LAWRENCE — Jill Lepore, author of the National Book Award long-listed "Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin," will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. Her lecture, "Unseen — The History of Privacy," is an installment of the Hall Center for the Humanities' 2013-2014 Humanities Lecture Series.
The lecture, supported by the Sosland Foundation of Kansas City, is free and open to the public.
The Hall Center will also host a more informal public question-and-answer session the following day. "A Conversation with Jill Lepore" will take place at 10 a.m. Oct. 23 in the Hall Center Conference Hall. The event is also free and open to the public.
In the lecture, Lepore traces the history of invisible people, including H.G. Wells' invisible man, considering the strange relationship between the unseen and unknown. In an illustrated lecture that ranges from the mysteries of the medieval church to the privacy settings on Facebook, Lepore argues that what was once mysterious became secret and, finally, private.
Lepore is the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History and chair of the History and Literature Program at Harvard University. Her research interests include the history of war and violence, as well as the history of language and literacy. She is the author of eight books, including "The Story of America: Essays on Origins," a collection of wide-ranging essays framed by the idea of the United States as itself a set of stories, and "New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan," a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.
She has been a contributor to The New Yorker since 2005 and a staff writer since 2008. Her essays and reviews have also appeared in The New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, American Scholar, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Smithsonian Magazine, the Journal of American History, American Quarterly and Common-place, a magazine she co-founded.
Lepore currently serves on the boards of the National Portrait Gallery and the Society of American Historians.
Founded in 1947, the Humanities Lecture Series is the oldest continuing series at KU. More than 150 eminent scholars from around the world have participated in the program, including author Salman Rushdie, poet Gwendolyn Brooks and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Recent speakers have included Stephen Greenblatt, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Mary Oliver. Shortly after the program’s inception, a lecture by one outstanding KU faculty member was added to the schedule. For information on the series, visit the Hall Center website.