University of Kansas announces 2021-22 speaker series geared towards environmentalism

Kate Torline Gzo7asgj0gk Unsplash

We must protect the Kansas sunflowers. // Photo by Kate Torline on Unsplash.

On August 25, the University of Kansas unveiled its 2021-22 guest lecture series with an emphasis on humanity’s relationship with the environment. The series, titled “In Search of Harmony: The Humanities and Our Natural World,” takes a closer look at environmental sustainability in an era of climate change.

Guest speakers include humanities scholars and creative writers who specialize in the subject, which takes history, literature, philosophy, and religion into consideration. ”

Debates relating to the environment and questions of sustainability often center on work by scientists,” reads a statement from KU’s Hall Center for the Humanities. “Humanities scholars and creative writers have much to contribute to these conversations.”

Attendees can expect to hear from Amitav Ghosh, Lifetime Achievement award-winner; environmental historian Bathsheba DemuthRobin Wall Kimmerer, author of “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants”; poet and activist Alexis Pauline Gumbs; and Guggenheim Fellow Terry Tempest Williams.

Other speakers include author Clint Smith, professor Andrew Denning, writer Irin Carmon, pianist Emilio Solla, and Simone Marchesi, who will discuss Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” on the 700th anniversary of the Italian philosopher’s death.

Though the series is due to take place in person this fall, the Hall Center promises to keep an eye on news related to COVID-19. All events will be live-streamed via the Hall Center’s Crowdcast channel, and potential attendees can stay updated on Instagram.

Humankind’s relationship with nature has always been a fragile one—we feel lucky to have access to this group of insightful intellectuals.


Humanities Speaker Series

6:30 p.m. Sept. 14
Meet KU’s Authors
Andrew Denning, “Deep Play? Video Games and the Historical Imagination”

7:30 p.m. Sept. 21
Amitav Ghosh, “The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis”

Postponed; new date TBA
Clint Smith, “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America”

7:30 p.m. Sept. 30
The Emily Taylor and Marilyn Stokstad Women’s Leadership Lecture
Irin Carmon, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Women’s Leadership in Modern America”

7:30 p.m. Oct. 27
Bathsheba Demuth, “Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait”

7:30 p.m. Oct. 28
Emilio Solla, “The History of Tango Music”

7:30 p.m. Nov. 10
KU Common Book
Robin Wall Kimmerer, “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants”

7:30 p.m. Dec. 7
Simone Marchesi, “Imagining Dante’s Comedy Today: Using Art and Digital Technology to Re-envisage a Literary Masterpiece”

7:30 p.m. March 22
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, “Dub: Finding Ceremony”

7:30 p.m. April 13
Terry Tempest Williams, “The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks.”

Categories: Culture