Chicago Humanities Fest 2015 lineup includes Elvis Costello, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Salman Rushdie

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Claudia Rankine seems an obvious choice for this year's Chicago Humanities Festival: Citizens.
  • Claudia Rankine seems an obvious choice for this year's Chicago Humanities Festival: Citizens.

If you have access to a human cloning machine or a Time Turner (a la Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), you might want to call dibs on it now for the first two weekends of November. The Chicago Humanities Festival is back, and bigger than ever. This year's theme is Citizens, and 130 writers, thinkers, artists, scientists, philosophers, comedians, chefs, and musicians will be descending upon Chicago to discuss what it means to be an individual living in society.

Most of the events will be in and around the Loop and the Near North Side, but the festival kicks off with two October Saturdays of programs at Northwestern and the University of Chicago and concludes with the first annual Pilsen Day on November 8. The full schedule is available on the Humanities Fest website, and tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, September 14; tickets prices range from free to $38.

Guests include Claudia Rankine, the poet who wrote last year's National Book Critics Circle winner Citizen; Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me and the great Atlantic essay "Case for Reparations"; bioethicist Peter Singer; journalist Lawrence Wright, speaking about his new book on the 1977 Camp David accords; essayist and novelist Roxane Gay; chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Nigella Lawson; Wire star and activist Wendell Pierce; Jacqueline Woodson, whose memoir Brown Girl Dreaming won last year's National Book Award for young readers; former Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi; comedian Patton Oswalt; Elvis Costello; and Salman Rushdie, winner of this year's Chicago Tribune Literary Award.

The Reader will have much, much more to say about the fest in coming weeks—it's one of the best things in Chicago, after all—so keep watching this site for in-depth previews of the events we're most looking forward to.


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