoir of his years in the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa; and Blood of the Liberals, a three-generation family and political history, which won the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He is also the author of two novels, The Half Man and Central Square, and a play, Betrayed, which ran five months Off Broadway in 2008 and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. He is the editor of The Fight Is for Democracy: Winning the War of Ideas in America and the World, and of a two-volume edition of George Orwell’s essays. Packer’s New Yorker articles have won three Overseas Press Club awards. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.



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March 19, 2014

Michael Bérubé: Bioethics: Too Important to be Left to Bioethicists
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

Michael Bérubé is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor and Director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, where he teaches cultural studies and American literature. He is the author of several books on cultural studies, disability rights, liberal politics, and debates in higher education, and since 2004 has been a blogger on these and other topics. He has served as the president of the Modern Language Association, and on the National Council of the American Association of University Professors, and he now sits on the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure.



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March 12, 2014*

Tracy Kidder: Another Set of Eyes
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

Over his long and prolific career, Tracy Kidder’s writing has been celebrated for its insight, compassion, and literary elegance. The Soul of a New Machine—an early look into the world of high-tech corporate America—earned him a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award in 1982. Other works include The Road to Yuba City, House, Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends, Home Town, My Detachment, Strength in What Remains, and the influential Mountains Beyond Mountains (2003), the story of a single-minded physician bent on improving the health of some of the poorest people on the planet. His latest, Good Prose, is an inspiring book about writing and the record of a warm and productive literary friendship. It is a succinct, authoritative, and entertaining arbiter of standards in contemporary writing, offering guidance for the professional writer and the beginner alike.

*This event was rescheduled due to weather. This is the new date.



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February 20, 2014

Poetry Days presents Tracy K. Smith
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

Tracy K. Smith’s most recent collection of poetry, Life on Mars (Graywolf, 2011), won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. The collection draws on sources as disparate as Arthur C. Clarke and David Bowie, and is in part an elegiac tribute to her late father, an engineer who worked on the Hubble Telescope. Duende (2007), her second book, won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The Body’s Question (2003), her first book, was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award in 2004 and a Whiting Award in 2005.

 


fall 2013 Programs


 

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November 6, 2013

Paul Elie: Technician of the Sacred: J.S. Bach
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

Paul Elie is a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. His first book, The Life You Save May Be Your Own, received the PEN/Martha Albrand Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle award finalist in 2003. In Reinventing Bach, his remarkable second book, Elie tells the electrifying story of how musicians of genius have made Bach’s music new in our time, at once restoring Bach as a universally revered composer and revolutionizing the ways that music figures in our lives.



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October 30, 2013

Heather Nathans: Seeing Ourselves Through Others’ Eyes: Struggling with Stereotypes on the Nineteenth-Century
American Stage

Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

Heather S. Nathans is Professor and Chair, Department of Drama and Dance, Tufts University. She is the editor for the University of Iowa Press’s award-winning series, Studies in Theatre History and Culture and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of American Drama with Oxford University Press. Her publications include: Early American Theatre from the Revolution to Thomas Jefferson; Slavery and Sentiment on the American Stage, 1787-1861; Shakespearean Educations: Power, Citizenship, and Performance (co-editor and contributing author); and the forthcoming Hideous Characters and Beautiful Pagans: Performing Jewish Identity on the Antebellum American Stage. She has authored numerous journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews, and served as a guest editor for multiple issues of The Journal of American Drama and Theatre and The New England Theatre Journal. Nathans has held over twenty-five research fellowships including ones from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Folger Shakespeare Library with the National Endowment for the Humanities, the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University, the American Jewish Archives, and the Mellon Foundation. She is an elected member of the Massachusetts Historical Society and the American Antiquarian Society. Nathans is also the President of the American Society for Theatre Research.



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October 24, 2013

Bill McKibben: 350: The Most Important Number in the World
McGuinn 121
7:00 p.m.

Bill McKibben is one of America's best known environmentalists. As a bestselling author, he has written books that, over the last quarter century, have shaped public perception—and public action—on climate change, alternative energy, and the need for more localized economies. McKibben is the founder of 350.org, the first big global grassroots climate change initiative. McKibben's seminal books include The End of Nature, widely seen as the first book on climate change for a general audience, and Deep Economy, a bold challenge to move beyond "growth" as the paramount economic ideal and to pursue prosperity in a more local direction—an idea that is the cornerstone of much sustainability discourse today.

