Signature Lectures

  • Nora MclnernyMarch 25, 2021
    • “Keep your chin up.” “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” “Good vibes only.” These phrases, while well-intentioned, can teach each other to hide, even ignore the emotions we’ve deemed “negative.”
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  • Jane ElliottNovember 8 - 10, 2017
    • Are Americans conditioned to an ideal of racial superiority? Jane Elliott, the educator behind the famous "blue eyes, brown eyes" experiment, comes to ASU to help us to recognize, identify, and appreciate the differences on which power is assigned, and some of the ways in which we are conditioned to develop some of our self- perceptions and perceptions of others.
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  • Bobby Taylor:
    • With over 50 years in the music industry, Bobby Taylor has done everything from “discovering” The Jackson 5 to producing numerous hit singles; all in addition to recording his own work as a solo artist. Spend an Evening with Bobby Taylor experiencing his life, work, and music.
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  • Clyde Bellecourt: April 20, 2016 Memorial Union, Arizona Ballroom 
    • Clyde Bellecourt is a founder and Director of the American Indian Movement. He was a major figure in the occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973 and played a founding role in an ongoing Indian School System, Legal Rights Center and the International Indian Treaty Council.
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  • Ruth Pointer: February 11, 2016 First Institutional Baptist Church 
    • The Pointer Sisters entertained and brought joy to millions of fans around the world, but for Ruth Pointer, the journey wasn’t always a happy one. Learn more about her story in this evening of storytelling and song. A limited amount of VIP tickets will also be sold, which includes a reception, a signed copy of Pointer’s new memoir, Still So Excited!, and a reserved seat for the main event.
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  • Nikki Giovanni
    • Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and University Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech. She has been featured as a signature lecture twice:
      • Topic:  “An Evening of Poetry and Discussion” February 13, 2014- Mesa Arts Center 
      • Topic: “The Compassion, The Courage, The Challenge of Poetry,” October 7, 2011 - Katzin Hall
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  • An Evening with Riva Yares: April 24, 2013- Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4
    • Riva Yares is the owner and director of the Riva Yares Galleries in Scottsdale. She has curated major exhibitions for such artists as Arman, Milton Avery, Hans Hofmann, Yves Klein, Morris Louis, Roberto Matta, Jules Olitski, and Jesus Soto, among others. In addition to being the quintessential art dealer, author, and filmmaker, Riva is deeply immersed within the entire spectrum of the arts including theatre, opera, music, and literature. The Riva Yares Foundation is devoted to underwriting museum exhibitions, film restoration, concerts, publishing, and theatrical performances. Riva's philanthropic contributions are concentrated on the AIDS epidemic, including funding for the care of orphaned children living with HIV/AIDS in India.
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  • Rita Dove: April 12, 2012- Tempe Mission Palms Hotel
    • In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Arizona Humanities Council is proud to present Rita Dove as the keynote speaker for Sharing Words, Changing Worlds. Rita Dove will share poems from her most recent book, Sonata Mulattica, about a young mulatto violinist's encounters with Beethoven. Discussing the research that went into the book, she will reveal how she came to be uniquely suited to the task of rescuing the mixed race violinist George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower from the shadows of history, and how history comes alive through art. Rita Dove recently received the 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Obama. She served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1993 to 1995. Among her many honors are the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, the 1996 Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities and the 2006 Common Wealth Award. In 1996, President Bill Clinton bestowed upon her the National Humanities Medal. From 1981 to 1989, Rita Dove taught creative writing at Arizona State University. She currently is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.
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  • bell hooks: February 13, 2012- La Sala C Lecture Hall ASU West Campuso
    • bell hooks is one of the major cultural critics of our time. A specialist in race and gender issues in contemporary culture, bell hooks has transformed discussions of feminism, politics, and popular culture with her incisive writing. Author of over 33 books on subjects as diverse as writing, spiritual recovery, love, and teaching pedagogy—all through the lens of race, racism, gender, class, and sexism—bell hooks is one of the nation’s most important public intellectuals. Her work is described as “transformative,” “liberatory,” “revolutionary,” and “soul-changing.”
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  • Angela Davis: May 5, 2011- Neeb Hall
  • Sherman Alexie: February 7, 2011
    • Author, poet, and screenwriter. Topic: “People, Places and Stories”