Hall Center for the Humanities announces speaker lineup for spring 2024

LAWRENCE - The Hall Center for the Humanities has released its featured speaking events for the spring. 

"These speakers broaden our intellectual horizons and enrich our lives," said Giselle Anatol, interim director of the Hall Center for the Humanities. "Offering these programs allows the Hall Center to engage curious minds, providing rewarding opportunities to learn about and support the humanities." 

Michael Holtz
Michael Holtz 

Michael Holtz, a KU alumnus who is now a freelance journalist, is the first speaker in the series. His talk Feb. 6 explores the controversies of expanding wind energy in Kansas and his work to report about it. Holtz is the Simons Public Humanities Fellow at the Hall Center this year. These fellows are individuals "of experience and accomplishment from outside the university" who conduct research while in residence. 

Currently based in Topeka, Holtz reports on human rights, the environment and rural communities. His work has most recently appeared in The Atlantic and The New Yorker.

All of the Hall Center events listed below are free and open to the public.

Upcoming featured speakers

Michael Holtz: “Winds of Change: Rural Kansas and the Clean-Energy Transition”
7 p.m. Feb. 6
Hall Center Conference Hall (also available online via Crowdcast)

Lewis Gordon: “From Kitchens and Pubs to the World: Philosophy for Humanity Today and Beyond”
7 p.m. Feb. 22
Hall Center Conference Hall (also available online via Crowdcast)

Gordon, a philosopher, will address the importance of everyday philosophy and how, as we face the challenges to humanity in the 21st century, it allows us to live lives committed to equality, justice and freedom.  

Meet KU Authors: Beth Bailey — “An Army Afire: How the U.S. Army Confronted Its Racial Crisis in the Vietnam Era”
6:30 p.m. Feb. 26
Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.
Bailey, a historian, traces a frustrating yet fascinating story: how the U.S. Army —  a massive, conservative institution — creatively came to terms with demands for change during a racial crisis among its troops during the Vietnam War. This talk is part of Meet KU's Authors, an ongoing partnership with the Lawrence Public Library, providing audiences an opportunity to hear researchers associated with KU discuss their work.

Humanities Book Club: Ada Ferrer — “Cuba: An American History”
4 p.m. Feb. 29
Hall Center Conference Hall

A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Ferrer will explore the history of Cuba and its deeply intertwined relations with the United States in conversation with an interdisciplinary panel of KU faculty.

KU Common Book Speaker: N.K. Jemisin — “An Evening with N.K. Jemisin”
7 p.m. April 25
Online presentation via Crowdcast

Science fiction author Jemisin, three-time Hugo Award winner, will discuss her work and the significance of KU’s 2023-2024 Common Book, Octavia Butler’s "Parable of the Sower." In addition to the Hall Center, the Common Book Program is sponsored by KU Libraries and the Division of Academic Success. This year’s sponsors also include the Spencer Museum of Art, History of Black Writing, Department of English and Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction.

For further information about these talks and other Hall Center programming, subscribe to Hall Center social media channels and visit the Hall Center website.

Fri, 02/02/2024


Dan Oetting

Media Contacts

Dan Oetting

Hall Center for the Humanities