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Events

The following are events related to Between the World and Me, 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 commonbook@ku.edu.


Spring Events

KU Common Book Film Series: Agents of Change

Thursday, March 30
7 p.m.
Budig Hall, Room 130

The KU Common Book Film Series is an opportunity to incorporate another form of media in the conversation around the Common Book, "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In the spring semester three films will be shown that reflect different themes from the book related to race, activism, and the criminal justice system. This event is co-sponsored by the Office of First-Year Experience, the University Honors Program, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

 

KU Common Book Film Series: The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

Wednesday, April 26
5 p.m.
Lied Center Pavilion

The KU Common Book Film Series is an opportunity to incorporate another form of media in the conversation around the Common Book, "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In the spring semester three films will be shown that reflect different themes from the book related to race, activism, and the criminal justice system. This event is co-sponsored by the Office of First-Year Experience, the University Honors Program, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

 

Related Events

An Evening with Artist Willie Cole

Wednesday, March 1
5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Auditorium

In conjunction with the 2016 KU Common Book, the Spencer Museum of Art selected three prints from  Willie Cole’s Beauties series as the Common Work of Art.  Cole is perhaps best known for his assemblage sculptures composed of irons, women's shoes, and hair dryers, which he transforms into objects resembling West African sculpture. When discussing his process of altering everyday objects to reference African forms, Cole notes, “I think that when one culture is dominated by another culture, the energy or powers, or gods of the previous culture hide in vehicles in the new cultures.” Cole will speak about his artistic practice and themes he explores.

Cosponsored by: Office of First-Year Experience; Spencer Museum of Art; Office of Multicultural Affairs; University Honors Program; Kress Foundation Department of Art History; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Department of African and African American Studies; Department of American Studies

 

PBS American Experience Series The Great War

Wednesday, April 12
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall

PBS has created thematic lifts from its 6-hour, 3-part series. We will screen "The Minority Experience during World War I" (40 minutes), which will be followed by a panel discussion. This collection of clips looks at the experience of racial minorities during the Great War. Though four million men of all races and backgrounds were drafted for Selective Service, the army was strictly segregated. At the time, Mexican Americans and Native Americans were considered racially white and served alongside whites, but African Americans were completely separated from the rest of the army and were shunted into labor battalions and barred from training with guns. The New York Fifteenth National Guard was the notable exception. Fighting their way to the front lines in France, they performed valiantly, earning the moniker “Harlem Hellfighters”. Soldiers from the Choctaw Nation also played a pivotal role in the war, using their language to help communicate battle plans (preventing their interception and translation by the Germans). Though African American soldiers survived some of the deadliest battles on the Western Front, it was more difficult to survive the riots and vigilante attacks by white Americans when they returned home.

This event is sponsored by Watkins Health Services, The College Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Office of First-Year Experience. 

 

Nikki Giovanni Poetry: A New Conversation

Tuesday, April 4
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union
 
Nikki Giovanni is a poet, writer, activist, and educator who will be giving a talk entitled Poetry: A New Conversation which will also include a book signing immediately after. This event is sponsored by Project on the History of Black Writing, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Hall Center for the Humanities, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Office of First-Year Experience, Spencer Museum of Art, and Department of English.
 

Past Events

KU Common Book Film Series: Do Not Resist

Thursday, February 23
7 p.m.
Wescoe Hall, Room 3139

The KU Common Book Film Series is an opportunity to incorporate another form of media in the conversation around the Common Book, "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In the spring semester three films will be shown that reflect different themes from the book related to race, activism, and the criminal justice system. This event is co-sponsored by the Office of First-Year Experience, the University Honors Program, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Numbe Whageh by Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Nora Naranjo Morse

Thursday, February 9
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium

Nora Naranjo Morse is a sculptor, writer, and producer who will be giving a talk on "Numbe Whageh". "Numbe Whageh" is a part of the Cuerto Centenario project in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The word, Numbe Whageh, is taken from the Tewa Pueblo language and means “the center place”. "Numbe Whageh" was Albuquerque's first land art piece. This controversial project focuses on the historical treatment of Pueblo people by Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate during the late 1500s. Among other subjects, this project looks at issues of monuments, who makes them and why. History retold by indigenous peoples is at the center of this project, and Nora Naranjo Morse will focus on how this was accepted by non-natives and institutions. The link to more information about this event is listed here

This event is sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa Alpha of Kansas, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Department of English, the Office of Diversity & Equity, the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, the University Honors Program, Indigenous Studies.

