Cultural theorist and literary critic Sianne Ngai is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English at the University of Chicago.
Joy Harjo, Writer
Joy Harjo is the 23rd US Poet Laureate, and the first Native American to hold the position. She is joined in conversation by poet Craig Santos Perez to discuss her literary antecedents and pathbreaking editorial work.
Jill Lepore, Historian
Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at the New Yorker.
In his exploration of a watershed political year, Todd Gitlin unearths a "thrust toward retrogression" that stands in stark contrast to the popular image of 1968 as a politically progressive moment.
Joseph Leo Koerner, Art Historian
Joseph Koerner examines Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Delights — approaching the painting as a representation of a world without history and without law.
Christopher Bollas, Psychoanalyst and Writer
Christopher Bollas is the most influential psychoanalyst writing in English today. In his Avenali Lecture, he argues that mental pain should not be ignored, minimized, or suppressed through medication, but understood and embraced as a constitutive element of human psychic development.
David Shulman, Indologist
David Shulman, one of the world’s foremost Indologists, is this year’s Avenali lecturer-in-residence. Shulman has written capaciously on Indian thought and religion, language, poetics, theater, and aesthetics.
Eelco Runia, Historian & Psychologist
Avenali Chair in the Humanities Eelco H. Runia is a historian, theorist, psychologist, and novelist. He is the author of the 2014 book Moved by the Past: Discontinuity and Historical Mutation. Runia is currently in the Department of History at the University of Groningen and chair of the Centre for Metahistory.
Religion and the Art of the Novel
Author Marilynne Robinson is joined in discussion by UC Berkeley faculty panelists Dorothy Hale (English), Jonathan Sheehan (History), and Robert Hass (English) on the topic of Religion and the Art of the Novel.
Marilynne Robinson, Novelist
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson is a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her Avenali lecture considers the question of audience in the work of Shakespeare.