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May 15, 2006
Contact: Victor Bailey, Hall Center for the Humanities, (785) 864-7822.

Hall Center names Humanities Lecture Series speakers; Codrescu to start Aug. 28

LAWRENCE — National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu will kick off the 2006-07 Humanities Lecture Series at the University of Kansas in August, the Hall Center for the Humanities has announced.

The series also will feature Somalian author Nuruddin Farah, evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins, social and cultural historian Nancy Cott, philosopher and author Kwame Anthony Appiah and KU professor of Slavic languages and literatures Maria Carlson.

The series is partially supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and is free and open to the public. Each lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. All except Cott will participate in a public colloquium on the morning following their lecture. The dates and locations of each lecture are:

Andrei Codrescu

Andrei Codrescu

Aug. 28, Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union: Codrescu, the MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University, is a poet, novelist, essayist and screenwriter in addition to his work for NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Codrescu was born in Sibiu, Romania, came to the United States in 1966 and became a U.S. citizen in 1981. His most recent book, New Orleans, Mon Amour (2006) is a collection of short essays concerning the city that Codrescu has called home for a number of years. His other recent books include the novel Wakefield (2004) and a collection of poetry, It Was Today (2003). He is also editor of Exquisite Corpse, an online literary journal at www.corpse.org.

Nuruddin Farah

Nuruddin Farah

Sept. 12, Woodruff: Farah is considered one of the world’s great authors and is winner of the 1998 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Farah’s fiction often deals with women’s liberation issues in Africa and particularly his native Somalia. His most famous novel, Maps (1986), along with Gifts (1993) and Secrets (1998) comprise his acclaimed “Blood in the Sun” trilogy. Knots, his new novel, is informed by Farah’s own recent efforts to reclaim his family’s property in Mogadishu, and his experiences trying to negotiate peace among the city’s warlords. His lecture is supported by the Sosland Foundation of Kansas City.

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

Oct. 16, Lied Center: Dawkins is an ethologist — someone who studies animal behavior — and evolutionary theorist. A University of Oxford graduate, he is the first to hold the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford. He did his doctorate under the Nobel prize-winning ethologist Niko Tinbergen. Dawkins’s first book, The Selfish Gene (1976; 1989) became an international bestseller and The Blind Watchmaker (1986) won the Royal Society of Literature Award and the Los Angeles Times Prize. His other bestsellers include River Out of Eden (1995), Unweaving the Rainbow (1998) and A Devil's Chaplain (2003). His most recent book is The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution (2004). A new book, The God Delusion, will be released later this year.

Nancy Cott

Nancy Cott

Nov. 2, Woodruff: Cott is the Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History at Harvard University and Pforzheimer Foundation director of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Her work covers 19th and 20th century social and cultural history, focusing particularly on gender issues. Cott’s interests also include social movements, citizenship, political culture and legal institutions. Her books include The Bonds of Womanhood: “Woman’s Sphere” in New England, 1780-1835 (1977; 1997), The Grounding of Modern Feminism (1987) and Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (2000). Cott’s lecture is made possible in part by the Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lectureship Program.

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Kwame Anthony
Appiah

March 1, Kansas Union Ballroom: Appiah is the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University, where he also holds an appointment at the University Center for Human Values. He has written extensively on the philosophy of mind and language, African and African-American intellectual history and political philosophy. The author of three novels, his most recent books include The Ethics of Identity, published in 2005, and Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, published in 2006. This lecture is supported by Frances and Floyd Horowitz.

Maria Carlson

Maria Carlson

April 10, Woodruff: Carlson is professor and associate chair of Slavic languages and literatures at KU. She teaches Russian culture and intellectual history, 18th and 20th century Russian literature and Russian symbolism. Her publications include a book on Russian theosophy, No Religion Higher than Truth (1993). She holds a courtesy appointment in the history department and is the 2005 recipient of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages Award for Excellence in Post-Secondary Teaching. Her lecture, supported by the Friends of the Hall Center, will consider Russia’s search for identity after the fall of the Soviet empire.

The Hall Center’s primary mission is to stimulate and support research in the humanities, arts and social sciences, especially of an interdisciplinary kind, at KU. For more information, visit www.hallcenter.ku.edu, call (785) 864-4798 or e-mail hallcenter@ku.edu.

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