Skip to main content

Northwestern Faculty to Participate in Chicago Humanities Festival

This is the first in a series of posts about opportunities for Leadership for Creative Enterprises students to learn about Chicago’s arts scene.


By Jacob Nelson

What do Patti Smith, Lena Dunham, Martin Amis and Wallace Shawn have in common? They will all be participating in this fall’s Chicago Humanities Festival, a program that fills the end of October to the beginning of November with a showcase of everything from theater to literature to foodie culture and movies.

The festival, which began in 1989, brings in an eclectic mix of people to discuss their crafts. Past presenters have included humorist John Hodgman, sex columnist Dan Savage and culinary mastermind (and Chicago’s own) Grant Achatz. The theme of this year’s festival is “Journeys,” and there are over a hundred events planned around it. The New York Times’ David Brooks will talk politics on Oct. 21; Roger Ebert’s widow will talk about her late husband’s amazing life and career on Oct. 25; and author Gary Shteyngart will talk about his newest book in Evanston on Oct. 25. And that’s just a few of the many, many presentations the festival is bringing to venues throughout Chicagoland.

Northwestern faculty will be participating in program throughout the Chicago Humanities Festival, some of which will take place on campus. For example, creative writing professor Eula Biss will have a conversation about her new book on vaccinations and motherhood with medical humanities and bioethics professor Katie Watson on Oct. 25 at the Jacobs Center on campus on Oct. 25. And theatre professor Harvey Young will discuss African American culture in Chicago on Oct. 25 at Cahn Auditorium. Tickets for students are discounted or, in some cases, free.

Click here for the full program.