Tomorrow marks the first day of the Chicago Humanities Festival, an annual series of talks and events that celebrate art, culture and education. The theme of this year's festival is "Journeys," encompassing a variety of programming that explores the personal experiences of artists, authors, scientists and activists. You're out of luck if you were hoping to hear Patti Smith speak about her memoir or see Chaz Ebert reminisce about her late husband (those events are sold out), but you still have a chance to witness something just as interesting. We found 10 Chicago Humanities Festival events that (at the time of this writing) you can still buy tickets for.
Chicks Dig Time Lords (Nov 1, 1:30–2:30pm) - Grab your sonic screwdriver, hop in a TARDIS and get ready to geek out about the Doctor with Whovian expert Lynne Thomas, who co-edited Chicks Dig Time Lords, a book about female Dr. Who fandom.
From Bauhaus to Bunny and Beyond (Nov 1, 3:30–4:30pm) - Chicago designer Art Paul was Playboy's first art director and the man who gave the ultimate gentleman's magazine its rabbit head logo and distinctly European style. Fellow designer James Goggin will speak with Paul about the early aesthetic of Playboy.
Talking Music with Sasha Frere-Jones (Nov 1, 3:30–4:30pm) - New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones hosts a discussion about why the music we love works by looking back at the genres and artists that helped shape modern popular music.
Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking (Nov 2, 12–1pm) - Anya von Bremzen grew up in the USSR during the Cold War before traveling to the US and becoming a food writer for Travel + Leisure. Bremzen will speak about returning to Russia and re-experiencing the cuisine she grew up with.
The Making of a National Institution (Nov 6, 6–7pm) - Former Chicago Historical Society president Lonnie G. Bunch III is currently organizing the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, the Smithsonian’s 19th museum. He'll speak about his vision for the institution and preview the building's striking architecture.
Words with Friends: Stephin Merritt (Nov 7, 6–7pm) - Magnetic Fields songwriter Stephin Merritt reads from 101 Two-Letter Words, a collection of poems inspired by two-letter phrases permissible in Scrabble. Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! host Peter Sagal joins Merritt for an evening of wordy discussion.
Wayfinders (Nov 7–9, 7:30–8:30pm) - Portland-based performance artist Holcombe Waller leads an ensemble on a journey through oceans and futuristic landscapes in this audiovisual production.
The New Face of Global Activism (Nov 8, 12:30–1:30pm) - 27-year-old Maryam al-Khawaja, a leader of the Arab Spring protests, speaks about the use of social media as a tool for activism and alternative journalism.
Man on Wire: Philippe Petit (Nov 8, 2–3pm) - Philippe Petit walked between the Twin Towers in 1974, but he has always considered himself more of an artist than a daredevil. He'll share stories from his career and thoughts from his latest book, Creativity: The Perfect Crime.
The Sounds of Freedom (Nov 8, 4:30–5:30pm) - University of Illinois at Chicago professor of African American studies Johari Jabir leads a discussion of the role of gospel music played in the civil rights movement.