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Chicago Humanities Festival


The final weekend of the 12th annual festival offers dozens of lectures, readings, and discussions by writers and scholars on the theme of "Words & Music," as well as theatrical and musical performances (see listings in this section and in Section Three). The following events take place at these locations: Alliance Francaise, 54 W. Chicago; Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; Chicago Historical Society, Clark at North; DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl.; First United Methodist Church, 77 W. Washington; Harold Washington College, 30 E. Lake; Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State; Kennedy-King College, 6800 S. Wentworth; Loyola University, downtown campus, 25 E. Pearson; Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo; National-Louis University, downtown campus, 122 S. Michigan; Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton; Northwestern University School of Law, 375 E. Chicago; Quigley Preparatory Seminary, 103 E. Chestnut; Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan; Saint James Episcopal Cathedral, Wabash and Huron; and Walter Payton College Prep High School, 1034 N. Wells. Programs are $5 in advance, $6 (if available and cash only) at the door, unless otherwise noted. Tickets are available at four locations: the Chicago Tribune Gift Store, 435 N. Michigan; the DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Pl.; the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton; and the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln. Tickets may also be ordered on-line at or by phone at 312-494-9509 (handling fees apply to Web site and phone orders). For more information call 312-661-1028.


Jules Feiffer

The Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, playwright, and author presents "My Life in Funny Times." Noon: Newberry Library.

"Legendary Bus Tour"

A tour of the south side's political, religious, and cultural landmarks. 1:30 PM: DuSable Museum.

David Gonzalez

The storyteller presents a "celebration of Latino culture." 4 PM: Walter Payton College Prep.

Wayne Miller

The photographer discusses Chicago's South Side, 1946-1948. 5 PM: DuSable Museum.

Neil Gaiman

The fantasy writer talks about the artistry of comic books, novels, and screenplays. 5:30 PM: Newberry Library.

"Interviews With Legends"

Historian June Patton converses with south-siders Timuel Black, Arthur Brazier, Abena Joan Brown, Margaret Burroughs, Allison Davis, Truman Gibson, Vernon Jarrett, Gerri Oliver, Wesley South, Dempsey Travis, and Charles Walton. 5:30 PM: DuSable Museum.

"Wine and Words"

Panel discussion with oenophiles

William Lebus, Ann Noble, and Joseph Spellman. 5:30 PM: Alliance Francaise.

David Gonzalez

The storyteller presents a "celebration of Latino culture." 7 PM: Walter Payton College Prep.

Pamela Knowles and Yusef Komunyakaa

Singer Knowles leads a "jazz odyssey" based on Pulitzer Prize winner Komunyakaa's poems. 7:30 PM: Saint James Cathedral.


"What Makes the South Side Distinctive?"

Columbia University political scientist Charles Hamilton, a former south-sider, heads a program with Charles Branham, Lerone Bennett, Adam Green, and James Grossman. 8 AM: DuSable Museum.

David Hare

The British playwright asks (and answers) "Why Fabulate?" 10 AM: Merle Reskin Theatre.

Jan Morris

The historian and travel writer discusses her latest, Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere. 10 AM: Newberry Library.

"South Side Arts and Literature"

Art Institute curator Daniel Schulman leads a panel discussion about the South Side Community Art Center. B.J. Bolden, director of Chicago State's Gwendolyn Brooks Center, talks about south-side literature with scholar Jacqueline Bryant and poet Haki R. Madhubuti. 10:30 AM: DuSable Museum.

Helen Dunmore

The British mystery novelist presents "Families and Secrets." 11 AM: Loyola University.

Ron Grossman

The Chicago Tribune staff writer tells how the city's landscape influenced writers such as Nelson Algren and Richard Wright. 11 AM: Roosevelt University.

J. Paul Hunter

The University of Chicago professor speaks on "Seeing Poems." 11 AM: Harold Washington College.

