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Calendar of Events

Click a month below to see One Book events for the selected period.

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November February May


Essay Contest Deadline

One Book One Northwestern is awarding a $500 prize for the best essay of In less than 1,337 words (the length of the Declaration of Independence) or less by an entering first-year or transfer student on the question of equality. View the "Essay Contest" page for more details.

NU Votes - Voter Registration

NU Votes registers eligible students to vote or update their registration.

Wildcat Welcome

Wildcat Welcome is Northwestern's weeklong orientation for all new students (mandatory for both freshmen and transfer students). Wildcat Welcome discusses college transition issues, advising and course registration for your first quarter and provides an opportunity to meet your entire class.

Norris at Night Express Your Independence!

Open Mic to express your thoughts on freedom. You may also write messages on bags to be displayed in Norris Galleria. Free stuff will be given away and you can enter to win four tickets to Hamilton!

NU recognizes Constitution Day

In 2004, the federal government designated September 17 (observed September 16 in 2011) as Constitution and Citizenship Day. The federal holiday commemorates the signing of this key document more than 200 years ago at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.

Visit the website

Opening Celebration: William Blake and the Age of Aquarius

Join us for art, music, and dialogue to kick off the new exhibit, William Blake and the Age of Aquarius.

YOU WANNA BE IN "The Room Where It Happens!"

A listening gathering/discussion about "Hamilton: An American Musical" with Melissa Foster, Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre and Faculty-in-Residence of the Shepard-1838 Chicago Residential Community, and Caitlin Fitz, Assistant Professor of History. Space is limited; only NU undergraduates may register.

Ritual and Revolution: Janet Dees and Grace Deveney on Carrie Mae Weems

Join a conversation with the exhibition curator about Ritual and Revolution, a work of art by renowned artist Carrie Mae Weems on view at the Block Museum, which considers the historical human struggle for equality and justice.


MENA Monday: Toward an Oral History of the Syrian Uprising

How have Syrians lived the uprising and war transforming their country? What can their personal stories teach us about both tragedy and resilience?

Wendy Pearlman, the Martin and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern and a core faculty member of the MENA Program, will explore these questions in this presentation of her acclaimed new book, We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices from Syria. This program is sponsored by MENA.

You wanna claim "I'm not throwing away MY SHOT!"

A listening gathering/discussion about Hamilton with Jacob Smith, Associate Professor of Radio, Television, and Film and Faculty-in-Residence of Elder Residential Community; Caitlin Fitz, Assistant Professor of History; and John Haas, Lecturer in Theatre. Space is limited; only NU undergraduates may register.

MENA Monday: We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices From Syria

How have Syrians lived the uprising and war transforming their country? What can their personal stories teach us about both tragedy and resilience?

Wendy Pearlman, the Martin and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Associate Professor of Political Science and a core faculty member of the MENA Program at Northwestern University, will explore these questions in this presentation of her acclaimed new book, We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices from Syria.

This event is part of the MENA Monday Night series, a partnership between Northwestern's MENA Program and the Evanston Public Library aimed at expanding the public's understanding of the MENA region and fostering a forum for questions and discussion.

MENA Monday Night events are free of charge and open to the public. Professor Pearlman will also sign copies her new book, which will be available for purchase.

A Conversation With Samantha Power

Samantha Power served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013-2017 under President Barack Obama. Before that, she served on President Obama's National Security Council and was a senior adviser to then-Senator Obama's presidential campaign. Power began her career as a war correspondent for various publications before writing her first book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, which discussed America's role responding to genocide and won the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction. She now serves as a professor at both Harvard Law School and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Ambassador Power has been named one of TIME's '100 Most Influential People' in both 2004 and 2015 and one of Foreign Policy's 'Top 100 Global Thinkers' three times.

Power will participate in a conversation moderated by Wendy Pearlman, a professor of political science at Northwestern University. This event is sponsored by CTSS, GES, and the Department of Political Science.

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided

Diane Guerrero is an actress best known as Maritza Ramos on Orange Is the New Black and Lina on Jane the Virgin. She'll be talking about immigration.


Only incoming first-year and transfer students.

Love and Then Some: 1960s Protest and Liberation, Civil & Human Rights

Scholars from a range of disciplines perspectives will focus on the movement of the 1960s in the U.S., considering protest and liberation, civil and human rights.

Fall Quarter Community Dialogue

This event is co-sponsored by the Associated Student Government, and the session topics include support for books, freedom of expression, DACA, the travel ban, and Title IX. Food will be provided.

