For the acclaimed author Marilynne Robinson, religion is one of the most profound aspects of American life. As such, religious themes inform much of her fiction and nonfiction. She is currently completing a book on the Old Testament; her lectures this November will offer the Washington University community a glimpse of her thinking on the Hebrew Bible.
In addition to the 2018 comic book, LaValle has published four novels: “The Ecstatic;” “Big Machine;” “The Devil in Silver;” and “The Changeling;” two novellas: “Lucretia and the Kroons” and “The Ballad of Black Tom;” and the short story collection, “Slapboxing with Jesus.” His numerous awards include the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
So you think you know the “Frankenstein” story? If you haven’t read Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, think again. And if you wish to experience this treasure trove of evocative ideas, now would be a good time, as Washington University’s Class of 2021 embarks on a journey to delve into the rich and complex dystopian tapestry this teenager wrote so eloquently about, and in doing so, contemplate how eerily similar some of the questions she raised 200 years ago still haunt us today.
“Fortune,” said Mark Twain, “knocks at every man’s door once in a life, but in a good many cases the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear her. Fortunately for Garth Risk Hallberg, when fortune came knocking, he was at home with the manuscript for “City on Fire,” a 900-page novel set in 1970s punk-era New York.
British archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson and his research team had unprecedented access to Stonehenge and its surroundings, and his research findings are replacing centuries of speculation with facts. He will share them at an Assembly Series program at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, in Steinberg Hall Auditorium.
At 4 p.m. Thursday, April 11, Kathleen Coleman will give an Assembly Series talk that paints a real picture of the Roman arena spectacle, explaining Roman penal theory and practice regarding Christian martyrdom in the context of the expectations and attitudes of both the Roman authorities and audiences. Coleman’s talk, the annual John and Penelope Biggs Lecture in the Classics, will be held in Steinberg Hall Auditorium on Washington University’s Danforth Campus; it is free and open to the public.
In his October 27, 2014 lecture,”Talking About Race in 19th-century American Science: Louis Agassiz and His Contemporaries,“ Christoph Irmscher discussed the brilliant and controversial Swiss immigrant who became the most famous scientist of his time. Irmscher gave the annual Thomas Hall History of Science Lecture in Rebstock Hall Room 215.
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.
Christiane Gruber's research interests span medieval Islamic art to contemporary visual culture and predominantly focus on Islamic book arts, paintings of the Prophet Muhammad, and Islamic ascension texts and images. In her talk, "The Praiseworthy One: Devotional Images of the Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Traditions," Gruber will explore the ways in which, within a variety of Islamic expressive cultures, artists and viewers alike used pictorial language to express devotion to the Prophet Muhammad.