Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Lowell Humanities Series

Event Calendar

lowell humanities series


SEP 21 • OCT 5 • OCT 12OCT 19NOV 10NOV 16NOV 30
JAN 24FEB 8MAR 1MAR 23MAR 29APR 5


 

Matthew Desmond Headshot

Matthew Desmond:
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Matthew Desmond’s New York Times bestselling book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, draws on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data to take us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge of poverty and eviction. Desmond’s work focuses on urban sociology, poverty, race and ethnicity. He is also the author of the award-winning book, On the Fireline (2007), coauthor of two books on race, and editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. Matthew Desmond is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” grant. His work has been supported by the Ford, Russell Sage, and National Science Foundations, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.

Resources for students and teachers: Matthew Desmond



Major Jackson Headshot

Poetry Days presents Major Jackson

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
7:00 p.m. | Devlin Hall, Room 101

Major Jackson is the author of four collections of poetry, includingRoll Deep (2015); Holding Company (2010) and Hoops (2006), which were both finalists for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry; and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Jackson has published poems and essays in American Poetry ReviewCallalooThe New Yorker, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, and in Best American Poetry. He has been the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Jackson is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at University of Vermont and a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. He also serves as Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review.

Resources for students and teachers: Major Jackson



Paula Findlen Headhost

Paula Findlen:
After the Trial: Galileo in a Changing World

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Paula Findlen is an award-winning historian who has spent the past few years developing a collaborative, NEH-funded digital humanities project, "Mapping the Republic of Letters," to analyze and present networks of knowledge and information in early modern Europe, its overseas colonies, and its global mercantile and religious communities. She is currently working on a project of Galileo’s correspondence. Findlen’s research focuses on science and culture in the age of Galileo, the history of museums, collecting and material culture, and gender and knowledge.  Findlen is currently Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History and Chair of the History Department at Stanford University. A recipient of numerous awards, including Guggenheim, Getty, NEH, and ACLS fellowships, Findlen's publications include the prize-winning Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (1994) and, most recently, Early Modern Things: Objects and Their Histories, 1500-1800 (2013).

Resources for students and teachers: Paula Findlen



Marc Bamuthi Joseph Headshot

Marc Bamuthi Joseph:
Developing Creative Ecosystems for Civic Impact

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
7:00 p.m. | Robsham Theater

Marc Bamuthi Joseph is an arts activist and literary performer and the Chief of Program and Pedagogy at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, one of the country's pre-eminent homes for multi-disciplinary contemporary art. Joseph’s work at YBCA combineshis own performance practice, strategic partnerships, shared inquiry, and open source technologies to create dynamic platforms for prototyping and civic action. He is an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship which annually recognizes 50 of the country's "greatest living artists,” the 2011 Alpert Award winner in Theater, and was one of 21 artists named to the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists. Joseph is a co-founder of “Life is Living,” a national series of one-day festivals designed to activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life through hip hop arts and focused environmental action.

Resources for students and teachers: Marc Bamuthi Joseph



Krzysztof Wodiczko Headshot

Krzysztof Wodiczko:
Monument Therapy

Thursday, November 10, 2016
7:00 p.m. | Devlin Hall, Room 101

Krzysztof Wodiczko is an artist renowned for his large-scale slide and video projections on architectural facades and monuments. He has realized more than eighty such public projections internationally. Since the late 1980s, his projections have involved the active participation of marginalized and estranged city residents. Wodiczko was awarded the Hiroshima Prize in 1998 for his contribution as an artist to world peace. He is also the recipient of the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, the Georgy Kepes Award, the Katarzyna Kobro Prize, and the "Gloria Artis" Golden Medal from the Polish Ministry of Culture. He is Professor in Residence of Art, Design and the Public Domain at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Wodiczko’s work has been the subject of numerous publications, most recently City of Refuge: A 9/11 Memorial (2010).

Resources for students and teachers: Krzysztof Wodiczko



Roz Chast Headshot

Roz Chast:
Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Since joining The New Yorker in 1978, cartoonist Roz Chast has established herself as one of our greatest artistic chroniclers of the anxieties, superstitions, furies, insecurities, and surreal imaginings of modern life. Chast’s recent memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (2014), tells the story of losing her elderly parents in middle age. The memoir was a #1 New York Times Bestseller, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, won the inaugural Kirkus Prize for nonfiction, and was a Finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction. In 2012, she was awarded the N.Y.C. Literary Honor in Humor by Mayor Bloomberg and in 2015 won the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities. Chast’s cartoons have been published in The New YorkerScientific American, the Harvard Business Review, and Mother Jones. Her work has recently been compiled in Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978-2006.

