The 16th annual Chicago Humanities Festival, this year themed “Home and Away,” continues through 11/13, offering dozens of lectures, readings, and discussions by an international coterie of writers, artists, and scholars as well as theatrical and musical performances. All programs are $5 in advance, $6 (cash only) at the door, unless otherwise noted. (Tickets for some sold-out programs may become available; check at the venue no later than 30 minutes before the program.) Tickets can be ordered by phone at 312-494-9509 or online at Call 312-661-1028 for more information.


“Cedille Records Chicago Musicians Showcase” Performances by pianist Jorge Federico Osorio, violinist Rachel Barton Pine, the Eighth Blackbird ensemble, and the vocal group Chicago a Cappella. Northwestern Univ. $10. 7 PM Sold out.

“Look Hear: A French and American Evening of Words, Music, and Video” Readings by novelists Rick Moody (The Diviners; see review in Section 1) and Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves) together with musical performances by Richard Pinhas and Sylvain Chaveau, Jerome Schmidt, and Amy Dissanayake and video by V.J. Milosh and Eric Arlix. Museum of Contemporary Art. $15. 7:30 PM Sold out.


“Crushing the Infamy” by New Yorker staff writer and essayist Adam Gopnik (Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology). Northwestern Univ. 10 AM

Richard J. Franke The Chicago Humanities Festival founder and chairman discusses his memoir, Cut From Whole Cloth: An Immigrant Experience, in an interview with journalist David Gergen. Loyola Univ. 10 AM

R”A Discriminating Appetite” by New York Times associate editor R.W. Apple Jr. (Apple’s America). Harold Washington Library Center. 10:30 AM Sold out.

Ronne Hartfield reads from her memoir, Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family. Alliance Francaise. 10:30 AM

“The Southern Diaspora and the Transformation of America” by historian James N. Gregory (The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America). Newberry Library. 10:30 AM

“Translating ‘Don Quixote'” by translator Edith Grossman. Field Museum. 11:30 AM

“Edith Wharton’s English Life” by critic and biographer Hermione Lee. Loyola Univ. noon Sold out.

“Leadership in America” by political commentator David Gergen (Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton). Saint James Cathedral. noon Sold out.

“The Mexican-American Identity” Panel with authors Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil’s Highway), Manuel Munoz (Zigzagger), Ruben Martinez (Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail), and Brenda Cardenas (Between the Heart and the Land/Entre El Corazone y la Tierra: Latina Poets in the Midwest). HotHouse. noon

“Public Housing: Beyond the Walls” Panel with developer Tom Weeks, attorney Alexander Polikoff (Waiting for Gautreaux: A Story of Segregation, Housing, and the Black Ghetto; see Q&A in Section 1), Chicago Housing Authority CEO Terry Peterson, Susan Lloyd of the MacArthur Foundation, and community activist Earnest Gates; moderated by journalist John McCarron. DePaul Univ. Student Center. noon

“The South Asian Diaspora” by novelist Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Queen of Dreams). Northwestern Univ. noon

“America Eats Its Immigrants” by Village Voice food critic Robert Sietsema. Alliance Francaise. 12:30 PM

cChang-Rae Lee Harold Washington Library Center. 12:30 PM

“Twelve Men in a Printing Shop–and the Birth of a Great Human Rights Movement” by historian Adam Hochschild (Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves). Newberry Library. 12:30 PM

“Home Truths” Painter Alex Katz is interviewed by Whitney Museum of American Art director Adam Weinberg. Art Institute. 1 PM Sold out.

“The Translators” Panel with translators Jay Rubin, John Cullen, Clare Cavanagh, and Edith Grossman; moderated by Steppenwolf Theatre associate artistic director Curt Columbus. Field Museum. 1:30 PM

“Frontline Voices” by NPR correspondent and memoirist Jacki Lyden (Daughter of the Queen of Sheba); she’ll be joined by Sun-Times publisher John Cruickshank. Northwestern Univ. 2 PM

“Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom” Dramatic performance by TimeLine Theatre Company. Loyola Univ. 2 PM Sold out.

