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Chicago Humanities Festival announces full lineup for Fallfest/16: Speed

Written by
Grace Perry

The Chicago Humanities Festival’s Fallfest lineup is, in a word, stacked. CHF released the full lineup this morning, and each presenter is even more compelling than the next.

Speakers will explore the theme of this year’s festival: Speed. Thoma Artistic Director Jonathan Elmer elaborates, “This fall our festival will take stock of how rapidly, and sometimes how slowly, changes in our society take place.” The presenters—as varied as Trevor Noah and Sen. Barbara Boxer—will “deepen and complicate how each of us thinks about transformational change.” Which is to say, at what speed can and should social, technological and political change happen? It's a tough question to answer, but CHF has lined up some very creative thinkers to try their darndest. 

This year’s highlights include:

  • Writer and gay activist Dan Savage, best known for his column Savage Love, will speak on the rapid normalization of gay rights
  • The partners behind the ever-expanding Fat Rice empire, Adrienne Lo and Abe Conlon will debut their cookbook
  • Philip Glass, one the most influential composers of the 21st century, will reflect on his groundbreaking work in contemporary music
  • Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd will discuss her new book on this bizarre year in American politics
  • A Chicago House Music roundtable and dance party
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer, 23-year junior senator from California, will reflect on her career in public service as she prepares to retire
  • Beloved public intellectual Melissa Harris-Perry will host a live version of her new talk show, MHP LIVE
  • The Daily Show host Trevor Noah will reflect on his biracial upbringing in apartheid-era South Africa
  • Writers Jessica Valenti, Lindy West and Samantha Irby on a panel on contemporary feminism

Festival kick-off events with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and journalist Gloria Steinem will prelude the festival in the coming month. Check out the full lineup here.

Fallfest/16: Speed is comprised of more than 100 events all over Chicago, from October 29-November 12. It’s humanly impossible to see every single event, but make sure you catch at least a few of these stellar speakers.

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