Main 2014-2015 Calendar

Illuminating and expanding the power and relevance of the humanities, the Center’s events feature university faculty, as well as scholars, writers, filmmakers, and artists from around the world. 

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Past Events


Alfredo Jaar It Is Difficult

Humanities Without Boundaries Friday, May 1, 2015 @ 7:30pm Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Artist Alfredo Jaar discusses his current projects, and his long history of installations and public interventions that confront political violence, poverty, exploitation, and imbalances of power. More

Thierry Cruvellier and Alfredo Jaar Critical Witnesses: Thierry Cruvellier and Alfredo Jaar in Conversation

Special Events Friday, May 1, 2015 @ 10:00am Chazen Museum Auditorium

Together for the first time, artist Alfredo Jaar and journalist Cruvellier will address the task of 'presenting the unpresentable' to which each has devoted his life's work. More


Thierry Cruvellier No Condition Is Permanent: Living in the Extreme in Sierra Leone

Humanities Without Boundaries Thursday, April 30, 2015 @ 7:30pm Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L160

The only journalist to attend all of the post-Cold War international tribunals, Thierry Cruvellier spent 16 years covering war crimes trials for Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, and Cambodia More

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Paramount Records The Rise and Fall and Rise of Paramount Records

Special Events Thursday, April 23, 2015 @ 12:00am Multiple Locations

Three days of music, conversation, and hands-on workshops marking the release of Third Man and Revenant records' box set of American music from Paramount Records. More

Debjani Ganguly Real Virtualities and the Undead Genre: The Novel in Our Time

Special Events Monday, April 13, 2015 @ 5:30pm Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L140

Debjani Ganguly’s current work focuses on literary globalism in the new millennium, in particular on the post-1989 world Anglophone novel with a focus on transnational works dealing with the global immanence of terror, warfare and genocide. More

Winnifred Sullivan Spiritual Governance: The Chaplain as Priest of the Secular

Special Events Thursday, April 9, 2015 @ 5:30pm University Club, Room 313 (432 E. Campus Mall)

This talk explores how chaplaincy works in the United States--and in particular how it sits uneasily at the intersection of law and religion, spiritual care, and government regulation.  More

Debjani Ganguly Global Humanities and the Problem of the 'Public': An Antipodean Perspective

Special Events Wednesday, April 8, 2015 @ 4:00pm University Club Building, Room 313

Debjani Ganguly will address the political economy of the global in the way that it impacts the functioning of humanities in contemporary Australia. More

Ta-Nehisi Coates An Evening with Ta-Nehisi Coates

Humanities Without Boundaries Tuesday, April 7, 2015 @ 7:30pm Shannon Hall, Wisconsin Union Theater

Dubbed “the young James Joyce of the hip hop generation,” Coates’ sharp, elegant prose delves into the state of black America today with insight and clarity. More


Rousseau’s Confessions in Wisconsin Student Conference Great World Texts Student Conference

Special Events Wednesday, March 25, 2015 @ 8:30am Varsity Hall at Union South

A day-long conference with a public keynote by Danielle S. Allen at 11:00am. More

Danielle S. Allen Our Declaration: In Defense of Equality

Humanities Without Boundaries Tuesday, March 24, 2015 @ 7:30pm Shannon Hall, Wisconsin Union Theater

Danielle S. Allen is a MacArthur Award-winning classicist and political theorist who examines issues of contemporary citizenship and argues for the importance of connecting people across racial, socioeconomic, educational and religious divides. More

World Records and Vernaculars of the Global Midwest

Special Events Thursday, March 19, 2015 @ 1:00pm

The 2015 World Records Symposium will delve into the ways diverse Midwestern communities used early broadcasting technology to support local and traditional languages, cultures, and music. The 2015 Symposium (March 19, 2015) will meet in conjunction with the Vernaculars of the Global Midwest (March 19-20, 2015).  More

Julia Reinhard Lupton Design and the Public Humanities

Special Events Friday, March 13, 2015 @ 12:00pm Banquet Room, University Club Building

Shakespeare scholar and DIY designer Julia Lupton talks about the role of branding, story-telling, and a girl named Helvetica in humanities scholarship, teaching, advocacy, and creative life. More

Opening Celebration for Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today Lecture and Preview Reception

Special Events Thursday, March 5, 2015 @ 5:30pm Chazen Museum of Art


Confronting Campus Rape Confronting Campus Rape

Humanities NOW Monday, March 2, 2015 @ 5:30pm H.F. Deluca Forum, Discovery Building

Our panelists re-frame the national debate about campus sexual assault through the lens of feminist philosophy, legal theory, and studies of sexuality and power. More


Tejumola Olaniyan Enchantings: On Modernity, Culture, and the State in Postcolonial Africa

Focus on Humanities Wednesday, February 18, 2015 @ 5:30pm Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L140

Tejumola Olaniyan will tell a cultural history of African politics, and a political history of African culture that re-frames our understanding of the modern state. More

Laura Anderson Barbata Public Humanities Seminar: Art in the Social Realm

Special Events Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 4:00pm Room 313, University Club Building

Barbata will focus on collaboration, local and broad-based community engagement, and the role of the arts in public discourse and social change. More


Ferguson in Context Ferguson in Context: Trauma, Violence, and Citizenship

Humanities NOW Wednesday, December 17, 2014 @ 5:30pm H.F. Deluca Forum, Discovery Building

UW faculty reflect on the role of gender, trauma, and resistance in our understanding of recent events. More