This event is presented in partnership with the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics.



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October 9, 2013

Paul Tough: How Children Succeed
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

Paul Tough is the author, most recently, of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. His first book, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, was published in 2008. Tough is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, where he has written extensively about education, parenting, poverty, and politics, including cover stories on character education, the achievement gap, and the Obama administration’s poverty policies. His writing has also appeared in the New YorkerSlateGQEsquire, and Geist, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. He has worked as an editor at the New York Times Magazine and Harper’s Magazine and as a reporter and producer for the public-radio program “This American Life.” He was the founding editor of Open Letters, an online magazine.

This event is presented in partnership with the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics.



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September 25, 2013

James Wood: Why? Fiction and the Biggest Question
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

James Wood has been a staff writer and book critic at The New Yorker since 2007. He was the chief literary critic at the Guardian, in London, from 1992 to 1995, and a senior editor at The New Republic from 1995 to 2007. His critical essays have been collected in two volumes, The Broken Estate: Essays on Literature and Belief (1999) and The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel (2004), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is also the author of a novel, The Book Against God (2003), and a study of technique in the novel, How Fiction Works (2008). He lives in Boston, and teaches at Harvard University, where he is Professor of the Practice of Literary Criticism.

 


spring 2013 Programs


 

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April 17, 2013

Michael Chabon: Telegraph Avenue
Murray Function Room
7:00 p.m.

Michael Chabon is a novelist, screenwriter, columnist, and short story writer, best known for his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001. Chabon, who earned an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California at Irvine, began writing and publishing short stories between 1987 and 1990, mostly in The New Yorker but also in GQ and Mademoiselle. His debut novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, made him an instant literary sensation, and his second novel, Wonder Boys, was made into a critically acclaimed movie of the same name. His distinguished body of work also includes Werewolves in Their Youth, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Gentlemen of the Road, Summerland, Manhood for Amateurs, and Telegraph Avenue. Michael Chabon comes to us thanks to the generous support of the Marianacci family.

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March 20, 2013

Carol Gluck: Past Obsessions: World War II in History and Memory
Murray Function Room
7:00 p.m.

Nearly seventy years after it ended, the Second World War remains a contested issue in history and memory in many countries around the world. In her forthcoming book Past Obsessions: World War Two in History and Memory, Carol Gluck considers examples from Europe, Asia, and North America that help us to understand both how public memory works and the challenge that the present preoccupation with memory poses to what we used to think of as history. Gluck, the George Sansom Professor of History at Columbia University in New York, is also the author of Japan's Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period (1985); Showa: The Japan of Hirohito (1992); Asia in Western and World History (1997); Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon (2009); and Thinking with the Past: Japan and Modern History (forthcoming in 2013).

 


 

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February 21, 2013

Teju Cole: The Senses of the City
Devlin 101
7:00 p.m.

Teju Cole is a writer, art historian, street photographer, and Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College. He was born in the US (1975) to Nigerian parents and raised in Nigeria. Cole is the author of two books, a novella, Every Day is for the Thief, and the novel Open City, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York City Book Award for Fiction, and the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature. Cole lives in Brooklyn.

 


 

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February 6, 2013

Karen Russell: SWAMPLANDIA!
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

Karen Russell, author of the celebrated debut novel Swamplandia! and the prize-winning story collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised By Wolves, has been featured in The New Yorker’s debut fiction issue and its 20 Under 40 list. She was chosen as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists and in 2009 received the 5 Under 35 award from the National Book Foundation. Three of her short stories have been selected for the Best American Short Stories volumes. She is currently writer-in-residence at Bard College. Her new collection of stories will be published in February.

 


 

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January 31, 2013

Elaine Pagels: Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation
Devlin 101
7:00 p.m.

Elaine Pagels, the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, will deliver this year's Candlemas lecture. Professor Pagels is the author of a major body of work on religious subjects, including The Gnostic Gospels (1979); Adam, Eve and the Serpent (1988); The Origin of Satan (1995); Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas (2003); Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity (2007); and, most recently, Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation (2012).  After receiving her doctorate from Harvard University in 1970, she taught at Barnard College and Columbia University, where she chaired the department of religion. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1981.

