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EIU Humanities Center




Tuesday, Feb. 12 @7pm: Iain Mathiesen, "Ten Thousand Years of Evolution; What Ancient DNA Has Taught us about Ancestry and Natural Selection in Europe" (The Lecture Hall, Doudna FAC)

Dr. Iain Mathiesen of the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine concludes EIU's 2019 celebration of Darwin Day.

Monday, Feb. 18 @7pm: Gaines Foster

 Gaines Foster

"Still Fighting the Civil War? How to Put Contemporary Controversies in Historical Context" (The Lecture Hall, Doudna FAC)

Dr. Gaines M. Foster of Louisiana State University presents EIU's first annual Presidential Lecture and the annual Barry Riccio Lecture on History as part of EIU's celebrations of African American Heritage Month.

Thursday, Feb. 21 @5pm: Third Thursday is the new Final Friday (The Brick House Grill, 920 W Lincoln Ave, Charleston)

FF Timer 2018

Join us for the same intellectual stimulation, the same informal atmosphere of jovial camaraderie, but at a new time and in a new space. Our Quality Speakers™ will regale you with flash stories about their insights, their research, or perhaps their community work in ways that will surprise you.

Want to know what's going on at EIU? Here's a fun way to find out.

Thursday, March 28 @6pm: "Freedom Summer & the Civil Rights Movement" (Booth Library, West Reading Room)

Join Charleston Middle School 7th graders as they share their research on the social history of the Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964. They place the Freedom Summer in the broad context of the Civil Rights. Presented as part of Black History Month.


Friday, March 29 @4pm: Final Friday is back, and now in The Penalty Box!


Tuesday, April 2 @11am: TJ Martinson, “Reading the Human Genome: Metatextual Bodies in the Age of the Gene” (Coleman Hall Auditorium)

EIU alum TJ Martinson takes some time away from his doctoral program at Indiana University to return to EIU as keynote speaker for the English Student Conference.

Wednesday, April 3 @5pm: Faculty Social (Booth Library, West Reading Room)

Share ideas about the Library and the new Faculty Reading Room. Snack and drinks provided!

Wednesday, April 3 @5:30-7:30pm: Asian Studies Colloquium (Booth Library Room 4440)

Asian Heritage Month continues with "Fighting for Faith? Religion and War in West Asia from David vs. Goliath to ISIS"



Scott SamuelsonT

Tuesday, Sep. 25 @6pm: Scott Samuelson, “Kicking the Bucket List: Death and the Art of Shining” (The Lecture Hall, Doudna FAC)

Scott Samuelson speaks to the big issues in the 28th Annual Phi Beta Kappa Lecture, inspired in part by his work teaching at a prison in Iowa. Don’t miss this “Philosopher of the People”!

Thursday, October 11 @5pm: Bethany Collins (Tarble Arts)

Bethany Collins, featured in the exhibition In the Eye of the Beholder, discusses her work and practice in an insightful public lecture.

Friday, October 12 @8am: Second Annual Making Excellence Inclusive Conference

The good folks at MEI have prepared a full slate of events, including the keynote by Dr. Denice Ward Hood: “Are you woke? Operationalizing Woke-ness in the Academy. 


Thomas Merton

Tuesday, Oct. 16 @12 noon & 4pm: Gregory Hillis, “Thomas Merton, Non-violence, and Dialogue: Remembering the Life and Teachings of a Radical Monk from Kentucky”  (Great Hall @ Pemberton at 12 noon) and “The Contemplative Life in the Age of Fragmentation: What Monasticism has to Offer” (Doudna Lecture Hall at 4pm)

Dr. Greg Hillis of Bellarmine University will give not one, but two keynote lectures on the life, works, and meditations of the theologian and social activist Thomas Merton. Lunch will be served, courtesy of the Newman Center! Co-sponsored by EIU’s Newman Catholic Center, CLAS, the Center for the Humanities, and the Provost’s Office.



Tuesday, Oct. 23 @4pm: Amber Clifford-Napoleone, “Queering Kansas City Jazz: Gender, Performance, and the History of a Scene” (The Lecture Hall, Doudna FAC)

Anthropologist and ethnomusicologist Amber Clifford-Napoleone (University of Central Missouri) will syncopate between ethnomusicology, anthropology, jazz, history, gender, and sexuality in a talk drawn from her latest book Queering Kansas City Jazz (U Nebraska, 2018). Co-sponsored by the Redden Foundation, the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, the Center for the Humanities, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

Jon McCourt

Thursday, Oct. 25 @5pm: Jon McCourt, “The Force of Argument is Stronger than the Argument of Force”(The Lecture Hall, Doudna FAC)

Community Peace Activist Jon McCourt of Northern Ireland will present stories from his eventful life, addressing issues of struggle, loss, division, polarization, hope and healing. McCourt will share personal moments and reflections that will bring Irish history together with global struggle and social change. Don't miss this opportunity to hear a unique voice!


Friday, Oct. 26 @4pm: Final Fridays @4! Faculty Talks (Top of the Roc’s, 410 6th St., just off the Downtown Square, Charleston)

18th Century Carousing

Join us for the first gathering of “Final Fridays @ 4!” (F2@4!), a forum for intellectual and liquid refreshment featuring lightning talks by three of EIU's stellar faculty, upstairs at Roc’s. Registering will help us plan, but no pressure. (Please note: this venue may be inaccessible for some. That is, there is no elevator to the second floor. Our apologies.) Co-sponsored with EIU’s Faculty Development & Innovation Center (FDIC). Our maiden voyage was co-captained by Bess Winter, Alan Pocaro, and Richard England who captivated the gathering of nearly 40 revelers with their spellbinding presentations!



Tuesday, Nov. 27 @4pm (rescheduled!): CC Wharram, “Immunity and Contagion: Living in the Age of Bio-Politics” (4440 Booth Library, Witters Conference Room)

The Center’s Director will help celebrate Booth Library’s Flu Exhibit by addressing the long history of bio-politics in his talk about the 300th anniversary of smallpox inoculation.

F2@4 logo

Friday, Nov. 30 @4pm: Final Fridays @4! Faculty Talks (Venue TBA)

After a well-received first Final Fridays @ 4pm gathering in October, we continue the celebrations with four new faculty speakers, upstairs at Roc’s! (Please note: this venue may be inaccessible for some. No elevator to the second floor: our apologies.) Co-sponsored with FDIC.


Tuesday, Dec. 4 @5pm: The  Bazargan Graduate Lecture in English

Christopher Hanlon, “Emerson's Memory Loss” (The Lecture Hall, Doudna FAC)

What happens in the personal and intellectual life of the most
famous American Transcendental author as he ages? What effects do such losses produce in his writing and in his thinking?

Dr. Christopher Hanlon (Arizona State University) focuses on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s late works, in which Emerson moved away from the autonomous and self-reliant mind and argued for the importance of connection and association.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Director: C.C. Wharram

Doudna Fine Arts Center 1343
(217) 581-3968

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