Alain Badiou and Frédéric Neyrat Mise-en-Scène: A Conversation with Alain Badiou and Frédéric Neyrat

Special Events Thursday, December 11, 2014 @ 4:00pm 140 Science Hall

Philosophers Alain Badiou and Frédéric Neyrat host a conversation about the affects at stake in art, politics, and philosophy. More

Alain Badiou (Open Seminar) Havens Center Open Seminar with Alain Badiou

Special Events Thursday, December 11, 2014 @ 12:20pm 8180 Social Sciences Building

This seminar with Alain Badiou will focus on his article, "The Communist Hypothesis" from the New Left Review. More

Alain Badiou The Ideological Structure of the Contemporary World

Humanities Without Boundaries Wednesday, December 10, 2014 @ 7:30pm Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L160

Alain Badiou bridges mathematics and psychoanalysis, poetry and politics to focus on how truth is produced and the conditions through which it emerges. This will be the second of two lectures on the relevance of philosophy in the contemporary world.  More

Alain Badiou Is Philosophy Able to Think The Present?

Humanities Without Boundaries Tuesday, December 9, 2014 @ 7:30pm Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L160

Alain Badiou bridges mathematics and psychoanalysis, poetry and politics to focus on how truth is produced and the conditions through which it emerges. This will be the first of two lectures on the relevance of philosophy in the contemporary world. More

Craig Werner For What It's Worth: Toward a New History of the Sixties

Focus on Humanities Wednesday, December 3, 2014 @ 5:30pm Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L140

Best known as a historian of American and African American culture, Craig Werner lays out a set of guiding principles for a new history of the nineteen sixties, a mythologized decade that is too often reduced to a set of contradictory ideological tropes. More


Anthony Grafton A Life in the Margins

Humanities Without Boundaries Thursday, November 13, 2014 @ 7:30pm Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L160

Anthony Grafton, eminent historian and pioneering scholar of the history of reading, explores how the material traces that readers have left in their books can be used to reconstruct the rich and complex experience of reading over time. More

Elizabeth Kolbert The Sixth Extinction: The Legacy of the Anthropocene

Humanities Without Boundaries Saturday, November 8, 2014 @ 7:00pm H.F. Deluca Forum, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 North Orchard Street

Elizabeth Kolbert weaves field reporting with intellectual and natural history to describe a mass extinction brought about by humankind that is changing the future of life on this planet. More

William P. Jones (Chicago Humanities Festival) I Have a Dream: The Forgotten History of Civil Rights

Special Events Saturday, November 8, 2014 @ 10:30am UIC Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Rd. (MC 126) Chicago‚ IL 60608

Historian William P. Jones restores the March on Washington to its full significance by hilighting the leadership of A. Philip Randolf and Bayard Rustin and uncovering the inextricable links between the civil rights movement and the cause of economic justice. More

B. Venkat Mani (Chicago Humanities Festival) The Global Book

Special Events Sunday, November 2, 2014 @ 4:00pm The Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street, Chicago, IL

German scholar B. Venkat Mani Mani makes a case for world literature as a politically charged construct, and proposes the notion of Bibliomigrancy to describe the ever-wider global circulation of texts, from the age of enlightenment to the Amazon Kindle. More


Holland Cotter Found in Translation

Special Events Thursday, October 30, 2014 @ 6:00pm Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L160

Pulitzer prize-winning art critic, Holland Cotter argues that contemporary art in the United States is in an isolationist phase despite the large amount of interesting work being produced in new “languages” all over the world. More

Shiza Shahid Go Big Read Keynote Presentation for I Am Malala

Special Events Monday, October 27, 2014 @ 7:00pm Varsity Hall at Union South

One of Time Magazine's 30 under 30 World Changers in 2013, Shiza Shahid is visionary co-creator and CEO of the Malala Fund, a non-profit dedicated to advocacy, storytelling, and the funding of local entrepreneurs in areas where girls don't have access to education. More

Linda Gordon and Astrid Henry Feminism Unfinished

Special Events Saturday, October 18, 2014 @ 3:00pm Madison Public Library, Central Branch; Community Room (Third Floor)

Providing an important corrective to simplistic, de-politicized narratives of feminist history, Gordon and Henry present a rich account of collective action and feminist activism across divides of class, race, and difference from the 1920's to the present day. More

Jordan Ellenberg How Not to Be Wrong

Special Events Thursday, October 16, 2014 @ 5:30pm Madison Public Library, Central Branch; Community Room (Third Floor)

Theoretical mathematician Jordan Ellenberg makes the case that math is inherently connected to the way we think as we go about our daily lives, from politics and theology to language, and beyond. In this lecture he talks about mathematical and humanistic views about uncertainty and contradiction. More

Saidiya Hartman A Serial Biography of the Wayward

Nellie Y. McKay Thursday, October 9, 2014 @ 7:30pm Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L140

A scholar of African American and American literature and cultural history, slavery, law, literature, and performance, Saidiya Hartman examines the social upheaval and radical transformation of everyday life that took place in the slums in the years between 1890-1920. More


Edmund White and Michael Carroll A Conversation with Edmund White and Michael Carroll

Humanities Without Boundaries Monday, September 22, 2014 @ 7:30pm Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L160

Luminary writer, self-described “archaeologist of gossip," and Princeton Professor, Edmund White joins his husband, author Michael Carroll, in a conversation about their work and the state of gay writing today More