 


 

 


Fall 2012 Programs


 

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December 5, 2012

Laurent Dubois: Haiti: The Aftershocks of History
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

Laurent Dubois, the Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University, is the author of Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (Metropolitan 2012), Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France (U. California Press, 2010) and Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (Harvard Univ. Press, 2004), and is currently writing a history of the banjo. Born in Belgium and raised in Bethesda, Maryland, he graduated from Princeton in 1992 and received a doctorate in Anthropology and History from the University of Michigan in 1998. He taught at Harvard and Michigan State University before coming to Duke.


Watch Laurent Dubois's lecture on Front Row.

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November 29, 2012

Susan Choi
Higgins 300
7:00 p.m.

Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker, and her nonfiction has appeared in publications including Vogue, Tin House, Allure, O and The New York Times and in anthologies including Money Changes Everything and Brooklyn Was Mine. After studying literature at Yale and writing at Cornell, she worked for several years as a fact-checker for The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, she lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Pete Wells, and their sons Dexter and Elliot. Choi will be reading from her upcoming, yet-untitled new novel.

 


 

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November 28, 2012

Jane Mayer
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

Jane Mayer has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1995. Based in Washington, DC, she writes about politics for the magazine, and has distinguished herself with her coverage of the “war on terror.” Recent subjects include Alberto Mora and the Pentagon’s secret torture policy, how the United States outsources torture (rendition), the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and the legality of CIA interrogations. She has also written about George W. Bush, the bin Laden family, Sarah Palin, and the television show 24. Mayer is the author of the best-selling 2008 book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals, which was chosen by the New York Times as one of the ten best books of the year, and by the Economist, Salon, Slate, and Bloomberg as one of the best books of the year. She is currently writing about elections and campaign reform.

 


 

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November 15, 2012

Anthony Grafton: The Florentine Renaissance Portrait:
Cultural Origins of a New Art Form
Devlin 101
7:00 p.m.

Anthony Grafton, the Henry Putnam University Professor of History at Princeton, pursues special interests that include the cultural history of Renaissance Europe, the history of books and readers, the history of scholarship and education in the West from Antiquity to the 19th century, and the history of science from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Among his books, two remarkably wide-ranging collections of essays, Defenders of the Text (1991) and Bring Out Your Dead (2001), cover many of the topics and themes that appeal to him. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1989), the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (1993), the Balzan Prize for History of Humanities (2002), and the Mellon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award (2003), and is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the British Academy. In 2011 he served as President of the American Historical Association.

 


 

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October 17, 2012

Paul Muldoon: Presented by Poetry Days
Devlin 101
7:00 p.m.

Paul Muldoon is the Poetry Editor of The New Yorker and the Howard G. B. Clark '21 Professor at Princeton University and Chair of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts. His poetry has garnered both the Pulitzer Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. Among his books of poetry are New Weather (1973), Mules (1977), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Quoof (1983), Meeting The British (1987), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), The Annals of Chile (1994), Hay (1998), Poems 1968-1998 (2001), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Horse Latitudes (2006), and Maggot (2010). Muldoon was born in 1951 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and educated in Armagh and at the Queen's University of Belfast. From 1973 to 1986 he worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford, where he is an honorary Fellow of Hertford College.

 


 

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October 3, 2012

Katherine Boo: Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m.

Over twenty-five years as a journalist, Katherine Boo has established herself as a fearless, honest writer dedicated to telling the stories of the poor and disadvantaged on the pages of our most esteemed publications. Writing for The New Yorker, The Washington Post, the Washington City Paper and The Washington Monthly, Boo has profiled marginalized populations in the United States and abroad: from Denver to the Gulf of Mexico to Mumbai. Boo continues her quest to give voice to those without one in her New York Times bestselling book Behind the Beautiful Forevers, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the world’s great, unequal cities: Mumbai, India.

This event is presented in collaboration with the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics.

 


 

 


Spring 2012 Programs


 

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April 25, 2012

Rebecca Skloot: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Murray Function Room
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Award-winning science writer Rebecca Skloot has made a career of probing the intersections between hard science and human experience; the resulting stories have been as varied as cellular research and cancer, medical care for pet goldfish, and the science behind personal motivation. In her bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010), Skloot tells the story of a young black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951 and left behind an inexplicably immortal line of cells known as HeLa. Skloot spent more than ten years researching Henrietta Lacks, whose cells—harvested without her knowledge or consent—contributed to scientific advancements as varied as the polio vaccine, treatments for cancers and viruses, in-vitro fertilization, and our understanding of the impact of space travel on human cells. Part detective story, part scientific odyssey, and part family saga, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks raises fascinating questions about race, class, and bioethics in America. This event is presented in partnership with the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics.