Tea, Women, and the Eighteenth-Century Concept of Civilization

Lynn Hunt (UCLA), author of Writing History in the Global Era (2014). Lunch will be served.


Only incoming first-year and transfer students.

The Complexities of Bullshit

Steven Lukes' (NYU) writing and teaching range over political science, political and moral philosophy, sociology, anthropology and the philosophy of the social sciences. Currently, he is working on a new edition of POWER: A RADICAL VIEW and on a book about the sociology of morals. Free and open to the public.

Carrie Mae Weems: Ritual and Revolution

Scholars will discuss Ritual and Revolution, a work of art by renowned artist Carrie Mae Weems on view at the Block Museum.

One Book Keynote with Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen is a Professor of Government and the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University, and Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America, Allen is the author of five books: The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000), Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education (2004), Why Plato Wrote (2010), Our Declaration (2014), Education and Equality (2016), and Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.(2017)

Chicago campus 
12:00 - 1:15 pm
Rubloff 140
Allen will give a keynote at the law school. Book signing to follow.

Evanston campus
4:30 - 6:00 pm
Ryan Auditorium
Keynote on the Evanston campus. Book signing to follow.

"A Fear of Too Much Justice"?: Equal Protection and the Social Sciences 30 Years After McCleskey

The Northwestern University Law Review hosts its annual symposium with legal scholars from across the country (including Reva Siegel, Paul Butler, and Jack Boger) for a discussion of social science and the ongoing fight for racial justice and Equal Protection thirty years after the Supreme Court's decision in McCleskey v. Kemp. Open to the public.

Democratic Judgment in an Age of "Alternative Facts"

Linda Zerilli is author of A Democratic Theory of Judgment (UChicago Press, 2016). She is the Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Robert Hariman is Professor of Rhetoric and Public Culture in the Department of Communication Studies. His most recent book is The Public Image: Photography and Civic Spectatorship (Chicago, 2016), coauthored with John Louis Lucaites. This year he is serving as president of Northwestern's Faculty Senate. 

Co-Presenters: Political Theory Colloquium of the Department of Political Science and Kaplan Humanities Institute.

The 2017-18 TRUTH Dialogues are a year-long conversation about knowledge crises and politics from humanistic perspectives, co-presented by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities in partnership with multiple Northwestern departments and programs.

We'll See You in Court: The Defense of Liberty in the Era of Trump

David Cole, ACLU national legal director, will discuss the role of civil society, and ultimately of all of us, in advancing and defending liberty in these perilous times. This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets reserved at beginning 9/25.

The Revolutionary Score

You've attended Hamilton - now is your chance to talk about it.

Danielle Allen's opening chapters of Our Declaration detail the many voices that cohere in the Declaration of Independence Jefferson's influences, interlocutors, and editors. In this hour-long One Book event, we'll apply a similar lens to Lin Manuel Miranda's Hamilton to explore the musical influences that cohere in its score. We'll wrestle with Questlove's spot-on question about genre (cited above) and, at a broader level, we'll ask: how do collaboration and adaptation complicate our ideas about authorship and authenticity?

NU students are invited to join Dr. Liz Kinsley for an engaging one hour event exploring the above ideas on Thurs., October 26, 7-8 pm, at Shepard Hall Engagement Center, Room B-25 (626 University Place). Fresh fruit, cookies, brownies and refreshments will be provided. Since space is limited, only NU undergraduates may register. Please register here.

I Can't Breathe: Matt Taibbi

Best-selling polemic journalist Matt Taibbi comes to CHF to explore the compelling story of the roots of Eric Garner's death, the grand jury, the media circus, the subsequent murder of two police officers, and the protests from every side. Join us for a riveting conversation on urban America, the perversion of its policing, and the racial tensions that threaten to tear it apart.


A conversation about personal and historical truths - how memories and experience embody and relay truth, and the role of fact vs. truth in writing history.

Natasha Trethewey (English/Northwestern) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former U.S. Poet Laureate. Carol Anderson is professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Nation's Divide. Leslie M. Harris is Professor of History and African American Studies at Northwestern and author of a number of award-winning books on the history of U.S. slavery.

No tickets are required for this event, but seating is first-come, first-served.


Empire and Independence: Experiencing Revolution

Felipe Fernández-Armesto is a leading historian of the Atlantic World and the Americas. He is the author of many books, including Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States. Fernández-Armesto will lecture about the eighteenth and nineteenth century wars for independence in Latin America and the United States.

This event is cosponsored by the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, and One Book One Northwestern.

