Anca Parvulescu, professor of English with a joint appointment with the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities (IPH), used Hermann Hesse’s novel, Der Steppenwolf, as well as a contemporary video installation, to consider the role of laughter in modernity. In her talk, she raised the question of whether Hesse’s faith in the promise of laughter is a relic of the past or whether it is still available to us as a potential resource.
Claudia Rankine’s book of prose poetry, Citizen: An American Lyric, is about as timely a study on what it means to be an African American living in a white world can be. On Monday, Sept. 21, Rankine, author of Washington University's First Year Reading Selection, Citizen: An American Lyric, will discuss her work and read passages from her book at 7 p.m. in Graham Chapel.
Meghan Daum writes about serious matters, but that doesn’t mean her novels, essays and columns are depressing. Rather, they show the heartbreak and the humor of real life in all its complicated glory. For example, in her newest collection, “The Unspeakable,” she writes about her feelings of kinship with lesbians, how it feels to live through a life-threatening illness, and the love of a good dog. She uses moments from her life to explore broader issues of the day in a new or different way, but always with respect for the truth.
Melvin Oliver’s long and distinguished career has been devoted to understanding and addressing the complex factors that contribute to deep racial disparities in wealth. On Wednesday, Sept. 16, he will give a talk on “Income and Wealth Inequality.” The lecture will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Anheuser-Busch Hall, Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom.
“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that’s wrong with the world.”
This statement from physician and anthropologist Paul Farmer serves as shorthand for the mission statement of Partners In Health (PIH), the organization he helped found three decades ago to advance the belief that health is a human right.