The New Social Order

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Thinking Big


Shaping Ideas in Chicago

In 1989, a group of Chicago’s cultural leaders began planning a celebration that would open the city to new ideas and the day’s most important cultural thinkers. As a result, the first ever Chicago Humanities Festival took place on November 11, 1990, and included a keynote address by renowned playwright Arthur Miller (The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, etc.). The festival has expanded to a weeks-long affair, giving Chicagoans ample opportunity to hear some talks, watch performances, and learn something new.

Until November 12th, the 2016 iteration of the Festival offers talks from today’s biggest names in science, politics, and the arts. Acclaimed fiction writer Mary Gaitskill speaks on November 5. Pulitzer Prize winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed discusses Thomas Jefferson’s checkered biography the same afternoon. On a lighter note, discuss the politics of pot on November 9 and celebrate Prince and David Bowie on the 7th.