Health Care and the Quest for Equality

Many disparities characterize current health care in the United States and across the globe. Those disparities impact life expectancy and quality of life and are linked to race, ethnicity, geography, socioeconomic status, and education. In an online panel hosted by Northwestern University School of Professional Studies (SPS), expert panelists will highlight strategies that promote equity and equality in health care and discuss the political, social, and economic challenges that stand in the way. This event will feature Arda Gucler, who holds a PhD in political theory from Northwestern's Political Science Department, Sarah Rodriguez, a senior lecturer in the Global Health Studies Program, and Mark Sheldon, Assistant Dean of Weinberg College of Arts of Sciences.

To register for this event, please send an email with your first and last name to Please indicate in the subject line whether you are a current student, alumni, or a member of the staff or faculty. Please note that space is limited and registration is required to attend.

This event is sponsored by the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies Master of Science in Global Health Program.

Nations within a Nation: American Independence, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Ideas of Equality

In this presentation, Assistant Professor, History Doug Kiel will discuss whether U.S. ideals of equality adequately address the rights of Indigenous peoples as sovereign nations of their own. Dinner will be served. RSVP required.

This event is cosponsored by Dittmar Gallery and One Book One Northwestern.

Originalism's Subject Matter: Why the Declaration of Independence is Not Part of the Constitution

Lee Strang will discuss whether the Declaration of Independence should be seen as a legal treatise. Lunch will be served, all are welcome. 

This event is cosponsored by The Federalist Society.

The Republic of Letters and the Empire of Pictures: John Singleton Copley and the Problem of Provincialism

Lecture by Jane Kamensky (Harvard U), author of A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley. This event is free and open to the public, lunch will be served at noon. There will be an informal meeting with graduate students at 2 pm in the lower level of Harris L27.

Levent Köker: Constitutionalism, Nation-State, and the Challenges of Diversity - The Case of Turkey

In the last thirty years or so, Turkey has made several attempts to change its constitutional and legal structure to comply with the necessities of what Habermas calls "equal treatment of cultures". A final and most comprehensive of these attempts was to replace the existing authoritarian 1982 Constitution with a totally new one. As recent events in Turkey have already revealed, however, this final attempt failed and the country is now experiencing a backslide into authoritarianism. Why did Turkey fail? The main argument of this paper is that, while Turkey enjoys a potential to go beyond the unjustifiable restrictions on recognizing diversity and opt for a post-national reconstitution, it fails to realize it because of the historically ingrained ideological and political contradictions stemming from "secularism [laicism]," "Islamism," and "Turkish nationalism".

Köker is a Turkish political scientist with expertise on political theory, democracy and law who participated in the writing of Turkey's 2007 draft constitution. This event is cosponsored by the Buffett Institute for Global Studies.

Northwestern Night at the Art Institute of Chicago

Students, faculty, staff, and their guests are welcome to a free night at the Art Institute of Chicago. Includes special tours based on the themes of Our Declaration. This event is cosponsored by Student Organizations & Activities.

Randy Barnett with Commentary by Andrew Koppelman

Randy Barnett will be on campus to discuss the Neil Gorsuch nomination and Originalism. Randy Evan Barnett is an American lawyer, law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and contracts, and legal theorist. After the talk Northwestern University School of Law Professor Andrew Koppelman, with provide commentary.

This event is cosponsored by the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

An Evening with Jessica Williams

A&O Productions, College Feminists, Multi-Culti and One Book One Northwestern present an evening with Jessica Williams, from The Daily Show and the podcast Two Dope Queens. The event will be a stand-up comedy show in Cahn Auditorium. Tickets are available for $5 from the Northwestern Box Office. Doors will open at 6:00 pm and close at 6:55 pm. 

An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe

Between 1846 and 1873, California's Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley uncovers the full extent of the slaughter. His deeply researched book, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History and other awards, narrates the chilling history of an American genocide.

Benjamin Madley is Associate Professor of History at UCLA. He is an historian of Native America, the United States, and colonialism in world history. His first book, An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873, was named a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, a 2016 Indian Country Today Hot List book, and a 2016 Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Title. True West Magazine named Madley the Best New Western Author of 2016. The book also received the Heyday Books History Award and the Commonwealth Club Gold Medal for Californiana.

Co-Presenters: The Center for Native American and Indigenous Research and Kaplan Humanities Institute

The Strange Career of William Ellis

Karl Jacoby will talk about his book, The Strange Career of William Ellis. A new story of the black experience in America through the life of a mysterious entrepreneur.

This event is cosponsored by the History department.