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April 11, 2012

Brenda Wineapple: On the Brink of War – Literary Boston in 1860
Devlin 101
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Brenda Wineapple’s most recent book, White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson (2008), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, a winner of the Washington Arts Club National Award for arts writing, and a New York Times "Notable Book"; it was also ranked among the best nonfiction of the year in The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Economist, among other publications. She is also the author of Genêt: A Biography of Janet Flanner; Sister Brother: Gertrude and Leo Stein; and Hawthorne: A Life, which received the Ambassador Award of the English-speaking Union for the Best Biography of 2003 and the Julia Ward Howe Prize from the Boston Book Club. Currently Director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography at The Graduate School, City University of New York, Wineapple also teaches in the MFA programs at The New School and Columbia University's School of the Arts. This event is presented in conjunction with the Forgotten Chapters project.



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March 28, 2012

Téa Obreht: The Tiger’s Wife
Devlin 101
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 pm.

Téa Obreht is the author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Tiger's Wife. She was born in 1985 in the former Yugoslavia, and spent her childhood in Cyprus and Egypt. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1997, and she attended the University of Southern California and received her M.F.A. from Cornell. Her fiction debut—an excerpt from The Tiger's Wife in The New Yorker—was selected for the 2010 Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her short story “The Laugh” was published in The Atlantic, and appears in the 2010 Best American Short Stories. She has also published nonfiction about vampire hunting in Harper's. She was the youngest writer named to The New Yorker's "Best 20 Writers Under 40" and was also named a "Best 5 Writers Under 35" by the National Book Foundation. She lives in Ithaca, New York.

Watch Téa Obreht's lecture on Front Row.



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March 21, 2012

Claudia Kinmonth: Rural Ireland – The Inside Story
Devlin 101
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Claudia Kinmonth, author of Rural Irish Interiors in Art (2006), presents this lecture sponsored by the Lowell Humanities Series, the McMullen Museum of Art, and the Institute for Liberal Arts, and given in conjunction with the exhibition Rural Ireland: The Inside Story at the McMullen Museum. Kinmonth discovered and analyzed dozens of previously unknown works depicting the homes and lives of Ireland's poorer classes. Her work revealed a little known tradition of Irish genre painting and helped make it available for further investigation by social historians, archaeologists, and scholars of visual culture. The Lowell Humanities Series is pleased to welcome Dr. Kinmonth on March 21st. The McMullen Museum will be open for additional hours the evening of this lecture, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Kinmonth will conduct a tour of the exhibition after her lecture for those interested in further viewing of Rural Ireland: The Inside Story.



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March 1, 2012

The Lowell Humanities Series and Poetry Days Present Billy Collins
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Billy Collins is an American phenomenon. No poet since Robert Frost has managed to combine high critical acclaim with such broad popular appeal. His work has appeared in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar; he is a Guggenheim fellow and a New York Public Library “Literary Lion.” In June 2001, Billy Collins was appointed United States Poet Laureate for 2001-2003.  In January 2004, he was named New York State Poet Laureate for 2004-06. Billy Collins is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, as well as a Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College.

Watch Billy Collins read from his work on Front Row.



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February 15, 2012

The Lowell Humanities Series and Fiction Days Present Junot Diaz
Murray Function Room
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Junot Díaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and is the author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices, Best American Short Stories (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000), Pushcart Prize XXII, and The O'Henry Prize Stories 2009.

Watch Junot Díaz read from from two of his short stories on Front Row.



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February 8, 2012

James T. Fisher: A “Fallen-Away” Catholic's Monastic Vocation in Autismland
Devlin 101
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
 

This year’s annual Candelmas Lecture features James T. Fisher, who holds a PhD from Rutgers University and is a professor of theology at Fordham University. Fisher’s research interests include the cultural history of religion and ethnicity in the United States as well as American Catholic studies. His most recent book, On the Irish Waterfront: The Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York, not only offers a fresh reading of Kazan’s famous film but also gives a detailed social history of the New York/New Jersey waterfront. Fisher is also an autism advocate, and was one of the organizers of the recent Autism and Advocacy conference at the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham.

