Award-winning writer and scholar Clint Smith to speak at ASU's Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series


September 21, 2021

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University will host the annual Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series with Clint Smith, award-winning writer, poet, scholar and staff writer at The Atlantic.

The lecture, “A Conversation with Clint Smith,” will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, on ASU’s Tempe campus in Armstrong Hall. The lecture will be the signature event of The College’s inaugural Humanities Week — a collection of special events taking place from Oct. 18–22 to highlight the ways in which students and faculty are exploring the human adventure across time, culture and place. Clint Smith, award-winning writer, poet, scholar and staff writer at The Atlantic. Download Full Image

Smith is the author of the narrative nonfiction book, “How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America,” which was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller, and the poetry collection “Counting Descent,” which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.

He has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New America, the Emerson Collective, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem and the National Science Foundation. His essays, poems and scholarly writing have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, the Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere.

Smith is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and a 2017 recipient of the Jerome J. Shestack Prize from the American Poetry Review. His two TED Talks, "The Danger of Silence" and "How to Raise a Black Son in America," collectively have been viewed more than 9 million times.

Previously, Smith taught high school English in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where, in 2013, he was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. He currently teaches writing and literature in the D.C. Central Detention Facility. He is also the host of the YouTube series "Crash Course Black American History."

Smith received his bachelor’s degree in English from Davidson College and his PhD in education from Harvard University. Born and raised in New Orleans, he currently lives in Maryland with his wife and their two children.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Visitor parking is available in several lots and parking garages near the venue. Face coverings are required for the duration of this event. Due to room capacity limitations, seating will be limited and RSVPs are required.

The Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series brings nationally known scholars concerned with promoting culture through the humanities and a better understanding of the problems of democracy to ASU. This annual free public lecture is funded with a gift from Jonathan and Maxine Marshall.

Emily Balli

Communications Specialist and Lead Writer, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Explore the human adventure at ASU's inaugural Humanities Week


September 15, 2021

This year, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University will host the inaugural Humanities Week — a collection of special events to highlight the ways in which students and faculty are exploring the human adventure across time, culture and place.

The events, which include a mix of virtual and in-person programming, will take place from Oct. 18–22 and will be led by units, centers and institutes within The College's humanities division. Schools within ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts will also be participating. illustration of a cactus The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University will host the inaugural Humanities Week — a collection of special events to highlight the ways in which students and faculty are exploring the human adventure across time, culture and place — from Oct. 18-22. Download Full Image

The weeklong calendar of events will cover a broad range of humanities-related topics, including history, literature, culture, racial representation, social justice and climate change. Each day a number of open classes, department open houses, hands-on activities, public lectures, crafts and food will be offered with the mission of sharing new and worldly perspectives.

“Humanities Week is many things — a celebration of all we do and achieve in the humanities, a chance to foreground our brilliant and creative faculty and staff — but most importantly, an opportunity for students to see a glimpse into all the humanities division has to offer,” said Jeffrey Cohen, dean of humanities in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The College's Marshall Distinguished Lecture will be a signature event of the week, featuring Clint Smith, staff writer at The Atlantic and author of the New York Times bestseller “How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America.”

Other events include:

Humanities Week Swag and Info Booth: Stop by the Humanities Week swag and information booth to get free swag and details about activities taking place throughout the week.

Teaching Genocide Comparatively: Join Associate Professor Jason Bruner, Assistant Professor Volker Benkert and Sheryl Bronkesh, president of the Phoenix Holocaust Association, for a talk about the comparative study of genocide in public secondary schools

Digital Humanities Showcase: Attend this showcase featuring the work of digital humanities and digital scholarship at ASU to see how digital humanities methods can augment and accompany the work of scholars and introduce undergraduates to the field of digital humanities.

Africanfuturism and Worldbuilding in Science Fiction: Award-winning writer and Professor of Practice Nnedi Okorafor joins Associate Professor Matt Bell's "Writing Science Fiction" class for a conversation about her acclaimed novel "Lagoon," as well as issues of worldbuilding in science fiction and fantasy, Africanfuturism and other genres. Together they will discuss how imagining fictional worlds might make new possibilities reachable in our own futures.

Deconstructing Race in Film: Fred Kuwornu's Documentary "Blaxploitalian 100 Years of Blackness": Join the Humanities Lab, Deconstructing Race and Italian-Ghanaian filmmaker/producer Fred Kuwornu for an evening of film clips and open discussion regarding Kuwornu's film, “Blaxploitalian 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema.”

ASU Common Read: A Virtual Visit with Michael Eric Dyson: Attend this virtual visit with Michael Eric Dyson, author of "Long Time Coming: Reckoning With Race in America,” where he will discuss his work and answer questions. The conversation will be facilitated by two new members of the ASU faculty: Pulitzer winner Mitchell Jackson, the John O. Whiteman Dean’s Distinguished Professor of English; and Whiting Award winner Safiya Sinclair, an associate professor of English.

Visit ihr.asu.edu/humanities-week to see the full schedule of events or to learn more.

Emily Balli

Communications Specialist and Lead Writer, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences