The 14th annual Chicago Humanities Festival, this year themed “Saving + Spending,” runs November 1 through 9, offering dozens of lectures, readings, and discussions by writers, artists, and scholars (see schedule below) as well as film screenings and theatrical and musical performances (see separate listings in this section and in Section Three). The following events take place at these locations: Alliance Francaise, 54 W. Chicago; Art Institute, Michigan and Adams; Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; Chicago Historical Society, 1601 N. Clark; Chicago Sinai Sanctuary, 15 W. Delaware; DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl.; First United Methodist Church, 77 W. Washington; Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut; Harold Washington College, 30 E. Lake; Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State; Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 500 N. Michigan; Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago; Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton; Noble Fool Theater, 16 W. Randolph; Northwestern University, Owen L. Coon Forum, 2001 Sheridan, Evanston; Northwestern University School of Law, 375 E. Chicago; Polish Museum of America, 984 N. Milwaukee; Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan; Saint James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron; Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted; Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan; Terra Museum of American Art, 666 N. Michigan; and Victory Gardens Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln. Programs are $5 in advance, $6 (if available and cash only) at the door, unless otherwise noted. (Some tickets may become available for sold-out programs; check at the venue 20 to 30 minutes ahead of time.) Tickets are available by phone at 312-494-9509, online at, or at the Tribune Store, 435 N. Michigan.


H.W. Brands

The historian (The First American) talks about “Benjamin Franklin: From Philadelphia Printshop to Paris Salon.” Chicago Historical Society, 10 AM.

Jonathan Coe, Emma Richler

British novelist Coe discusses Irish writer B.S. Johnson’s novel Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry; novelist Richler (Sister Crazy) covers “Family and Memory.” Alliance Francaise, 10 AM.

Stephen Darwall

The philosophy scholar (The British Moralists and the Internal “Ought”) examines “Adam Smith, Moralist.” Roosevelt University, Ganz Hall, 10 AM.

Alexander Garvin

The urban planner (The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t) addresses “The Value of a Great Public Realm.” Museum of Contemporary Art, 10 AM.

Elizabeth Johns

The art historian lectures on “Saving the Body: Eakins’s Portraits of Surgeons.” Terra Museum of American Art, 10 AM.

Jan Morris

The travel writer offers “The World: Travels 1950-2000.” Harold Washington Library Center, 10 AM.

Robert Dallek, Thomas Mallon

Historian Dallek (An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963) presents “John F. Kennedy: A Reappraisal”; novelist and critic Mallon talks about Mrs. Paine’s Garage: And the Murder of John F. Kennedy. Northwestern University School of Law, Thorne Auditorium, 11 AM.

J.S.G. Boggs

The artist lectures on “The Color of Money.” Museum of Contemporary Art, noon.

T.H. Breen

The Northwestern University historian discusses The Marketplace of the Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence. Roosevelt University, Ganz Hall, noon.

Shirley Hazzard

The novelist reads from The Great Fire. Harold Washington Library Center, noon.

Jack Miles

The Pulitzer winner (God: A Biography) presents “Can God Save God?” First United Methodist Church, noon.

Elizabeth Nuxoll, Charles Cullen

Nuxoll, editor of The Papers of Robert Morris, discusses “Robert Morris: Founding Financier and/or ‘Founding Finagler’?”; Newberry Library president Cullen covers “Thomas Jefferson: Both a Saver and a Spender Be.” Chicago Historical Society, noon.

Stephen M. Salny

The author of The Country Houses of David Adler reviews “The Architecture of David Adler.” Terra Museum of American Art, noon.

“Thomas Jefferson”

Great Books Foundation discussion on Jefferson’s letter “A Southerner on Slavery.” Northwestern University School of Law, Schachtman-Gordon Hall, noon. Sold-out.

Stephen Kinzer

The journalist (All the Shah’s Men) lectures on “Iran and the Roots of Anti-Americanism.” Alliance Francaise, 12:30 PM. Sold-out.

Garry Wills

The Northwestern University historian discusses “Negro President”: Thomas Jefferson and Slave Power. Northwestern University School of Law, Thorne Auditorium, 1:30 PM.

John Q. Barrett

The legal scholar gives a lecture, “From New Deal to Nuremberg: The Life of Robert H. Jackson.” Roosevelt University, Ganz Hall, 2 PM.

Walter Isaacson

The author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life talks about “Benjamin Franklin and the Invention of America.” Harold Washington Library Center, 2 PM.