Nicolas Kanellos

The author and publisher of Arte Publico Press lectures on "A History of Hispanic Literature in the U.S." 11 AM: Alliance Francaise.

Francoise Mouly

The New Yorker art editor talks about the conception and design of the magazine's covers. 11 AM: Chicago Historical Society.

Girish Karnad

The Indian actor, playwright, and film director discusses his career. Noon: First United Methodist Church.

Jean Bethke Elshtain

The University of Chicago political philosopher discusses "Jane Addams's Dream of American Democracy." 12:30 PM: Newberry Library.

Robert Grossman

The political cartoonist shows slides of his work and talks about translating words into pictures. 12:30 PM: Loyola University.

Quigley Seminary Chapel Windows

Free guided tour. 12:30 PM: Quigley Preparatory Seminary.

Elizabeth Alexander and Kerry James Marshall

Poet Alexander and painter Marshall present "Words and Pictures in Dialogue." 1 PM: Harold Washington College.

Will Eisner

The pioneering comic-book artist and writer is interviewed by fantasy author Neil Gaiman. 1 PM: Harold Washington Library Center.

Lester Munson

The Sports Illustrated writer speaks on "Dunks, Double Plays, and Double Murders." 1 PM: Roosevelt University.

"Ourselves As Others See Us"

Panel discussion with international journalists Gintas Alksninis of the Lithuania Daily, Rupert Cornwell of the Independent, John Ibbitson of the Globe and Mail, Thomas Gorguissian of Al Wafd, Xavier Mas de Xaxas of La Vanguardia, and Arkady Orlov of Moscow's RTR TV. Chicago Tribune writer R.C. Longworth moderates. 1 PM: Northwestern University School of Law.

"Rhythm, Rhyme, and Repetition"

Storytelling workshop led by David Gonzalez. Intended for children age 6 to 12. 1 PM: Walter Payton College Prep.

Ahdaf Soueif

The Egyptian-born novelist and journalist talks about how visual images influence Western perceptions of the Arab world. 1 PM: Alliance Francaise.

Ian Beck and Helen Dunmore

Illustrator Beck and author Dunmore create stories with the audience. Intended for children age 6 to 12. 2 PM: Walter Payton College Prep.

Richard Christiansen

The Chicago Tribune theater critic talks about "Blanches and Stanleys I Have Known." 2 PM: Harold Washington College. A performance of Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire follows.

Geert Jan van Gelder

The Oxford scholar discusses the role of food in medieval Arabic literature. 2:30 PM: Alliance Francaise.

"How Books Get Written"

Panel discussion with novelists Jeffrey Renard Allen, Dennis Bock, Junot Diaz, and Dawn Turner Trice. 2:30 PM: Newberry Library.

Glenda Jackson and Studs Terkel

The Academy Award-winning actress turned member of Parliament and the historian and author converse on "A Look at Homelessness and Public Policy." 2:30 PM: First United Methodist Church.

Michael Barker

The copresident of Sony Picture Classics speaks on "Behind the Scenes of Independent Film." 3 PM: Chicago Historical Society.

"Illinois Voices: A Showcase of Illinois Poetry"

Susan Hahn, Li-Young Lee, Lawrence Lieberman, Haki R. Madhubuti, and Lisel Mueller read their contributions to the anthology Illinois Voices. Notable Illinoisans will read works by Gwendolyn Brooks, Edgar Lee Masters, Carl Sandburg, and others. 3 PM: Harold Washington College.

Scott McCloud

The author of Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics gives a slide lecture covering Egyptian wall writing to on-line comics. 3 PM: Harold Washington Library Center.

"Rhythm, Rhyme, and Repetition"

Storytelling workshop led by David Gonzalez. Intended for children age 6 to 12. 3 PM: Walter Payton College Prep.

George Roeder

The author of The Censored War presents a slide lecture on supressed military photos from the Civil War and both world wars. 3 PM: National-Louis University.

