Anne-Marie Slaughter, Natasha Trethewey, and More to Headline Chicago Humanities Summit

Anne-Marie Slaughter, Natasha Trethewey, and More to Headline Chicago Humanities Summit
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Natasha Trethewey, Suzanne Nossel, David Cole, and Robert Zimmer headline Chicago Humanities Summit on "Speech and Privilege"

3 panels Saturday, July 29 at Fourth Presbyterian Church

Presented in collaboration with the Humanities Without Walls Consortium On Saturday, July 29th, the Chicago Humanities Festival will host its second Humanities Summit, a daylong conversation series titled "Speech and Privilege" at the Gratz Center of Fourth Presbyterian Church (126 E Chestnut St). The Summit will bring together a wide variety of experts from both the public sector and academic sphere including President and CEO of the New America Foundation Anne-Marie Slaughter, two-time Poet Laureate of the United States Natasha Trethewey, PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel, American Civil Liberties Union National Legal Director David Cole, and University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer.

Whether we consider "flame wars" in the Twitterverse, the changing face of campus dissent, or the moral authority of works of imagination, what counts as acceptable free expression is more contested than ever.

"Everywhere you look these days, expression is tested against issues of privilege," says CHF Artistic Director Jonathan Elmer. "Should all speech that wounds others be protected? Are universities privileged locations for the open exploration of difficult and painful histories and ideas? To what extent should writers and artists concern themselves with issues of "cultural appropriation"? It seems that older norms of free speech are being contested and reshaped in momentous ways today, and we thought CHF should take a good hard look. How we speak, How we speak, dissent, and imagine-in universities and in public-are issues central to the mission of the humanities."

The day's events will be divided into three parts - one session focusing on the issues of speech and privilege on college and university campuses, another focusing on speech and privilege in the realm of the creative imagination and expression, and a final session on the state of free speech today in law and policy. There will be ample time for discussion with both the presenters as well as other attendees.
Additional presenters include Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed, who will moderate a panel discussion featuring Northwestern University Provost Jonathan Holloway (formerly Dean of the undergraduate Yale College), Professor Allison Stanger of Middlebury College, and Johns Hopkins Bioethics Masters Student Cameron Okeke, who has written passionately about speech and diversity on college campuses. CHF Associate Artistic Director Alison Cuddy, who leads the CHF's partnership with the Humanities Without Walls consortium, will also moderate a panel.

The afternoon will serve as a capstone to Humanities Without Walls, a three-week professional development program co-presented by the Chicago Humanities Festival and Humanities Without Walls Consortium, directed and led by Cuddy, which provides 30 humanities PhD students from around the country the opportunity to explore and prepare for diverse careers, using Chicago as a classroom.

"HWW reflects CHF's core commitment to the relevance of the humanities to the broader world, and especially their usefulness as a tool for professional development, for academics and others emerging leaders across professions," Cuddy says.

Admission to the Humanities Summit is free. A RSVP is required and space will be limited. To RSVP and learn more, visit
About the Chicago Humanities Festival At Chicago Humanities Festival, we believe that humanity thrives when people gather, connect and open themselves to ideas that go beyond their individual experience. That's why for more than 28 years, CHF has been curating live events that allow audiences to connect with thinkers--both established and emerging--and see the world differently.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Phillip Bahar, Thoma Artistic Director Jonathan Elmer, and Associate Artistic Director Alison Cuddy, CHF is one of Chicago's most vibrant civic institutions. Join us and celebrate the social life of ideas.
About Humanities Without Walls Since 2012, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has supported the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with $7,300,000 in grants for the Humanities Without Walls consortium. The consortium aims to promote academic collaboration among the humanities centers of 15 major research institutions in the Midwest and beyond.

Consortium members include UIUC, Indiana University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Penn State University, Purdue University, University of Chicago,University of Illinois at Chicago,University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, University of Notre Dame, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Visit for more information.

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