Watch James Fisher's lecture on Front Row.



Fall 2011 Programs



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December 7, 2011

Mary Lefkowitz: Why We Can't Understand Greek drama: Some Theological and Practical Considerations.
Devlin 101
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Mary Lefkowitz, who was the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Wellesley College from 1979 until her retirement in 2005, is one of the best-known classical scholars in this country.  In her recent work Lefkowitz has sought to restore the gods to their original and frequently misunderstood role in ancient narratives. According to The New York Times Book Review, the “thought-provoking Greek Gods, Human Lives is precisely an attempt to write the gods back into Greek myths.”

Watch Mary Lefkowitz's lecture on Front Row.



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November 16, 2011

Alex Ross: Listen to This
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Alex Ross has been the music critic of The New Yorker since 1996. His first book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, became an international bestseller and has been translated into sixteen languages. His second book, Listen to This, appeared in 2010. He is now working on a book entitled Wagnerism.



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November 2, 2011

Beth Raymer: Lay the Favorite
Devlin 101
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

As a Fulbright fellow with an MFA from Columbia University, Beth Raymer studied offshore gambling operations in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. Her memoir, Lay the Favorite (2010), tells the story of Raymer’s years in the high-stakes, high-anxiety world of sports betting. Focus Features and Random House Films acquired the rights to produce a film adaptation, which is slated for release in 2012.

Watch Beth Raymer's lecture on Front Row.



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October 19, 2011

Gary Shteyngart: Super Sad True Love Story
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. His first novel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. His second novel, Absurdistan, was a national bestseller, named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, and several other publications. His latest novel, Super Sad True Love Story, was an instant New York Times bestseller.

Watch Gary Shteyngart's lecture on Front Row.



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October 5, 2011

Isabel Wilkerson: The Warmth of Other Suns
Gasson 100
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Isabel Wilkerson, Professor of Journalism and Director of Narrative Nonfiction at Boston University, was the first black woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize in journalism and the first black American to win for individual reporting. She received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship to complete the research for The Warmth of Other Suns, her epic account of the Great Migration, which also won the Mark Lynton History Prize.

Watch Isabel Wilkerson's lecture on Front Row.

 


Spring 2011 Programs


 

Chuck-Hogan
April 29, 2011

Chuck Hogan - "Prince of Thieves and The Town: A Boston Crime Story as Novel and Movie"
Devlin Hall, room 008 – 7:00 p.m.

Chuck Hogan '89 is the New York Times bestselling author of several acclaimed novels, including Devils in Exile, The Killing Moon, and The Standoff. His novel Prince of Thieves was awarded the Hammett Prize for "literary excellence in the field of crime writing," and in 2010 was adapted into the film The Town, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, with Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, and Blake Lively. His non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, and his short fiction has twice been anthologized in The Best American Mystery Stories annual. He is also the co-author, with Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) of the international bestsellers The Strain and The Fall, published worldwide in twenty-nine languages. He lives outside Boston with his family.

Mr. Hogan will be joined in conversation by Christopher Wilson and Carlo Rotella of BC's English Department. Professor Wilson is a leading expert on American crime fiction; Professor Rotella, director of the Lowell Humanities Series, specializes in urban literature and culture.

Mr. Hogan is the recipient of the 2011 Arts Council Alumni Award for artistic achievement. This event is being presented in conjunction with the BC Arts Festival and co-sponsored by the BC Alumni Association, BC Arts Council, and the Lowell Humanities Series.

Watch Chuck Hogan's conversation on Front Row.



Brian_Turner
April 12, 2011

Poetry Days presents Brian Turner
Higgins Hall, room 300 - 7:30 p.m.

Brian Turner is a soldier-poet who served seven years in the US Army, including one year as an infantry team leader in Mosul, Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Before that, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 with the 10th Mountain Division. His debut book of poems, Here, Bullet, which won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection in 2005. It also won the 2006 Pen Center USA "Best in the West" award, and the 2007 Poets Prize. Alice James published Turner’s second book of poetry, Phantom Noise, in the spring of 2010. Recently selected one of 50 United States Artists Fellows for 2009, Turner is a contributor to “Home Fires,” a New York Times Opinionator blog that features the writing of men and women who have returned from wartime service in the United States military. He is the recipient of the 2009-2010 Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship and teaches at Sierra Nevada College.