More than Mascots! Less than Citizens? American Indians Talk: Why Isn't the U.S. Listening?

K. Tsianina Lomawaima uses debates over the name of the American football team "The Washington Redskins" to explore why willful ignorance about American Indian realities are deeply entrenched and passionately defended.

This event is cosponsored by the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research.

Garry Wills

A moderated conversation about Wills' Inventing America and Lincoln at Gettysburg.

Indigenous Artists in Collaboration: A Conversation

Join the Block Museum for a conversation with four contemporary Native women artists exploring collaborative practices that unite artists, community and audience. From to participatory dance and collective narratives, to asynchronous poetry and public interventions each artist’s work upends the notion of art as a singular and finite production. Panelists include Rosy Simas (Seneca, choreographer and performer), Heid Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Chippewa, poet, writer and filmmaker), Andrea Carlson (Anishinaabe, visual artist), and Debra Yepa-Pappan (Jemez, digital multimedia). The artists will be joined in conversation by Kelly Wisecup, Associate Professor, Department of English and Bethany Hughes ( Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), co-founder of the Colloquium on Indigeneity and Native American Studies.

The discussion will be preceded by a 4PM reception with the artists.

This event is consponsored by Northwestern’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research.


No events.


Empires, Nations, and Families: A New History of the North American West, 1800-1860

Lecture by Anne Hyde (U of Oklahoma), author of Empires, Nations, and Families: A New History of the North American West, 1800-1860 (2011). Part of the lunch lecture series organized by the Nicholas D. Chabraja Center for Historical Studies.

FREE and open to the public. Lunch starts at 12:00 pm, the lecture at 12:30 pm, and the Q&A ends at 1:50 pm.

Opening of Sabba Elahi: Drone Stories

Through hand and machine embroideries, surveillance quilts, and text, Elahi continues her exploration of the surveillance and dehumanizing of brown and Muslim bodies domestically and in the global war on terror. Runs through February 11.

15th Annual Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights Presents: Paul Rusesabagina

  • Date: January 11, 2018
  • Time: 7:30 - 9:00 pm
  • Location: Harris Hall 107

NUCHR is honored to have Paul Rusesabagina as the opening keynote of our 15th annual conference “Do You Remember?”. Mr. Rusesabagina is a Rwandan humanitarian, best known for protecting 1,268 Hutu and Tutsi refugees in the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali where he worked as a concierge. His heroism served as inspiration for the Academy Award-nominated film Hotel Rwanda. Please join us to hear Mr. Rusesabagina reflect on the importance of memory in both his and human rights work in general. All are welcome to attend.

This event is co-sponsored by the Program of African Studies.

15th Annual Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights Presents: Carmen Perez

  • Date: January 13, 2018
  • Time: 5:30 - 7:00 pm
  • Location: Harris Hall 107

NUCHR is honored to have Carmen Perez as the closing keynote of our 15th annual conference “Do You Remember?”. Ms. Perez, Executive Director of The Gathering for Justice, is best known as a National Co-Chair for the Women’s March on Washington, which inspired over five million to march against hatred and prejudice. Ms. Perez also has an extensive background in activism and advocacy for civil rights issues such as mass incarceration, gender equity, violence prevention, racial healing and community policing. Please join us to hear Ms. Perez reflect on the role of memory in her work. All are welcome to attend.

Reception for Revolutionary Women

  • Date: January 17, 2018
  • Time: 5:00 - 6:00 pm
  • Location: One South, Main Library

Come join the One Book fellows and ambassadors and learn about the Revolutionary Women library art exhibit. At the reception food and drink will be served.

This is an informational art exhibit depicting several women who were revolutionaries in their times and in their trades. Danielle Allen’s Our Declaration, this year's One Book, speaks of the broad political and cultural changes that motivated the American Revolution. It’s about the meaning of the Revolution and what it meant to be a revolutionary. In honor of our female author, we have highlighted women from around the world who possessed the same trailblazing spirit as the American founders.

70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green Documentary

  • Date: January 18, 2018
  • Time: 5:00 - 7:30 pm
  • Location: Rubloff Building, Room RB 150, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Filmmaker Ronit Bezalel's 70 Acres in Chicago details some of the personal stories of the Near North Side complex. It was an urban dream that turned into a nightmare and its name was Cabrini-Green. Reception begins at 5:00 pm, documentary viewing at 5:45 pm, and the discussion at 6:45 pm.

Inside Chicago

  • Date: January 19, 2018
  • Time: 5:00 - 6:30 pm
  • Location: Norris: Wildcat Room & McCormick Auditorium

A series of short videos on Chicago’s racist history interspersed with short commentary by community leaders. Interactive, fast-moving educational program followed by buffet dinner in Wildcat Room.

