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May 23, 2005
Contact: Victor Bailey, Hall Center for the Humanities, (785) 864-4798.

Authors Rushdie, Turow, Power, Lipstadt to speak in Hall Center series

LAWRENCE -- The Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas has announced that authors Salman Rushdie, Scott Turow, Samantha Power and Deborah Lipstadt will speak on campus this fall and next year as part of the Humanities Lecture Series. The lectures are free and open to the public.

All lectures start at 7:30 p.m. The series schedule and locations are:

Sept. 14: Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of modern Jewish and Holocaust studies at Emory University, will discuss her experience in being unsuccessfully sued for libel by a Holocaust denier in "History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving," Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union.

Oct. 6: Salman Rushdie, whose criticism of fundamentalist Islam in "The Satanic Verses" earned him a death sentence from Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, will lecture on "Step Across this Line: An Evening with Salman Rushdie," Lied Center. The event is co-sponsored by Student Union Activities.

Nov. 17: Samantha Power, Pulitzer Prize winner and founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and Harvard adjunct lecturer, will present a lecture on human rights and genocide, "Can U.S. Foreign Policy Be Fixed?" Kansas Union ballroom. The event is co-sponsored by the KU law school.

Feb. 16, 2006: Scott Turow, attorney and author of "Presumed Innocent," will speak on "Confessions of a Death Penalty Agnostic," Woodruff Auditorium.

The lectures:

  • Lipstadt's lecture will draw on the book of the same title, which is the story of her libel trial in London against David Irving, who sued her for calling him a Holocaust denier and right-wing extremist. The judge found David Irving to be a Holocaust denier, a falsifier of history, a racist, an anti-Semite and a liar. The libel trial was described by London's Daily Telegraph as having "done for the new century what the Nuremberg trial did for earlier generations." Her lecture will analyze the major issues involved in her lawsuit in London and link them to the rise of the "new anti-Semitism." She is also the author of "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory."
  • Rushdie's lectures take audiences on a thrilling journey into the world of contemporary literature, politics, culture and philosophy. He is the winner of many international literary prizes, including the Man Booker Award for the best novel ("Midnight's Children") to win the Booker Prize in its first 25 years. Rushdie's most recent book is "Step Across this Line: Collected Non-Fiction, 1992-2002."
  • Power will draw from her most recent book, "A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction and National Book Critics Circle Award. "A Problem from Hell" chronicles the role of the United States in the history of genocide and asks a haunting question: Why do American leaders who vow "never again" repeatedly fail to stop genocide? Power also has a background in journalism, covering the war in Yugoslavia from 1993 to 1996 for US News and World Report.
  • Turow will comment on his involvement over the years with the issue of capital punishment. He is both a former prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer who has wrestled with the legal and moral questions the death penalty presents. He is America's most distinguished writer about the law and is a leading lawyer in his native Chicago, frequently involved with death penalty litigation. As a writer, Turow has approached the subject in fiction and nonfiction and has never found easy solutions to any of the issues posed. He is also the author of "Reversible Errors" and his latest book, "Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty."

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