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Chicago Humanities Festival

The 18th annual Chicago Humanities Festival, which addresses global warming with the theme "The Climate of Concern," continues through 11/11, offering dozens of lectures, readings, and discussions by an international assortment of writers, artists, and scholars as well as film screenings and theatrical and musical performances at multiple venues around the city. Programs are $5 (a $2 surcharge may apply to purchases at the door). Tickets can be ordered by phone at 312-494-9509 or online at (Tickets for sold-out programs often become available due to attrition; arrive at the venue no later than 30 minutes before the program to buy available seats, to be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.)

Events kick into high gear this weekend; visit for a complete schedule. See our Music, Movies, Theater & Performance, Dance, and Galleries & Museums listings for more.

Among the highlights through 11/7: Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer (Stem Cell Research: The Ethical Issues) discusses the ethical dimensions of climate change in the Richard J. Franke lecture (Thu 6 PM, Northwestern Univ. School of Law, Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago). Authors and poets appearing this week include Ana Castillo discussing her new novel, The Guardians, about Mexicans who illegally cross to the U.S. looking for work (Sat 10 AM, Columbia College Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash); Diane Ackerman on The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story, about Warsaw Zoo director Jan Zabinski and his wife, Antonina, who sheltered hundreds of Jews as well as Polish resisters during World War II (Sat 10 AM, First United Methodist Church, Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington); National Book Award-winning poet W.S. Merwin speaks on "A Poetic Nature" (Sat 2 PM, Saint James Episcopal Cathedral, 65 E. Huron); physicist-author Alan Lightman reads from his novel Ghost in a program titled "Science and Faith" (Sat 3:30 PM, Columbia College Film Row Cinema); South African novelist Zakes Mda reads from his latest, Cion (Sun 11 AM, Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton); Chinese-born novelist Ha Jin presents A Free Life (Sun 1:30 PM, Roosevelt Univ., room 320, 430 S. Michigan); cultural critic Greil Marcus talks about The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice (Sun 3:30 PM, Harold Washington Library Center, auditorium, 400 S. State); E.L. Doctorow (The March et al) receives the 2007 Chicago Tribune Literary Prize (Sun 10 AM, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, $15); and Robert Olmstead (Coal Black Horse) and Orville Vernon Burton (The Age of Lincoln) accept the 2007 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prizes for fiction and nonfiction (Sun 1 PM, Art Institute, Michigan & Adams).

And on the lighter side, the editors of the Onion present Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition, which features "incorrect statistics on all of the Earth's 168, 182, or 196 independent nations" (Mon 6 PM, Northwestern Univ. School of Law).

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