Watch Brian Turner's lecture on Front Row.



Chang-rae_Lee
March 22, 2011

Chang-rae Lee
Yawkey Center, Murray Function Room - 7:00 p.m.

Korean-American novelist Chang-rae Lee is the author of Native Speaker (1995), A Gesture Life (1999), Aloft (2004), and The Surrendered, which was published in March 2010. His novels have won numerous awards and citations, including the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the American Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. He has also has also written stories and articles for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Time (Asia), Granta, Conde Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, and many other publications. He is currently Director of the Program in Creative Writing and Professor of Creative Writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.

Watch Chang-rae Lee's lecture on Front Row.



Suketu_Mehta
March 15, 2011

Suketu Mehta
Corcoran Commons, Heights Room - 7:00 p.m.

Suketu Mehta is the New York-based author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Kiriyama Prize and the Hutch Crossword Award, Lettre Ulysses Prize, the BBC4 Samuel Johnson Prize, and the Guardian First Book Award. He has won the Whiting Writers Award, the O. Henry Prize, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for his fiction. Mehta’s nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Granta, Harpers Magazine, Time, and Condé Nast Traveler. An associate professor of journalism at New York University, Mehta is currently working on a nonfiction book about immigrants in contemporary New York. He has also written an original screenplay for The Goddess, a Merchant-Ivory film starring Tina Turner, and Mission Kashmir, a Bollywood movie.

Watch Suketu Mehta's lecture on Front Row.



Christopher_Browning
February 28, 2011

Christopher Browning - "Holocaust History and Survivor Testimonies: The Starachowice Factory Slave Labor Camps"
Devlin Hall, room 101 - 7:00 p.m.

A cultural critic and historian of the Holocaust, Christopher R. Browning is the Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is known for his 1992 book Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution of Poland, and as an expert witness in two “Holocaust denial” cases: the second Zündel trial in Toronto in 1988 and David Irving’s libel suit against Deborah Libstadt in London in 2000. Browning has served as the J. B. and Maurice Shapiro Senior Scholar (1996) and Ina Levine Senior Scholar (2002-3) at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial.

Watch Christopher Browning's lecture on Front Row.



mark-massa-sj
February 14, 2011

Mark Massa, S.J. - "A Pox on Both Your Houses: Moving beyond the 'Liberal' and 'Conservative' Labels in Catholic Theology"
Devlin Hall, room 101 - 7:00 p.m.

Fr. Massa’s Candlemas Lecture explores a theme of his latest book, The American Catholic Revolution: How the ’60s Changed the Church Forever. A respected theologian, scholar, and culture critic, Massa is also author of the award-winning Catholics and American Culture: Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Day, and the Notre Dame Football Team, and Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice? A theology professor and founder-director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham University, Fr. Massa is now dean of the Boston College School of Theology & Ministry.



Rebecca_Skloot
February 8, 2011

***EVENT CANCELLED

A personal emergency has obliged Rebecca Skloot to cancel travel and appearances next week; therefore, this visit to Boston College has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Rebecca Skloot, presented in partnership with the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics
Yawkey Center, Murray Function Room - 7:00 p.m.

It took science writer Rebecca Skloot more than a decade to research and write The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, her debut book. Skloot’s story of the legacy of a 31-year-old black mother of five who died of cervical cancer in 1951, and whose cancerous cells – taken without her knowledge – launched a biomedical revolution, became an instant New York Times bestseller. It is now being made into an HBO movie produced by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball. A science writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, O, the Oprah Magazine, Discover and many other publications, Skloot has written about goldfish surgery, race and medicine, tissue ownership rights, and packs of wild dogs in Manhattan. Her essays have been widely anthologized, and she is the guest editor of The Best American Science Writing 2011. She is also a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine, and has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s RadioLab and PBS’s Nova ScienceNOW.



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January 25, 2011

Richard Slotkin - "After the Fact: Writing the Battle of the Crater (1864) as Fiction and as History"
Yawkey Center, Murray Function Room - 7:00 p.m.

Cultural critic and historian Richard Slotkin is best known for his award-winning trilogy on the mythology of the American frontier: Regeneration Through Violence, The Fatal Environment, and Gunfighter Nation. He has also written three historical novels: The Crater: A Novel of the Civil War, The Return of Henry Starr, and Abe: A Novel of the Young Lincoln, which received the 2000 Michael Shaara Award for Civil War Fiction and a 2000 Salon Book Award. Slotkin is Olin Professor of American Studies (Emeritus) at Wesleyan University. He is a frequent consultant on-air commentator on violence, racism, popular culture, the Civil War, and the West.
Watch Richard Slotkin's lecture on Front Row.