“I Am an American, Chicago-Born” by publisher, biographer, and memoirist James Atlas (My Life in the Middle Ages: A Survivor’s Tale). Saint James Cathedral. 2 PM

“In Mozart’s Footsteps” Musical performance by the Ars Antigua ensemble. Quigley Preparatory Seminary. Free, but reservations required. 2 PM Sold out.

“Jazz en Clave: The Seeds, Roots, and Branches of Latin Jazz” Discussion with cultural historian Robert Farris Thompson (Appetite for Life) and musicians Paquito D’Rivera and Ben Lapidus. HotHouse. 2 PM

RJoan Didion discusses her National Book Award-nominated memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking (see review in Section 1), in an interview with journalist Mara Tapp. Harold Washington Library Center. 2:30 PM Sold out.

“Dorothea Lange and the World War II Incarceration of Japanese Americans” by historian Linda Gordon (Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment). Newberry Library. 2:30 PM

“Julia Child and the French Connection” by Child biographer No’l Riley Fitch (Tango: The Art History of Love). Alliance Francaise. 2:30 PM

R”What Jane Addams Gained on Halsted Street” by scholar Louise W. Knight (Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy; see review in Section 1). DePaul Univ. Student Center. 2:30 PM

“Appreciating Alex Katz” Visual arts panel with critic Carter Ratcliff, Cleveland Museum of Art consulting director Katharine Lee Reid, New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik, art historian Robert Rosenblum, and Whitney Museum of American Art director Adam Weinberg. Art Institute. 3 PM

“From Wallflowers to Femmes Fatales (Gambling Femininity in Tango)” by scholar Marta Elena Savigliano (Tango and the Political Economy of Passion); with a demonstration by local dancers. Museum of Contemporary Art. 3 PM

Iowa International Writers University of Iowa International Writing Program director Christopher Merrill leads a panel of readings and discussion by resident writers. Loyola Univ. 4 PM

“Ourselves as Others See Us” Tribune associate managing editor Timothy J. McNulty moderates a panel of D.C.-based news bureau chiefs. Northwestern Univ. 4 PM Sold out.

R”What’s So Wrong With Aliens?” by Discover magazine senior editor Alan Burdick, author of the National Book Award finalist Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion. Field Museum. 4 PM

“Home and Away in a Dakota Family” by historian Philip J. Deloria (Indians in Unexpected Places). Alliance Francaise. 4:30 PM

Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks Jazz Age big band concert. Northwestern Univ. $15. 8 PM

Howard Fishman The singer-songwriter performs. Schubas. $10. 10 PM Sold out.


“Immigration and Identity in Chicago” by local teacher Jeff Libman (An Immigrant Class: Oral Histories From Chicago’s Newest Immigrants). DePaul Univ. Student Center. 10 AM

“Picasso: A Spaniard in Paris” by art historian Robert Rosenblum. Museum of Contemporary Art. 10 AM Sold out.

Vikram Seth reads from his new novel, Two Lives. Northwestern Univ. 10:30 AM

“Doctors Without Borders: Displaced by Conflict” by Doctors Without Borders executive director Nicolas de Torrente. Loyola Univ. 11 AM Sold out.

“A Forced Migration” by historian John Mack Faragher (A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians From Their American Homelands). Alliance Francaise. 11 AM

“The Jewish Diaspora” and “Diasporic Entitlements” by photographer Frederic Brenner (Diaspora: Homelands in Exile) and scholar Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi (Booking Passage: Exile and Homecoming in the Modern Jewish Imagination), respectively. Merle Reskin Theater. 11:30 AM

“The Kongo Heritage” by art historian Robert Farris Thompson. Museum of Contemporary Art. noon

“Revisiting ‘The New Americans'” Screening of a 40-minute excerpt of the Kartemquin Films documentary The New Americans, followed by a discussion with filmmakers Gordon Quinn, Steve James, and Jerry Blumenthal. DePaul Univ. Student Center. noon

R”The Forgotten Commentators” Panel with political cartoonists Steve Kelley (New Orleans Times-Picayune), Nick Anderson (Louisville Courier-Journal), and Clay Bennett (Christian Science Monitor); moderated by Reader Hot Type columnist Michael Miner. Northwestern Univ. 12:30 PM

“An Angel in the House?” Novelist Mary Gordon (Pearl, et al) discusses her career in an interview with Chicago Public Libraries commissioner Mary Dempsey. Chicago Sinai Congregation. 1 PM

“China Shops: How the Next Superpower Is Changing Main Street America” by journalist Ted C. Fishman (China, Inc.: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World). Loyola Univ. 1 PM Sold out.

