A virtual lecture by the Very Reverend Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary and professor of theology at Union College, will launch the spring semester Boston College Lowell Humanities Series on February 2.
"We look forward to another semester of dynamic Lowell Humanities Series speakers from different disciplines and addressing an impressive range of important and timely issues,” said the series director, Associate Professor of English James Smith.
Lowell Humanities Series events are free and open to the public, and include audience Q&As following each presentation.
"Given the ongoing situation with COVID, we will begin the semester with three virtual webinars, but keep open the possibility of in-person events later in the semester,” Smith added.
To confirm the format for each event, register to attend, and find more details on speakers, resources for faculty and students, and event venues, visit the Lowell Humanities Series website.
Spring 2022 SCHEDULE
Kelly Brown Douglas
"Resurrection Hope in a Time of Crucifying Black Death"
February 2 | 7:00 p.m.
The Very Reverend Kelly Brown Douglas is dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary, professor of theology at Union College, and also serves as the Canon Theologian at the Washington National Cathedral and Theologian-in- Residence at Trinity Church Wall Street. She will speak about her latest book, Resurrection Hope: A Future Where Black Lives Matter, followed by an audience Q&A.
According to publisher Cokesbury, questions from her son—such as “How do we really know that God cares when Black people are still getting killed? How long do we have to wait for the justice of God?—prompted the theologian to undertake this soul-searching reflection. She reflects on how a "white way of knowing" has come to dominate American identity and even to shape the consciousness of Christians. The author of other groundbreaking books, her presentation is cosponsored by BC's Theology Department and PULSE Program.
"Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist"
February 23 | 7:00 p.m.
Eli Saslow—a Pulitzer prize-winning Washington Post reporter who has been called “one of the great young journalists in America” —will give a lecture based on his reporting in Rising Out of Hatred. Born out of his Washington Post feature “The White Flight of Derek Black,” the book tells the story of how the one-time heir to America’s white nationalist movement came to question the ideology he helped spread. Based on extensive interviews, it explores the ramifications of Black’s decision to publicly denounce white nationalism in an open letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2013. The award-winning journalist’s forthcoming book, Voices from the Pandemic, is drawn from his ongoing Washington Post oral history project of the same name.
The event is cosponsored by the Journalism and American Studies programs, and the Communication Department.
"Citizen: An American Lyric"
March 2 | 7:00 p.m.
Claudia Rankine—the author of six collections of poetry—will give a reading from Citizen: An American Lyric, which recounts “mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in 21st-century daily life and in the media,” according to her website. “In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen interrogates the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named ‘post-race’ society.” Rankine—Yale University’s Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry, has won several awards, and also is a playwright and author of anthologies.
Her appearance is cosponsored by the American Studies, African and African Diaspora Studies, and PULSE programs, the English, History, and Sociology departments, with support from an Institute for the Liberal Arts Major Grant Award.
“Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code”
March 24 | 7:00 p.m.
Princeton University professor of African American studies and founding director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab, Ruha Benjamin’s work investigates the social dimensions of science, medicine, and technology with a focus on the relationship between innovation and inequity, health and justice, knowledge and power.
She will give a lecture based on her book Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code. Of the book, publisher Wiley writes: “Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity…Presenting the concept of the ‘New Jim Code,’ she shows how a range of discriminatory designs encode inequity…” She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships.
The event is presented by the Park Street Corporation Speaker Series and cosponsored by LHS and the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society.
"Writing the West: The Influence of Place, Dialect, and Hauntedness in the Fiction of Kevin Barry"
April 6 | 7:00 p.m.
Irish author Kevin Barry— who wrote the award-winning novels City of Bohane, Beatlebone, and Night Boat to Tangier, and the story collections Dark Lies the Island and There Are Little Kingdoms—will speak on the topic of place, dialect, and hauntedness in his novels. Also a playwright and screenwriter, his awards include the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Goldsmiths Prize, and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize.
This event coincides with the 6th Biannual Conference of the International Flann O’Brien Association, April 6-9—which Boston College is slated to host—in which Barry will participate.
Poetry Days Presents: "Ada Limón: The Carrying"
April 20 | 7:00 p.m.
Ada Limón is the author of five books of poetry, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and was named one of the top five poetry books of the year (2018) by The Washington Post. She will give a reading from the book, which Milkweed Editions calls: “Vulnerable, tender, acute, these are serious poems, brave poems, exploring with honesty the ambiguous moment between the rapture of youth and the grace of acceptance…Limón shows us, as ever, the persistence of hunger, love, and joy, the dizzying fullness of our too-short lives.”
The award-winning poet is an MFA faculty member of Queens University, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Her appearance is cosponsored by the Poetry Days Series and the English Department.
May 1 | 2:00 p.m.
One of the best-known documentary photographers of his generation, Martin Parr will speak on his groundbreaking career. His appearance coincides with an exhibition of his work, Martin Parr: Time and Place, at the University’s McMullen Museum of Art. Covering nearly a half a century and comprising more than 135 works, this innovative survey is Parr’s first wide-ranging, and most comprehensive, museum exhibition in the United States. In 2019 the National Portrait Gallery in London held a major exhibition of Parr’s work titled “Only Human.” Parr—a visiting professor of photography at the University of Ulster whose work has been collected by many leading international museums, has published more than 100 books and edited 30.
This event is cosponsored by the McMullen Museum and the Irish Studies program.
The Lowell Humanities Series is sponsored by the Lowell Institute, the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Boston College, and the Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculties.
All events are free and open to the public. To register and for more details, including resources for faculty and students, visit the Lowell Humanities Series website.
University Communications | January 2022