Arts and Sciences Centennial "Life of the Mind" Series

During the Centennial Celebration, the College began presenting "The Life of the Mind" Series, a special series of public lectures and programs by a fascinating group of guests, representing a wide range of intellectual and artistic interests. Events like these are one of the hallmarks of great universities as civic cultural institutions, and one of our goals during the Centennial is to raise the funds to endow "The Life of the Mind" on a permanent basis.

All events are free and open to the public, though in some cases seating may be limited. Please join us for one or all of these exciting programs.
For more information on the "Life of the Mind" fundraising initiative, please visit: The Centennial Fund

Upcoming "Life of the Mind" Events

October 7, 2008: Phi Beta Kappa Lecture by Dr. Harvey Cox

"After Fundamentalism: The Future of Religion in America and the World"

Harvey Cox is Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard, where he has been teaching since 1965. His research and teaching interests focus on the interaction of religion, culture, and politics. Among the issues he explores are urbanization, theological developments in world Christianity, Jewish-Christian relations, and current spiritual movements in the global setting.

  • 6:00 p.m.
  • Speed Museum Auditorium
  • For more information call (502) 852-6490
  • This A&S “Life of the Mind” Event is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Kentuckiana, and the Speed Art Museum.

March 5, 2008: James McPherson

“Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief”

  • Dr. McPherson will deliver the Gottschalk Lecture in the Department of History on March 5, 2008.
  • James McPherson, Professor Emeritus of U.S. History at Princeton University, is the most prominent and respected historian of the US Civil War working today. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where he worked under C. Vann Woodward, he has published a variety of books on subjects related to the Civil War. He is most famous for his one-volume history of the causes and course of the war, The Battle Cry of Freedom, which won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1989.
  • Free and Open to the public.
  • More details: James McPherson lecture

March 6, 2008: Suzan-Lori Parks

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks will deliver the annual "Minx Auerbach Lecture in Women's and Gender Studies."

  • Thursday, March 6, 2008
  • 6:00 p.m.
  • Comstock Hall, University of Louisville School of Music

Past Events in the Life of the Mind Series

September 27, 2006: Annual Phi Beta Kappa Lecture by John Churchill

  • “Love of Learning is the Guide of Life” by Dr. John Churchill, Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society
  • Speed Art Museum
  • Wednesday, September 27, 2006 at 6:00 PM
  • See photos and read the text of Dr. Churchill's speech here: Churchill PBK Lecture

October 5, 2007: Art Spiegelman"Comix 101"

    • This special presentation by Art Spiegelman is part of the Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition: Conference Information
    • Strickler Hall: Middleton Auditorium
    • 6:00 p.m.
    • Art Spiegelman won the 1992 Pulitizer Prize for his masterful Holocaust narrative MAUS. His comics are best known for their shifting graphic styles, their formal complexity, and controversial content. In this lecture, Spiegelman takes his audience on a chronological tour of the evolution of comics.
    • Spiegelman's visit is supported by the Thomas R. Watson Endowment, the Commonwealth Center for Humanities and Society, and the University of Louisville's English Department and the College of Arts and Sciences.

October 8, 2007: Sena Jeter Naslund

    • Speed Art Museum
    • 3:00-5:00 p.m.
    • UofL Writer in Residence and Kentucky Poet Laureate, Sena Jeter Naslund reads from her latest novel, “Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette"
    • About the Author: Sena Jeter Naslund

February 23, 2007: Sherman Alexie

  • Sherman Alexie delivers the Keynote Address at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900.
  • 5:00 p.m. Speed Museum Auditorium
  • A “Life of the Mind” Event, co-sponsored by the Speed Art Museum
  • Sherman Alexie is the author of 15 books of fiction and poetry and of three screenplays, including Smoke Signals, which won many awards including the Filmmaker's Trophy and the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.For more on Alexie, please see
  • Alexie’s visit is part of the 35th annual "Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900." For more information on the conference, please see

March 23, 2007: Dr. Donald Kagan: "Creating The Ideal City: Pericles' Vision For Athens"

  • 5:30 p.m., Speed Museum Auditorium.
  • Donald Kagan of Yale University, Sterling Professor of Classics and History, and winner of the National Humanities Medal in 2002 is well known for his work on Greek political thought, the history of the Peloponnesian War, and his biography of the great Athenian statesman Pericles.
  • More Information: Dr. Kagan Lecture

March 28, 2007: Minx Auerbach Lecture in Women's and Gender Studies presents Katha Pollitt

  • "Are We There Yet?”-- Why Women Aren’t Equal Even If We Think We Are
  • Wednesday, March 28
  • 5:30 in the Speed Museum Auditorium.
  • Katha Pollitt, whose “Subject to Debate” column for The Nation has been hailed for its wit, style, and provocative analysis of politics and culture, will give the Minx Auerbach Lecture in Women’s and Gender Studies. She will sign her new book, "Virginity or Death! And Other Social and Political Issues of our Time" before the lecture which will be followed by an informal reception. The event will be free and open to the public.
  • Biography of Katha Pollitt:

March 29, 2007: Axton Reading series presents: Louise Glück

  • 2003 U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-Winner in Poetry, Louise Glück is writer-in-residence at Yale University.
  • Reading: 7:30 p.m., Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library
  • For information: Louise Glück Reading

April 4, 2007: Anne Braden Memorial Lecture by Julian Bond

  • On the 39th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination, Julian Bond will deliver the 1st Annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture. Bond's talk is titled "2007: A Race Odyssey."
  • 5:30 pm
  • Brown and Williamson Club, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
  • An A&S Centennial “Life of the Mind” Event

May 7, 2007: Royce Murray

  • 2007 Distinguished Lecturer in Chemistry: Royce Murray, Kenan Professor of Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • The Distinguished Lecturer in Chemistry is an annual event hosted by the Chemistry Graduate Student Association. For a list of past lecturers in the Chemistry Departments' Distinguished Lecture Series, visit: link
  • Location: Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library


October 11, 2007: Tony Kushner

  • The Life of the Mind Series presents Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Tony Kushner.
  • Thursday, October 11, 2007
  • 6:00 p.m.
  • The Spectrum, 911 South Brook Street


October 30, 2007: Ruth Faden

  • Dr. Ruth Faden delivered the 2007 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture
  • 6:00 p.m.
  • Speed Art Museum


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