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Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jill Soloway and more added to the Chicago Humanities Festival lineup

Written by
Grace Perry

Chicago Humanities Festival hosts incredible talks and events year-round, but its annual Fallfest series is when they roll out the big guns. This year’s lineup is no exception, featuring a well-rounded group of thinkers and creators from all walks of life. Revolving around the theme of “belief,” the festival lineup leans toward political figures. In May, CHF announced headlining speakers Al Gore, Samantha Power, Alexander Hamilton author Rob Chernow, among others for the fall festival. Another wave of speakers was just revealed today, and it looks like Fallfest is only getting more compelling.

Take a look at the speakers and panelists just added to the Fallfest/17: Belief lineup:

Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates will be the guest on a live-taping of NPR’s On Being, hosted by Krista Tippett. The episode will be part of On Being’s Civil Conversations Project, and will center on Coates’ Obama-era work. (Rockefeller Chapel at University of Chicago, 5850 S Woodlawn Ave, October 16 at 7pm)

Jill Soloway, creator of streaming series Transparent and I Love Dick, returns to their hometown to discuss their recent work and the shift in transgender representation in Hollywood.

Scott Kelly has spent more consecutive days in space than any other NASA astronaut (340). He’ll be sharing his experience aboard the International Space Station and discussing the future of humans in space.

Actor Alan Alda (M*A*S*H, The West Wing) will interview leading sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson. Alda will use his Second City-honed comedic sensibilities to draw out Wilson’s theories on biodiversity for a public audience.

Acclaimed author of Housekeeping and Gilead Marilynne Robinson will receive the Chicago Tribune Literary Award. Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize For Fiction in 2005, the National Humanities Medal in 2012 and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction in 2016. (Northwestern University, exact location TBA, October 28 at 11am)

Tickets for the On Being taping go on sale here at 10am on August 23 for CHF members, and August 28 for the general public (as do Samantha Powers tickets). Tickets for the remainder of the above talks go on sale to members on September 19, and to the public on September 26.

In the meantime, we’ll be binge-watching Transparent and The West Wing to, you know, stay educated.

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