"How South-Side Deejays Influenced Culture"

Panel discussion with radio personalities Lucky Cordell, Cliff Kelley, Herb Kent, Barry Mayo, and Charles Walton. 3:30 PM: Kennedy-King College.


Houston Baker Jr.

The author of Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature speaks on "Chicago, the Great Migration, and the Blues." 10 AM: Chicago Historical Society.

Michael Chabon and Jonathan Franzen

The novelists share ideas and read from their works. 11 AM: Newberry Library.

Ben Katchor

The comics artist discusses his latest collection, Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District. 11 AM: Northwestern University School of Law.

"Parody and the First Amendment"

Panel discussion with legal scholars Wendy Gordon, Lucius Outlaw Jr., and Greg Pingree. Moderated by Chicago-Kent College of Law professor Sheldon Nahmod. 11 AM: National-Louis University.

"Poetry and Painting: The Inspiration Is Mutual"

Painter James Mesple and poet Effie Mihopoulos discuss the process of creating words and pictures. This event is free. 11 AM: Chicago Cultural Center.

Anthony Stones

The sculptor surveys portrait sculpture from the ancient Greeks to the present. 11 AM: Alliance Francaise.

"Words and Pictures Before Columbus"

William Burns of Peru's Allas University speaks on "The Lost Writing of the Incas"; Illinois Institute of Technology professor Jaime Moreno covers "The Art of Pre-Columbian Gold." 11:30 AM: Loyola University.

"Electronic Literature: Pushing the Boundaries"

Poet John Cayley and fiction writer Caitlin Fisher, winners of the 2001 Electronic Literature Awards, discuss the possibilites of E-lit with fiction-award judge Larry McCaffery and Electronic Literature Organization founder Scott Rettberg. Noon: Chicago Cultural Center.

Patrick Mason

The artistic director emeritus of Dublin's Abbey Theatre speaks on "Living It Up With Irish Theater." Noon: Chicago Historical Society.

Stephen Kinzer

The New York Times correspondent discusses his book Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds. 1 PM: Harold Washington Library Center.

Art Spiegelman

The Pulitzer Prize winner (Maus) talks about the evolution of comics. 1 PM: Northwestern University School of Law.

Junot Diaz

The Dominican-American writer reads from his stories. 1:30 PM: Newberry Library.

Jane Doonan

The children's book scholar speaks on "Art to Enchant." 1:30 PM: Loyola University.

Leonard Shlain

The author discusses his book The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image. 1:30 PM: National-Louis University.

"Marshall McLuhan Revisited"

Panel discussion with sci-fi writer Paul Levinson, physicist Robert K. Logan, and scholar Liss Jeffrey. 2 PM: Chicago Cultural Center.

Janet Malcolm

The journalist and biographer discusses her latest work, Reading Chekhov. 2:30 PM: Chicago Historical Society.

Paul Salopek and Jose More

Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune writer Salopek and photographer More present "Congo in Words and Pictures." 2:30 PM: Harold Washington Library Center.

Ian Beck

The children's book illustrator talks about "The Art of Illustration." 3 PM: Loyola University.

Alistair MacLeod

The Canadian novelist reads from his latest, No Great Mischief. 3 PM: Newberry Library.

Comics Panel

2001 Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) moderates a discussion with comics artists Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman, Ben Katchor, Scott McCloud, and Chris Ware. 3:30 PM: Northwestern School of Law.

European Union Literary Panel

Discussion with writers included in the upcoming European Union Literary Festival, including Edoardo Albinati (Italy), Oscar van den Boogaard (Netherlands), Gerhard Kofler (Austria), Michael Kumpfmuller (Germany), Amin Maalouf (France), and Benjamin Prado (Spain). 3:30 PM: Alliance Francaise.

Gina Nahai

The Iranian-born novelist reads from her latest, Sunday's Silence. 3:30 PM: National-Louis University.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Marion Ettlinger/Jessica Karman.

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