2013 Chicago Humanities Festival to feature Temple Grandin, animal theme

Author Sherman Alexie

Author Sherman Alexie

The Chicago Humanities Festival asks the deep questions we ask ourselves before we fall asleep at night, or stare out at the grandeur of Lake Michigan on a warm summer's eve, or take a toke of something greenish (legally, that is…in Colorado or Washington). Questions like: What makes us human? How do we make sense of life on this planet? Where can I get a Doritos Locos Taco, stat?

But whereas our Q's only prompt more Q's, the CHF attempts to answer them—or at least have experts present their research, experiences and creative discoveries. The fall 2013 festival—which takes place October 13 and 20 and November 1 through 10—considers "animal" from various angles. Specifically, how recent scholarship on the human-animal relationship has evolved and changed, with, as CHF artistic director Matti Bunzl notes, "unprecedented convergence in once-distant fields." 

The CHF fest's real strong suit is pondering a theme across multiple disciplines—film, visual art, science, literature, etc.—and this year features more than 100 diverse events that explore what it means to be human or animal. Among the presenters are animal scientist Temple Grandin, medical scholar and surgeon Atula Gawande, novelist Sherman Alexie, primatologist Frans de Waal, New Yorker writer Susan Orlean, psychoanalytic theorist Julia Kristeva, author Justin Torres and Harvard prof/fairy tale expert Maria Tatar

The full schedule will be announced in August, and tickets go on sale on September 3 (for CHF members) and September 16 (for the general public). Don't miss the chance to get a liberal arts education in just a couple weeks. 

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