A Chance to Attend Three Sold-Out Chicago Humanities Festival lectures

The Chicago Humanities Festival in partnership with the Newberry library and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago, is pleased to offer an opportunity to graduate students in history, literature, media, and related disciplines to attend three sold-out lectures.

Join Harvard law professor Annette Gordon-Reed, New York University professor Mara Mills, and Emory University professor Benhamin Reiss, for a day-long series of public lectures and small-group seminars at the Newberry library’s Ruggles Hall on Saturday November 5 from 10:00 am-3:30 pm. The event is an opportunity to interact with the visiting professors and network with fellow graduate students across disciplines.

Interested students should submit there full name, school and department, area(s) of research, and a question and topic you would like to discuss during the seminar to olivia@chicagohumanities.org by Friday, October 21.

Please see the following for full lecture details:


How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World with Benjamin Reiss 10-11 AM

What makes us work so hard to train ourselves, and our children, to sleep straight through the night in separate chambers? Cultural historian Benjamin Reiss uncovers the history of sleep, arguing that what may look like a natural act is actually one of society’s most rule-bound and tightly regimented activities.


Accelerating Speech: How We learned to Talk Faster and Faster with Mara Mills 12-1 PM

To maximize information transmission, speeded speech began to be employed in radio commercials and television shows, talking books for blind readers, and foreign language cassette courses. Media historian Mara Mills talks about what happens when the pace of speech is no longer controlled by the speaker and when words per minute surge across mass media.


Jefferson’s Imagination with Annette Gordon-Reed 2-3 PM

Anette Gordon-Reed won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, a chronicle of the family of Sally Hemings, the enslaved teenager in Thomas Jefferson’s household who bore his child. Her latest book “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination, written with Peter S. Onuf, is an absorbing and revealing character study of a man neither hypocrite nor saint, atheist nor fundamentalist.

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