Lift Ev'ry Voice

  • Date: January 19, 2018
  • Time: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
  • Location: Norris: Wildcat Room & McCormick Auditorium

Lift Ev'ry Voice will be an open mic dedicated to providing a "megaphone" for black Northwestern students' voices. Participants are encouraged to share up to ten minutes of a play, a song, a poem, a short film, a speech, etc. Submissions are now closed. The reception will begin at 6:30 pm in the Wildcat Room, followed by the open mic in the McCormick Auditorium at 7:00 pm. Email with any questions.

Chains on Chocolate

  • Date: January 20, 2018
  • Time: 2:00 pm and 8:30 pm
  • Location: Shanley Pavilion

Chains on Chocolate, a play by Elliot Sagay, investigates how slavery may have been molded into new forms throughout America's history. By touching different moments in history, the play aims to relate to the modern day through the lens of similar black men.

MLK Observance: Keynote with Charles Blow, Chicago Campus

  • Date: January 25, 2018
  • Time: 12:00 pm
  • Location: Thorne Auditorium, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Charles M. Blow, New York Times Op-Ed columnist and CNN commentator, tackles hot-button issues such as social justices, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control, and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Blow will give a keynote address on both campuses. Northwestern musical groups will perform. This event is open to the public and sign language interpretation will be provided.

This event is co-sponsored by the Feinberg Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

MLK Observance: Keynote with Charles Blow, Evanston Campus

  • Date: January 25, 2018
  • Time: 6:00 pm
  • Location: Ryan Auditorium

Charles M. Blow, New York Times Op-Ed columnist and CNN commentator, tackles hot-button issues such as social justices, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control, and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Blow will give a keynote address on both campuses. Northwestern musical groups will perform. This event is open to the public and sign language interpretation will be provided.

This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

  • Date: January 25, 2018
  • Time: 5:00 pm
  • Location: Buffett Institute, 1902 Sheridan Road

Join Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and the Northwestern University Political Union to discuss current affairs and politics in a Q & A format. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Political Union.

Reporting Truth: Jane Mayer and Peter Slevin In Conversation

What is the role of evidence and truth-telling in the midst of “fake news,” Twitter and “bots?” What are the difficulties of verifying fact and speaking truth in the Trump era? Jane Mayer and Peter Slevin will discuss the challenges of being a journalist when the media is under attack for bias in these tumultuous times.

Jane Mayer is staff writer for The New Yorker. She authored the book Dark Money about the conservative ascendancy in think tanks, academia, news media, etc. and the use of money to drown out political adversaries in U.S. politics. Peter Slevin spent a decade on the national staff of The Washington Post before moving to Northwestern, where he is on the faculty at the Medill School of Journalism. He teaches courses on political reporting and foreign policy, and next month will be taking graduate students on a reporting trip to Cuba. He has written extensively about Barack and Michelle Obama, as well as political campaigns and policy debates from one end of the country to the other. His portrait of Michelle Obama was a finalist for the PEN America biography prize in 2016.

This event is co-sponsored by the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and Kaplan Humanities Institute.

The 2017-18 TRUTH Dialogues are a year-long conversation about knowledge crises and politics from humanistic perspectives, co-presented by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities in partnership with multiple Northwestern departments and programs.

Artmaking Event: Witness Quilt

  • Date: January 31, 2018
  • Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm
  • Location: Block Museum of Art & Segal Visitors Center

William Blake recognized artmaking as a powerful tool to address the pressing social issues of his time. In this spirit, we invite you to experience his art and join Melissa Blount, Evanston-based artist and activist and creator of the Black Lives Matter Witness Quilt, to produce a new collaborative work of art. No sewing experience is required.

6:00 pm: Welcome at the Block Museum of Art
7:00 – 9:00 pm: Sewing Circle at Segal Visitors Center

RSVP recommended:

This event is co-sponsored by the Block Museum of Art.


Opening of Vinegar Tom By Caryl Churchill

Vinegar Tom uses a seventeenth-century witch hunt to condemn the past and present oppression of women. Caryl Churchill shows how marginalized women, who did not fit into the narrow social categories of the patriarchy, were often labelled witches for little reason other than their non-conformity. The play is striking beyond its historical setting in its depiction of women’s subjugation and repression.

Purchase tickets here.

The Declaration of Independence as a Source of Law

NU Law Professors Andrew Koppelman and Steven Calabresi, a co-founder and current Chairman of the Federalist Society, will discuss the Declaration as a legal document.

