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2018-19 KU Common Book Events

The following are events related to Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work , or one of its many themes. Please return to this page to see more events as they are created. If you have an event to add, please email

Fall Events

Exhibition: "In Conversation with the 2018-2019 Common Book"

On Display August 14 - September 9, 2018
Spencer Museum of Art
This installation in the museum’s Jack and Lavon Brosseau Center for Learning and will include the 2018–2019 KU Common Work of Art by Ulrick Jean-Pierre as well as other art from the museum’s collection that draws on themes from “Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work.” For more information about this exhibit visit the website here.

Common Book Discussion Groups

Sunday, August 19, 2018
1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Various campus locations
All new students will meet with returning student leaders and faculty and staff member to discuss Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work These discussions are an important part of Hawk Week and will help students be best prepared for the academic year ahead.

An Evening with Edwidge Danticat

Thursday, September 6, 2018
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Lied Center
Author of Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, Edwidge Danticat, will be visiting campus to discuss their book and its selection as the KU Common Book for 2018-19.
For additional questions please contact the Office of First-Year Experience at or by phone at (785) 864-4270.

The Ties that Bind: Haiti, the United States, and the Art of Ulrick Jean-Pierre in Comparative Perspective

September 6, 2018 - January 7, 2019
Spencer Art Museum
Dolph Simons Family Gallery & The Estelle S. & Robert A. Long Ellis Foundation Gallery
Monday - Closed
Tuesday, Friday, Saturday - 10:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Thursday - 10:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday - Noon - 4:00 p.m.
This exhibition reveals the deep historical connections between Haiti and the Unites States through the lens of 20th-century Haitian ar. Visit the Spencer Art Museum to continue the conversation of the 2018-19 KU Common Book Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work. The exhibit will be up until January 7, 2019.
For more information about this event please click here.

Migratory Mixer

Thursday, September 13, 2018
3-5 pm
Spencer Museum of Art and KU Natural History Museum

KU students are invited to the Spencer Museum of Art and the KU Natural History Museum for this event offered in conjunction with the 2018 KU Common Book, Create Dangerously, by Edwidge Danticat. How are artists connected (or not) to a particular place? What are native and non-native species? Consider how artworks migrate across geographical and cultural spaces and take on new meanings. Species migrate or even evade a place, perhaps changing its ecology. Explore these ideas across both museums and their global collections. Refreshments provided.  


The Unexpected Caribbean Symposium

October 18 - 20 2018
The University of Kansas, Lawrence KS
Various venues around campus & Lawrence
The Association of Caribbean Women Writers & Scholars (ACWWS), partnering with KU’s Institute of Haitian Studies and Center of Latin American & Caribbean Studies, is planning a two-day interdisciplinary symposium and an educator workshop for regional teachers focusing on The Unexpected Caribbean. One of the keynote speakers will be Ulrick Jean-Pierre, a visual artist born in Haiti whose work explores the connections between the histories and cultures of Haiti and Louisiana. 

For more information about this event please visit the Unexpected Caribbean Symposium website.

Reading & Book Signing
Fatimah Asghar, If They Come For Us
Safia Elhillo, Halal If You Hear Me

Tuesday, February 5th, 2018
7:00 PM
Liberty Hall

Supported by The Commons, The Raven Bookstore, and the Office of First-Year Experience Fatimah Asghar is a nationally touring poet, performer, educator, and writer. Her work has appeared in POETRY Magazine, BuzzFeed Reader, Academy of American Poets and other publications. Her work has been featured on news outlets including PBS, NBC, Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, and others. In 2011, she created REFLEKS, a Spoken Word Poetry group in Bosnia and Herzegovina while on a Fulbright Scholarship studying theater in post-genocidal countries. She is a member of the Dark Noise collective and a Kundiman Fellow. Her chapbook After was released on Yes Yes Books fall 2015. She is the writer of Brown Girls, an Emmy-nominated web series that highlights a friendship between women of color. In 2017 she was the recipient of a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and was on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Her debut collection of poems If They Come For Us was released via One World/Random House in August 2018. With Safia Elhillo, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019).

Safia Elhillo is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017) and holds an MFA in poetry from the New School. Safia is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and recipient of the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize and the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, The Conversation, and Crescendo Literary and The Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Incubator. Safia’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY Magazine, Callaloo, and The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day series, among others, and in anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. Her work has been translated into Arabic, Japanese, Estonian, and Greek, and has been commissioned by Under Armour and the Bavarian State Ballet. With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019). Safia is of Sudanese origin and lives in Washington, DC.

Past Events

2018-2019 KU Academic Programs Panel Discussion

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

The Commons, Spooner Hall

Join Howard Graham, Cécile Accilien, Giselle Anatol, and Jen Humphrey as they provide information about this year's Common Book, Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, and related events.

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