Michele Roberts

The British novelist (The Mistressclass) presents “Doctored Texts.” Polish Museum of America, 2 PM.

Felix Rohatyn

The economist and financier offers “The Global View.” First United Methodist Church, 2 PM.

Juliet Schor

The sociologist (The Overspent American) talks about “Cleaning the Closet: Toward a New Ethic of Fashion.” Museum of Contemporary Art, 2 PM.

“Writing a Future for the American Theater”

Panel with Victory Gardens artistic director Dennis Zacek and playwrights Rebecca Gilman, Stuart Flack, Brett Neveu, Charles Smith, and Wendy Wasserstein. Victory Gardens Theater, 2 PM. Sold-out.

Maria Rosa Menocal

The author of The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain lectures on “Saving the Memory of Al-Andalus.” Alliance Francaise, 2:30 PM. Sold-out.

Jack Rakove

The historian (James Madison and the Creation of the American Public) presents “Reading James Madison’s Mind.” Chicago Historical Society, 2:30 PM.

“Beyond Borders, Beyond Labels”

Cross-cultural literary panel with fiction writers Oscar Casares (Brownsville), Jessica Hagedorn (Dream Jungle), Aleksandar Hemon (Nowhere Man), and Katherine Shonk (The Red Passport); moderated by writer Carolyn Alessio. Symphony Center, Buntrock Hall, 3 PM. Sold-out.

David Klamen

The Chicago painter and etcher presents “Saved and Spent.” Terra Museum of American Art, 4 PM.

Marcus Roberts and Howard Reich

Composer and pianist Roberts and Tribune music critic Reich (Jelly’s Blues) discuss Jelly Roll Morton in “Talking Jazz.” Northwestern University School of Law, Thorne Auditorium, 4 PM.

John Ralston Saul

The Canadian novelist and essayist (The Unconscious Civilization) lectures on “Morality vs. Ethics, or How Economics Mistook Itself for God and Expelled the Public Good.” First United Methodist Church, 4 PM.

Colson Whitehead

The novelist and essayist (The Colossus of New York: A City in Thirteen Parts) offers “Metro Myths”; he’ll be joined by poet Kevin Young (Jelly Roll: A Blues). Harold Washington Library Center, 4 PM.

Simon Winchester

The author of The Professor and the Madman talks about The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Roosevelt University, Ganz Hall, 4 PM. Sold-out.

Gordon S. Wood

The historian (The American Revolution: A History) examines “The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin.” Chicago Historical Society, 4 PM.

Jenny Uglow

The British biographer (Hogarth: A Life) discusses the paintings and prints of William Hogarth in “Spending and Saving in the City.” Alliance Francaise, 4:30 PM.

“The Boxcar Economics of the Sports Industry”

Panel with entrepreneur and attorney Peter Bynoe, baseball labor leader Donald Fehr, financial consultant Mark Ganis, WTTW producer Mike Leiderman, and University of Chicago economist Allan Sanderson. Symphony Center, Buntrock Hall, 5:30 PM.

James McManus

The author of Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion’s World Series of Poker presents “Positively Poker”; he’ll be joined by A Friendly Game of Poker anthology editor Jake Austen, This American Life host Ira Glass, and poet Katy Lederer (Poker Face). Symphony Center, Buntrock Hall, 8 PM.


Tom Wolfe

The journalist, cultural critic, and novelist, recipient of the 2003 Chicago Tribune Literary Prize, discusses his career. Symphony Center, Armour Stage, 10 AM. Sold-out.

“Works by Philip Levine”

Great Books Foundation discussion of Levine’s poetry. Museum of Contemporary Art, 10 AM. Free, but tickets required. Sold-out.

Philip Levine

The poet presents “‘The World Is Too Much With Us’: Poetry and Spending.” Museum of Contemporary Art, 11:30 AM.

M. Cherif Bassiouni

The president of DePaul’s International Human Rights Law Institute reviews international criminal trials in “Whatever the Cost?” Alliance Francaise, noon.

Carol Berkin

The historian lectures on “‘To Think Continentally’: Alexander Hamilton and the Nationalist Vision.” Chicago Historical Society, noon.

“Sale of Girls or Saving for the Daughters? Some Reflections on Dowry”

Panel with University of Chicago scholars Julius Kirshner and Rochona Majumdar, U. of C. professor of law and ethics Martha Nussbaum, and historian Veena Oldenburg. Terra Museum of American Art, noon. Sold-out.

