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The image in the banner above and on our homepage carousel is a detail taken from hematologist and artist Deborah Glencross's "Multiple Exposure" (2015).

"Breaking the Silence" Discussions

Breaking the silence. One conversation at a time.

The Humanities Center at Eastern Illinois University invites members of the community to join lively discussions about dying and mortality in positive and empowering ways. We call these public conversations Breaking the Silence. Designed to foster a more death-positive culture, Breaking the Silence will help us better understand what it means to die in the twenty-first century. Through intense discussions with humanities scholars and writers who have thought deeply about death, we can gain greater perspective on our own questions and attitudes about the end of life.

Breaking the Silence take a proactive approach—one Community Conversation at a time—to thinking about death in a larger American culture that really doesn’t like to admit that death happens. The stubborn fact of mortality has the unmatched power to inspire fear. Yet it also has the unmatched power to inspire extraordinary creativity, contemplation, and goodness. We want to help each other understand the human condition. Regardless of how prepared or unprepared we are, regardless of what we believe about it, all of us will confront death.

Our intention is that Breaking the Silence will spark rich and ongoing discussions that help build community in the largest sense: we are all in this together, and who better to communicate our thoughts and wishes about dying than to loved ones, now and here, within our local communities?

Cost:         All talks are FREE and open to everyone. Don’t miss the conversation just because you’re hungry! We’ll provide free dinner foods and refreshments.

When:       6-8pm, the first Tuesday of every month, September – April, 2018-2020

Where:     Doudna Fine Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL



               YEAR ONE SPEAKERS: Fall 2018-Spring 2019

               YEAR TWO SPEAKERS: Fall 2019-Spring 2020