Achievement & Assessment Institute KU Common Book Event

Thursday, January 19
3:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Jayhawk Room, Kansas Union
 

The KU Common Book experience is an opportunity to get to know people across the Achievement and Assessment Institute and the KU community while engaging in meaningful conversations about Between the World and Me, social justice, inclusion, and safety. Our discussion will include a reception, facilitated breakout discussions, and a moderated guest panel including:

  •    Dr. Tammara Durham, Vice Provost of Student Affairs                                                   
  •    Tai Amri Spann-Wilson, teacher, award-winning poet, and community member, activist                               
  •    Dr. Clarence Lang, Dean's Professor of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Chair, Dept. of African and African-American Studies
  •    Cody Charles, Associate Director for Diversity Education and Social Justice Programs, Office of Multicultural Affairs       
  •    Precious Porras, Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs
  •    Dr. Edgar Tidwell, Professor of English 

This event is sponsored by the Achievement and Assessment Institute.

KU Common Book Community Conversation

Tuesday, January 17
3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art

This KU Common Book Discussion will cover this year's common book, Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This is an opportunity for students to discuss topics and themes relevant to the book and the relation with our campus.

Screening of 13th

Thursday, December 1
7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
The Jay, Kansas Union

13th is a critically acclaimed 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. Centered on race in the United States criminal justice system, the film is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery (unless as punishment for a crime). DuVernay's documentary argues that slavery is being effectively perpetuated through mass incarceration. 

This event is sponsored by the Department of African and African American Studies, Department of American Studies, Black Faculty and Staff Council, Langston Hughes Center, and Office of First-Year Experience.
 

Anger, Brutality & Hard Truths in "Between the World and Me"

Tuesday, November 29
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
104 Green Hall

Reflecting its people, American law sustains an empire built on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? 2015 National Book Award winner and KU Common Book “Between the World and Me” is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. During Spring 2017, the KU Law Faculty/Staff Committee on Diversity & Inclusion and the Dean’s Diversity & Leadership Council will host a series of reading groups that reflect on important issues in the law through the lens of the Common Book.

The series kicks off Nov. 29 with an interdisciplinary reflection on policing and criminal justice, featuring Professor Clarence Lang (KU African and African-American Studies), Jamila Jefferson-Jones (UMKC Law), and Corey Yung (KU Law).

Diverse Dialogues on Race & Culture: Stamped from the Beginning with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Thursday, November 3, 2016
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Lawrence Public Library Auditorium
 
This event is hosted in partnership with The Langston Hughes Center. Dr. Ibram X. Kendi will be coming to speak at Lawrence Public Library. His book "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" is a finalist for the National Book Award. His book explores the history of racist ideas and how deep these ideas continue to permeate our society. Dr. Kendi continues the discussion Coates put forth in "Between the World and Me" by exploring the foundation of racial violence and oppression in the United States.
 

Professor Sarah Deer presents "Gendering Federal Indian Law"

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Ballroom, Kansas Union
 
Sarah Deer has worked to end violence against women for over 20 years. She began as a volunteer rape victim advocate as an undergraduate and later received her J.D. with a Tribal Lawyer Certificate from the University of Kansas School of Law. She is currently a professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of federal Indian law and victims’ rights. A citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, Deer is a co-author of three textbooks on tribal law. In this lecture, Professor Deer re-evaluates the foundational legal precedents of Federal Indian Law through the lens of intersectional feminist theory.
 

Screening: Descry

Saturday, October 29, 2016
4 p.m.
Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union

KU Theatre Alum, Jenna Bleeker, will screen her award winning short film Descry as part of The Department of Theatre's DEI initiatives. The film is a modern adaptation of Amiri Baraka's (Leroi Jones') The Dutchman. The film will screen on Saturday, October 29th at 4pm in Alderson and is cosponsored by the Department of Theatre, Associate Dean, Jennifer Hamer's office, and the Office of First-Year Experience.  A panel discussion will follow the screening of the film. 

The Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series - Queering Engagement: A Kansas Activist Comes Home

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union

The speaker for the Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series is Connie Burk. Connie Burk is an activist, writer, and executive director of the Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse. This talk will be a conversation about LGBTQ communities, anti-violence activism, and building power to make change. A reception will follow the event in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Union. There will also be a pre-workshop and post discussion to attend.

Film Screening and Discussion: "The Neo African-Americans: Black '?' Immigrant"

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
6 - 8 p.m.
Bailey Hall, Rm 105
 
A film screening of "The Neo African Americans: Black '?' Immigrant" by Kobina Aidoo will be presented with a discussion following afterwards. There will also be free pizza! The event is hosted by the Department of African & African-American Studies and Institute for Haitian Studies.
 

The Bill Tuttle Distinguished Lecture in American Studies - Uninhabited: Race, Reading, and the Archives

Thursday, October 13, 2016
3:30 p.m.
Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union

This year's Tuttle Lecturer is Kevin Young, who is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and English and the Curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University. While an undergraduate at Harvard University, Kevin studied with the Nobel-Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney, and while there he became a member of the Dark Room Collective, a community of African American writers. Later, as a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he studied with Denise Levertov.  Kevin, who was awarded the Master of Fine Arts from Brown University, has been deeply influenced by the poets Langston Hughes, John Berryman, and Emily Dickinson and by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. For more information visit the American Studies page here.

3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
7 - 9:30 p.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall
 
The film, "3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets", documents the aftermath of the shooting of four black teenagers in their car at a Florida gas station by a white middle-aged male, Michael Dunn, due to an argument regarding the volume of their music. This encounter resulting in the death of one teenager, Jordan Davis.

Going over the events of that night and the fallout afterwards, "3 1/2 Minutes Ten Bullets", aims to expose how racism and gun violence played a tragic role that culminated in Jordan Davis' death.

This event will consist of a screening of the film and a discussion panel. We will also discuss related themes to what is happening in the nation today and connections to the KU Common Book, "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The event is co-hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs & University Honors Program. The trailer for the film can be viewed here: bit.ly/310trailer
 

An Afternoon with Jabari Asim

Thursday, September 29, 2016
5 - 6 p.m.
Budig 130

Event includes a 30 minute question and answer session and book signing after the talk. Co-sponsored by Department of African & African-American Studies, Department of American Studies, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Langston Hughes Center.

KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures Convocation

Thursday, September 1, 2016
3 - 6 p.m.
Ballroom, Kansas Union

Join the KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures at their annual convocation, celebrating a successful first year and looking forward to the year ahead. Speakers will explore this year's theme, empathy, through the lens of the KU Common Book. Speakers will include:

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little
Marc L. Greenberg, Director of the KU School of Languages, Literature & Cultures
Carl Lejuez, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Jowel C. Laguerre, Chancellor or Peralta Community College District
Clinton Robinson, Director of State & Local Government Affairs, Black & Veatch Corporation
You can learn more about the event here.

Common Book Discussion Groups

Sunday, August 21, 2016
1 - 2:30 p.m.
Various campus locations

All new students will meet with returning student leaders and faculty and staff members to discuss Between the World & Me, KU's Common Book for 2016-17. These discussions are an important part of Hawk Week and will help students be best prepared for the academic year ahead. 

Advising Network KU Common Book Discussions

Thursday, May 26, 2016
9 - 10 a.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall

Thursday, July 26, 2016
9 - 10 a.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall

These Common Book Discussions are open to all campus advisors in the Advising Network.

Between the World and Me Discussion

Thursday, May 5, 2016
2 - 3:30 p.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall

The Office of First-Year Experience is pleased to announce a discussion of the 2016-2017 KU Common Book, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me.   This will be an opportunity to talk about Between the World and Me in small group, facilitated discussions.  

Between the World and Me Panel Discussion

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
2 - 3 p.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall

The Office of First-Year Experience is pleased to announce a panel discussion of the 2016-2017 KU Common Book, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me.   The discussion will be an opportunity to learn about Between the World and Me and the ways faculty, staff, and administrators are using and plan to use the book to advance to goals of the KU Common Book Program and the University.  Panelists will include:

Marta Caminero-Santangelo, Professor of English
Darren Canady, Professor of English
Hannah Kessy, Student
Precious Porras, Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs
Nate Thomas, Vice Provost for Diversity and Equity

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