Scott Turow, Paul Hendrickson

Attorney and novelist Turow (Reversible Errors) and journalist Hendrickson (Sons of Mississippi: A Story of Race and Its Legacy) discuss their Heartland Prize-winning works. Art Institute, Rubloff Auditorium, 1 PM.

A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff, Linda Hogan

UIC professor emerita Ruoff discusses “Saving and Spending in Native American Literature”; writer Hogan offers “Native American Philosophies.” Museum of Contemporary Art, 1:30 PM.

Paco Underhill

The researcher (Why We Buy) discusses “The Science of Shopping: A Retail Dipstick.” Harold Washington Library Center, 1:30 PM.

“Founding Fodder”

Panel with artist Ed Paschke and historians Carol Berkin and Charles Branham; moderated by Tribune writer Rick Kogan. Chicago Historical Society, 2 PM.

Marjorie and Bob Leventry

The former Peace Corps volunteers discuss “Quinoa Culture: Saving Ancient Traditions Through Enlightened Trade.” Alliance Francaise, 2 PM.

Susham Bedi

The Punjab-born novelist and Hindi scholar presents “Dowry Days.” Terra Museum of American Art, 2:30 PM.

David M. Kennedy

The Pulitzer-winning historian (Freedom From Fear) lectures on “Saving Democracy: The Leadership of FDR.” DuSable Museum of African American History, 2:30 PM.

Alice McDermott

The National Book Award-winning novelist (Charming Billy) covers “Family Accounts” in an interview with Booklist editor Donna Seaman. Chicago Sinai Sanctuary, 3 PM.

John Edgar Wideman

The novelist and memoirist lectures on “Writing and the Saved Voice.” Symphony Center, Buntrock Hall, 3 PM.


The film director discusses his career in a talk called “Engage”; he’ll be joined by Facets Multimedia director Milos Stehlik. Harold Washington Library Center, 3:30 PM.

Thomas Sokolowski

The art critic comments on the work of Andy Warhol in a lecture titled “Andy’s Hoard.” Museum of Contemporary Art, 3:30 PM.

Martin Gilbert

The British historian (In Search of Churchill) discusses Winston Churchill’s leadership qualities. Chicago Historical Society, 4 PM. Sold-out.

Jean Strouse

The historian (Morgan: American Financier) presents “J. Pierpont Morgan: Banker, Collector, Patron.” Alliance Francaise, 4 PM.

Anthony Davis and Charles Branham

Composer Davis and historian Branham offer a musical performance with commentary, “Malcolm and Muhammad”; with singer Thomas Young. DuSable Museum of African American History, 4:30 PM.

David Edwards

The opera director discusses “Wagner vs. Berlioz: Opera’s Demons or Saviors?” Roosevelt University, Ganz Hall, 4:30 PM.

Shabana Azmi

The Indian film actress and activist speaks on “Saving Secularism.” Symphony Center, Buntrock Hall, 5 PM.

Michael Lewis and Christian Wiman

Journalist Lewis (Moneyball) and Poetry magazine editor Wiman talk about “Money and Literature.” Chicago Sinai Sanctuary, 5 PM.

Wendy Wasserstein and Deborah Drattell

Pulitzer-winning playwright Wasserstein (The Heidi Chronicles) and composer Drattell discuss their work in progress, “Best Friends”; with a performance by soprano Annie Ricci. Northwestern University School of Law, Thorne Auditorium, 7 PM.

“Letters of a Consumaholic: A Play of Sorts”

An “epistolary drama” with actor Belinda Bremner, journalist and comedian Aaron Freeman, and philosopher Al Gini (The Importance of Being Lazy). Noble Fool Theater, 7:30 PM. Sold-out.


Julian Barnes

The British novelist (Love, Etc.) examines French literature, history, and culture in an interview with CHF president Eileen Mackevich titled “I See France.” Fourth Presbyterian Church, 7 PM.


“Spending in the Public Sphere: Too Much or Not Enough?”

Panel with former deputy secretary of labor D. Cameron Findlay, U. of I. Institute of Government and Public Affairs director James Nowlan, Cato Institute chairman William Niskanen, state senators Barack Obama and Steve Rauschenberger, and others; moderated by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago president Michael Moskow. Northwestern University, Owen L. Coon Forum, 7 PM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Nancy Crampton, Jerry Bauer.