 


Fall 2010 Programs


 

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November 9, 2010
Gish Jen

Gish Jen is the author of three novels – “Typical American,” “Mona in the Promised Land” and “The Love Wife,” – as well as a collection of stories, “Who’s Irish?” Named one of the eight most important contemporary American women writers by critic Elaine Showalter, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Her new novel, entitled World and Town, will be published by Knopf in fall 2010.



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October 26, 2010
Eric Klinenberg

Eric Klinenberg is Professor of Sociology at New York University. He is the author of Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, which won six scholarly and literary prizes and is currently being adapted as a documentary film, and Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media, which has been widely cited in debates about the future of media. In addition to his books and scholarship, Klinenberg appears frequently on television and radio, and has written for The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The London Review of Books, and NPR’s This American Life.
Watch Eric Klinenberg’s lecture on Front Row.



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October 13, 2010
Elif Batuman

Elif Batuman was born in New York City, grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in San Francisco. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and has written for The New Yorker and the London Review of Books on subjects ranging from comedy traffic school, Thai boxing, and graphic novels to psychoanalytic criticism. Her current journalistic projects include a profile of a Turkish master chef, which she reported while recently spending two months in Istanbul; she is also working on a piece about the 700-year-long civic aftermath of Dante Alighieri’s exile from Florence. She teaches at Stanford University.
Watch Elif Batuman’s lecture on Front Row.



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September 28, 2010
Jane Brox

Jane Brox is the author of Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm; Five Thousand Days Like This One, which was a 1999 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction; and Here and Nowhere Else, which won the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. She has received the New England Book Award for nonfiction, and her essays have appeared in many anthologies including Best American Essays, The Norton Book of Nature Writing, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She has been awarded grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Watch Jane Brox’s lecture on Front Row.



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September 21, 2010
Dexter Filkins

Dexter Filkins is an foreign correspondent for the New York Times. Filkins’ work in Iraq and Afghanistan has received a number of awards, including a George Polk award for his coverage of the assault on Falluja in November 2004. During the attack on Falluja, Filkins accompanied a company of Marines, a quarter of whom were killed or wounded in eight days. He has been a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize twice, from Iraq and Afghanistan.



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September 13, 2010
Governor Deval Patrick

Governor Patrick was elected in November of 2006, bringing a broad range of leadership experience at the top levels of business, government, and non-profits. Hoping for the best and working for it, as his grandmother used to counsel him, his life has traced a trajectory from the South Side of Chicago to the U.S. Justice Department, Fortune 500 boardrooms, and now the Massachusetts State House.
Watch Governor Patrick’s lecture on Front Row.



Spring 2010 Programs


January 21

James MacMillan
"Reflections of a Composer"
Gasson 305 - 4:30 p.m.

February 4

Vishaka Desai, Asia Society
Asian Journeys Lecture
Devlin 101 - 7:30 p.m.

February 11

Michael Suarez, S.J.
Devlin 101 - 7:30 p.m.

February 18

Lewis Hyde
Guestbook Lecture
Higgins 300 - 7:00 p.m.

February 22

George Saunders
A Reading, Fiction Days
Gasson 100 - 7:30 p.m.

March 9

Atul Gawande
McGuinn 121 - 7:30 p.m.

March 15

Harold Bloom
Guestbook Lecture, "Shakespeare and Strangeness"
This event was canceled

April 7

Jim Hevia, University of Chicago
Asian Journeys Lecture, "Whose Art Is It Anyway? The Continuing Saga of Summer Palace Loot"
Devlin 101 - 4:30 p.m.

April 16

Anne Carson in performance with Robert Curie and Peter Cole
"The Fall of Rome: A Traveler's Guide"
Devlin 101 - 7:00 p.m.

April 21

Kevin Young
A Reading, Poetry Days
Gasson 100 - 7:30 p.m.

April 26

Andy Rotman, Smith College
Asian Journeys Lecture, “Liberation through Images: Seeing the Buddha in Indian Art and Architecture”
Devlin 101 - 4:30 p.m.