“Letters Home” by Legacy Project founder Andrew Carroll (Behind the Lines: Powerful and Revealing American and Foreign War Letters–and One Man’s Search to Find Them). Newberry Library. 1 PM

Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief) talks about My Kind of Place: Travel Stories From a Woman Who’s Been Everywhere. Harold Washington Library Center. 1 PM Sold out.

“Re-Placing Home” by University of Illinois at Chicago architecture prof Roberta Feldman. Alliance Francaise. 1 PM

“Asian-American Identity and Fusion Cuisine” by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign anthropologist Martin Manalansan; he’ll be joined by Red Light chef Jackie Shen. DePaul Univ. Student Center. 2:30 PM

“Prisoner of Her Past” Kartemquin Films president Gordon Quinn and Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich preview their documentary in progress about Reich’s mother’s Holocaust childhood; they’ll be joined by journalist John Callaway. Merle Reskin Theater. 2:30 PM

“Stories on Stage” This Chicago Public Radio program presents actors reading short stories that explore the ideas of home and away; writer Aleksandar Hemon hosts. Museum of Contemporary Art. 2:30 PM Sold out.

“At Home and Far Away” Cabaret performances by Joan Curto, Lee Lessack, and Tom Michael. Northwestern Univ. 3 PM

“At Home on Prairie Avenue” Panel with historian Janice L. Reiff, Tribune writer Rick Kogan, and former Marshall Foundation president Albert Beveridge III; moderated by James R. Grossman of the Newberry Library. Newberry Library. 3 PM Sold out.

“British Diasporic Voices” by novelist Bernardine Evaristo (Soul Tourists) and poet Anthony Joseph. Alliance Francaise. 3 PM

“The Great Migration” with local historians Timuel D. Black Jr. (Bridges of Memory: Chicago’s First Wave of Black Migration) and Eric Arnesen (Black Protest and the Great Migration). Loyola Univ. 3 PM

“What You Mean by Home” by poet John Hollander; he’ll be joined by Poetry Foundation program director Stephen Young. Chicago Sinai Congregation. 3 PM

R”The Writer Abroad” with writers Tom Bissell (God Lives in St. Petersburg) and Gary Shteyngart (The Russian Debutante’s Handbook); they’ll be joined by Chicago Public Radio’s Hello Beautiful! host Edward Lifson. Harold Washington Library Center. 3 PM

RSalman Rushdie The novelist (Shalimar the Clown, The Satanic Verses, et al) delivers the festival’s closing lecture, “The Scattered Concept of Home.” Merle Reskin Theater. 5 PM Sold out, but a block of balcony tickets will be available at the door at 3:30 PM on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Handel at Home” The festival’s closing concert features soprano Elizabeth Futral; with commentary by New York City Opera dramaturge Cori Ellison. Field Museum. 7:30 PM


Alliance Francaise 54 W. Chicago

Art Institute Fullerton Hall, Michigan & Adams

Chicago Sinai Congregation 15 W. Delaware

DePaul Univ. Student Center 2250 N. Sheffield

Field Museum Simpson Theater, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.

Harold Washington Library Center 400 S. State

HotHouse 31 E. Balbo

Loyola Univ. Rubloff Auditorium, 25 E. Pearson

Merle Reskin Theater DePaul Univ., 60 E. Balbo

Museum of Contemporary Art 220 E. Chicago

Newberry Library 60 W. Walton

Northwestern Univ. Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago

Quigley Preparatory Seminary 103 E. Chestnut

Saint James Cathedral 65 E. Huron

Schubas 3159 N. Southport