Resources for students and teachers: Roz Chast



Eula Biss Headshot

Eula Biss:
On Immunity: A Reading and Conversation

Wednesday, November 30, 2016
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Eula Biss is the author of three books, most recently On Immunity: An Inoculation, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction.  In On Immunity, Biss addresses a chronic condition of fear—fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what is in your child’s air, food, mattress, medicine, and vaccines – in order to investigate the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and its implications for the individual and the social body. Her other publications includeNotes from No Man’s Land: American Essays, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, and a collection of poetry, The Balloonists. Her work has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, an NEA Literature Fellowship, and a Jaffe Writers’ Award and her essays have recently appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading and theTouchstone Anthology of Contemporary Nonfiction as well as in The BelieverGulf CoastDenver QuarterlyThird Coast, and Harper’s.

Resources for students and teachers: Eula Biss



Krista Tippett Headshot

Krista Tippett: 
The Adventure of Civility

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Krista Tippett is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and New York Times bestselling author. Her radio show and podcast On Being, heard on over 360 public radio stations and downloaded by millions as a podcast, opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human? What matters in life? On Being is the home of the Civil Conversations Project, an emergent approach to new conversation and relationships across the differences of our age. In 2014, Krista Tippett received the National Humanities Medal at the White House. She is the author of Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters and How to Talk About It (2007), Einstein’s God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit (2010), and most recently Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living (2016).

Co-sponsored with the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics.



Bernard McGinn Headshot

Bernard McGinn:
Annual Candlemas Lecture: Poetry, Prose and the Bible in John of the Cross

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
7:00 p.m. | Devlin Hall, Room 101

Bernard McGinn is Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology and of the History of Christianity in the Divinity School and the Committees on Medieval Studies and on General Studies at The University of Chicago. McGinn works in the history of Christianity and the history of Christian thought, primarily in the medieval period. He has written extensively in the areas of the history of apocalyptic thought and, most recently, in the areas of spirituality and mysticism. His most recent book is Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae: A Biography (2014). His current long-range project is a seven-volume history of Christian mysticism in the West under the general title The Presence of God.



Laila Lalami Headshot

Laila Lalami:
The Moor’s Account

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Laila Lalami is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (2005), which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; Secret Son (2009), which was on the Orange Prize longlist, and The Moor’s Account (2014), which won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and was on the Man Booker Prize longlist. The Moor’s Account was also a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Born and raised in Morocco, Lalami’s essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington PostThe Nation, The Guardian, and The New York Times, where she weighs in on contemporary issues in the Arab world and North Africa. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship and is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.



Jeffrey Sachs Headshot

Jeffrey Sachs:
Economics and Ethics for the Anthropocene

Thursday, March 23, 2017
7:00 p.m. | Murray Function Room, Yawkey Athletics Center

Jeffrey Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership, and has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by The New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best known economist.” Professor Sachs serves as the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He has authored five books, including The End of Poverty (2005) and The Age of Sustainable Development (2015).



Anne Enright Headshot

Fiction Days presents Anne Enright

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Anne Enright is an Irish writer, most recently of The Green Road (2015), who was named the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction in 2015. Enright has written numerous award-winning novels and short story collections. Her 2001 novel What Are You Like? won the Encore Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award. The Gathering (2007) won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award, and the Irish Fiction Award. It became a bestseller through the English-speaking world, being on the bestseller lists in America, England and Ireland for over six months. In 2012, Enright won the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for The Forgotten Waltz. Her short stories have appeared in several magazines including The New Yorker and The Paris Review. She lives in Dublin with her husband, the actor Martin Murphy.



Taylor Branch Headshot

Taylor Branch:
Know Thyself: Socrates and Sports at the Corporate University

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
7:00 p.m. | Murray Function Room, Yawkey Athletic Center

Taylor Branch is an American author and public speaker. In the October 2011 issue of The Atlantic, Branch published an influential cover story entitled “The Shame of College Sports,” which author and NPR commentator Frank Deford said, “may well be the most important article ever written about college sports.” An expanded version was published as The Cartel: Inside the Rise and Imminent Fall of the NCAA (2011). Branch is known for his landmark narrative history of the civil rights era, America in the King Years. The trilogy’s first book won the Pulitzer Prize and numerous other awards. Branch returned to civil rights history in his latest book, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement (2013). Branch was awarded the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and the National Humanities Medal in 1999.