The Declaration of Independence: An American Dilemna Revisited

Dr. Reggie Williams is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary. His book Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance (2014) was selected as A Choice Outstanding Title in 2015, in the field of religion. The book is an analysis of the influence of exposure to Harlem Renaissance thought and worship at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist on the German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer during his year of post-doctoral study at Union Seminary in New York, 1930-31.

This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

Continuing and Professional Education in Service of Democracy

Continuing education has long served the needs of democracy, from early 20th century efforts to produce an educated and skilled citizenry to current innovations in online learning that continue to push the boundaries of access while promoting new ways of learning. This panel presentation will include faculty who discuss the history and future directions of continuing education, as well as students who will address the transformative power of such education within the context of their own lives. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies. To register for this event, please send an email with your first and last name to If you are a current student or alumni, please indicate this along with the name of your current or former program in the subject headline of your email. Please note that space is limited and registration is required to attend.

If you were unable to attend the event but still interested in listening, please click here for an audio recording of the event.

Opening of Ricardo Lewis: (In)Visible Men

(In)Visible Men is a portrait series focused on Black males and the attempt to bring visibility to a social group that has been historically marginalized. The portraits address the aesthetic of the Black male as a subject neglected as art while challenging the issues of socialization as stereotype and sometimes misunderstanding. Runs through March 22.

Race and the Founding of the United States

A conversation about Race and the Founders, moderated by Northwestern’s History Professor Leslie Harris, Annette Gordon-Reed of Harvard Law School, and History Professor Erica Armstrong Dunbar of Rutgers.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Kreeger Wolf Endowment in Weinberg College.

Unbound Citizens: Localities and Refugee Settlement

In the face of the worst refugee crisis since WWII, some communities have responded with #refugeeswelcome, while others have institutionalized the principle of “not in our backyard” with legal restrictions and criminalization of those who provide support to refugees. Professor Galya Ben-Arieh presents a constitutional ethnography that provides insight into the ways in which local communities operationalize legal rituals and invoke constitutional values and norms of what it means to be American in their response to refugee reception and integration. RSVP required, email to reserve a spot. Space is limited.

The Black Revolution on Campus

Professor Martha Biondi will talk about her book The Black Revolution on Campus, which demonstrates the critical linkage between the black student movement and changes in university culture, illustrating how victories in establishing Black Studies ultimately had a lasting impact on academic research and curricula over the past 40 years.

Biondi is a member of the Department of African American Studies with a courtesy joint appointment in the History Department.

This event is sponsored by One Book One Northwestern and the 50th Anniversary of the Bursar Office Takeover.

Student Trip to the DuSable Museum of African American History

The DuSable Museum of African American History is dedicated to the study and conservation of African American history, culture, and art. Free transportation and museum admission are provided. Please note that this event is now CANCELLED.

This event is sponsored by Student Affairs.


Police Powers, the Anti-Slavery Movement, and the Origins of the Fourteenth Amendment

Kate Masur, Associate Professor of History, will explore the history of racism in American law, with an emphasis on antislavery activists’ challenges to discriminatory state laws and the origins of the Fourteenth Amendment.

This event is cosponsored by Kaplan Humanities Institute and Evanston Public Library as part of the Evanston Northwestern Humanities Lecture Series.


A Conversation with Roxane Gay

The Contemporary Thought Speaker Series and The Women's Center are pleased to welcome ROXANE GAY to campus on April 3 at 7:00pm in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall!

Gay will participate in a conversation moderated by Nitasha Sharma, an associate professor of African American Studies, Asian American Studies, and Performance Studies at Northwestern University.

Doors will open at 6:30pm.

While admission is FREE, tickets are REQUIRED for entry. Tickets will be available in-person at the Norris Box Office beginning Monday, March 11th at 12pm. Tickets will also be available on the Chicago campus on Thursday, March 15, 9am-1pm and Monday, March 19 all-day, at The Graduate School Office on the third floor of Abbott Hall.

Latin America and Human Rights Since the 1970s

A panel presentation on four different topics concerning Human Rights in Latin America since the 1970s.

Patrick Kelly (Buffet Postdoc): Sovereign Emergencies: Latin America and the Making of Global Human Rights Politics

The concern over rising state violence, above all in Latin America, triggered an unprecedented turn to a global politics of human rights in the 1970s. Patrick William Kelly argues that Latin America played the most pivotal role in these sweeping changes, for it was both the target of human rights advocacy and the site of a series of significant developments for regional and global human rights politics. Drawing on case studies of Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, Kelly examines the crystallization of new understandings of sovereignty and social activism based on individual human rights. 

Kyle Burke (NU PhD 2016, history, Chabraja Post-Doctoral Fellow): Private Wars in Central America

Gema Santa María (Loyola): The Inhumane Punishment of Atrocious Criminals: The Makings of Lynching as Justice in Post-Revolutionary Mexico

Latin America has witnessed an increase in the incidence of lynching during the last thirty years. This paper turns our attention to deeper historical reasons behind the incidence of this practice. Using post-revolutionary Mexico (1930s-1950s) as a site of analysis, Santa Maria discusses the importance that public attitudes and representations of crime had in construing lynching as an acceptable, just, even moral, form of justice in the face of “monstrous” and “unnatural” criminals. Understanding this recent past offers a window into the reasons behind the emergence of a Latin American citizenry that recognizes human rights as an entitlement reserved for “good” citizens but denied to atrocious criminals.

Christian Van Veen (Senior advisor to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights): Our Work in the Americas: Chile, Argentina, the United States

This event is cosponsored by the Latin American and Carribean Studies Program.

Hope and Fury: Toward a History of African Americans during the Obama Years

A conversation with UNC Professor Claude Clegg Lyle V. Jones Distinguished Professor; joint appointment in African, African American, and Diaspora Studies.

This event is cosponsored by the CAAH/CCHS Distinguished Lecture in African American History.

TAKE A STAND: An Intergenerational Storytelling Event

Prepare a spoken-word story about a time you, or someone you know, were willing to take a stand. Standing up for what we believe can take many forms - sitting in, marching, taking a knee, reaching out, speaking up.

If you are a current student, and would like to tell your story, sign up. The night of the event, 4 student names and 4 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) member names will be selected from a hat. If you are not present when your name is called, another name will be selected. The story you tell must be true. It must be on theme. It must have stakes. It must be your story to tell, 5-8 minutes. You are not allowed to read from a page or reference notes. Please sign up here.

Opening of Hank Willis Thomas: Unbranded

Called “America’s Great Protest Artist” by The Guardian, Hank Willis Thomas (American, b. 1976) has consistently explored American consumer culture, particularly as it relates to African-American subjects. His projects often appropriate imagery drawn from advertising campaigns to investigate the subtle and not so subtle ways in which this influential imagery reproduces and reinforces ideas about race and race relations. This exhibition, which features selections from two bodies of work, the 2005-08 series Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America and the 2015 series Unbranded: A Century of White Women 1915-2015, offers a unique opportunity to explore the ways in which Thomas interrogates images and allows for a nuanced contemplation of the interrelated construction of narratives about race, gender, and class though the vehicle of advertising.

Runs through August 12.

Arts Circle - Arts on Equality

Arts Circle convenes a day of artist responses to the One Book theme of equality. Northwestern scholars and artists, including artists-in-residence and guests, present dance, spoken word, theater and song exploring the concept and lived experience of equality. This Arts Day complements the opening of the Block museum’s spring exhibition of work by Hank Willis Thomas.

Back to the Future? Tunisia's Democratic Constitutional Order Under Threat

The adoption of Tunisia's 2014 constitution has been widely celebrated as a major achievement of the North African country's 2011 revolution. Four years later, however, the forces of Tunisia's ancient régime threaten the new constitutional order and the ongoing democratization process. This talk will examine the highly-touted successes and the lesser-known setbacks of the Tunisian Revolution.

Nadia Marzouki is Research Fellow at the Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization at Yale Law School and a Research Fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. Her work examines public controversies about Islam in Europe and the United States and debates about religious freedom and democratization in North Africa.

When Law is Not Enough: Controversies Over Muslim Rights in the U.S.

Disputes over the scope of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution have played a central role in contemporary debates about Islam in the United States. Through an analysis of current controversies over the construction of mosques, Sharia law and the Trump Administration's proposed travel ban, this talk will suggest that the Islamophobia expressed by many anti-Muslim activists reveals a form of liberal "democraphobia". If these disputes express a deep divide about the Constitution and the limits of who can be considered American, what, then, is the power of law and U.S. courts to counter anti-Muslim bigotry and negative perceptions of Islam?

Nadia Marzouki is Research Fellow at the Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization at Yale Law School and a Research Fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris.

How Politics is Undermining the American Dream

Yale Professor Jacob S. Hacker will examine how our political system affects the well-being and potential of ordinary Americans. As an expert on the politics of U.S. health and social policy, his work focuses in particular on economic insecurity and inequality which he regards as the great economic challenges of our day, and to the performance of our democracy.

Viscardo y Guzmán, and the People’s Emancipation

Through a reading of the Letter Addressed to Spanish-Americans [Carta Dirigida a los Españoles de América] by Viscardo y Guzmán, Dardo Scavino, Professor at Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, will
demonstrate why this political manifesto written in 1791 is one of the first modern texts in which the idea appears that a people can become emancipated.

Presented in both English and Spanish.

Hillel Presents: "The Virtue of Thinking Different"

Join us for Northwestern Hillel's 3rd Annual Jordan and Jean Nerenberg Family Foundation Speaker Event. This year, we will present dynamic New York Times columnists Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss in a lively conversation about free speech, challenging discourse, and the future of American democracy. Their conversation will be moderated by noted author and journalist​ (and NU parent and Hillel Board member)​ Abigail Pogrebin, with Q & A to follow.

This event is free and open to Northwestern students, staff, faculty, and members of the Northwestern community.


Panel on Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society

Come hear a panel of distinguished social scientists from a variety of disciplines discuss
and interact with Glen Weyl about the provocative and original ideas presented in his new
book (co-authored with Eric Posner) entitled Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and
Democracy for a Just Society.

Evolution to Revolution: 50th Commemoration of the Bursar Takeover

This interactive exhibit presents the story of the 1968 takeover of the Bursar's Office by African American Northwestern students. This exhibit, curated by alum Lauren Lowery, is co-sponsored by Norris Center, NUBAA (Northwestern University Black Alumni Association) and University Archives.

Reinventing the Wheel: Constitutions as Iterative Documents

Constitutions are often seen — and present themselves — as moments of creation. But in fact, most states writing constitutions are hardly doing so for the first time and nothing is a better predictor of what a constitution will include than what the last one did. How does understanding constitution writing as an iterative process change how we view constitutional documents and processes? Focusing on religious provisions in Arab constitutions, Nathan Brown will show that the sharp line between constitutional moments and normal politics can be both exaggerated and misstated when the iterative nature of constitutional documents is neglected.

This event is cosponsored by the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, the Department of Political Science, and the Department of Middle East and North African Studies.

Religious Freedom in Arab States: Who Is Free and What Are They Free to Do?

Most Arab states have an official religion and make some provisions for religious law in some areas. But they also proclaim religious freedom. To what extent, and in what ways, are these two sets of commitments — seemingly very much in tension — met in practice?

Nathan Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University, will address these and related questions in this free program presented in partnership with the Evanston Public Library and One Book One Northwestern.

This event is cosponsored by the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, the Department of Political Science, and the Department of Middle East and North African Studies.

Declarations of Dependence: Impaired Veterans and Disability Pensions after the Revolutionary War

Benjamin Irvin, a professor of history at Indiana University and Executive Editor of the Journal of American History, will tell the story of the establishment of Veterans’ pensions for soldiers injured in the American Revolution.

Instead of Redface: From the Stage to the Supreme Court

Law is based on narrative, and narratives come from the stories we tell ourselves. It is not surprising, therefore, that we live in a country where the highest court, the Supreme Court, still cites cases that declare American Indians to be racially inferior "heathens" and "savages" because our most prestigious theaters, on and off Broadway, still produce more plays that feature dehumanizing performances of redface than plays by actual Native playwrights. "Instead of Redface" is a movement created by Native artists to encourage American theaters to produce stories that are written by and feature actual Native artists. 


An all-female musical telling of the story of the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

Produced by Cairo Dye, directed by Kelsey Robins.

This event is cosponsored by the Women's Center and ASG Wild Ideas.

Politics Speaks: What Politicians Say About the Economy and How They Say It

How do political elites sway us? How do candidates convince us to support their economic plans?  How do politicians talk about the economy? This project explores the method and manner through which candidates and political leaders have discussed economic policy over the last 100 years.  Specifically, we ask three big questions: What do politicians say? How do they say it? And how does their audience influence these linguistic choices? Focusing on economic policy discussions from 1920 to the present, we present work examining the word choice, rhetoric, and arguments of U.S. political candidates and office holders. We then present a phonetic analysis of linguistic styles in a subset of presidential candidates, analyzing how politicians use socially meaningful features of speech in response to their audiences, and to convey particular political personae when talking about the economy. This work in progress combines machine learning, text analysis, and sociolinguistic methods to explore what politicians’ speech can tell us about how Americans see and understand the economy, and how politicians’ draw upon language to convey tailored political personae to the public.