Friends Forum 2016-17: A Series for Curious Minds

Special Lecture featuring Elizabeth Kolbert

The Sixth Extinction

Elizabeth Kolbert
Elizabeth Kolbert (Photo by Nicholas Whitman)

“Homo sapiens may have enjoyed brilliant success but we have done so at the expense of virtually every other species.” In her fascinating, Pulitzer Prize-winning work The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert draws on extraordinary field work and both intellectual and natural history, revealing just how destructively we humans have affected our planet.

Thursday, April 13, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Carlson Family Stage, Northrop

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Pankake Poetry Reading featuring Bao Phi

Thousand Star Hotel

Saigon-born, Minnesota-raised Bao Phi — a spoken word artist, writer, and visionary activist who seeks to build community through the arts — has appeared on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, Paris By Night, and stages across the country. He has published essays on topics ranging from Asians in hip-hop to Asian representation in video games. He is the Program Director of the Loft Literary Center.

His first collection of poetry, Sông I Sing, is taught in classrooms across the U.S. His second book, Thousand Star Hotel, also published by Coffee House Press, will be released in 2017, as well as his first children’s picture book, A Different Pond, published by Capstone.

April 18, 2017, 2017   4:00 p.m.
Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Reservations Requested

Friends of the Libraries Annual Celebration

Alan PageAlan Page in Conversation with Gary Eichten

Alan Page has had an extraordinary career trajectory: an NFL Hall of Famer, he gained even greater renown as a Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, founder of the Page Education Foundation for Minnesota students of color; lately he’s also recognized as an author of children’s books. Discover his motivations and passions in this conversation with Gary Eichten, known and revered for his many years as a Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) host and news editor.

Event Details

When: May 9, 5:30 p.m., Awards Presentation 6:15 p.m., Dinner and Program to follow
Where: McNamara Alumni Center

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Past 2016-2017 Friends Forum Events

Paul and Joan Nagel Lecture featuring Joseph Ellis

The Second Founding: Four Men Who Created a Country

Joseph Ellis
3/22/12 Amherst, MA — Portrait of Author Joseph J. Ellis March 22, 2012. Photo by Erik Jacobs

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis, author of The Quartet, will share observations on one of the most crucial periods in American history — the years between the end of the Revolution and the formation of the federal government — and the individuals most responsible for the creation of the United States: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Ted Mann Concert Hall (New Location)

Kirschner Lecture featuring Beth Dooley and J. Ryan Stradal

Farm Fields, Gardens, Kitchens, and Libraries of the Great Midwest

Join a delightful excursion through today’s food scene with stories of farmers, cheese makers, butchers, home cooks, chefs, sommeliers, and restaurateurs. Novelist J. Ryan Stradal and food writer Beth Dooley will reveal which books and authors that have inspired them while sharing insights into the ways food creates community, connecting us to each other and to the natural world.    

Thursday, December 1, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Feast of Words featuring Erika Lee

The First ‘Global Immigration Crisis’: History and Contemporary Issues

Immigration is a central issue in the U.S. and around the world—and not for the first time. Award-winning author Erika Lee tells the forgotten history of the first global “immigration crisis,” when Asian immigration sparked international debates, race riots, and restrictive new laws leading to Asian exclusion.

Thursday, January 26, 2017  
Ticketed event
5:00 p.m. Social hour; 5:30 p.m. Dinner seating: 6:15 Program
Campus Club, Coffman Memorial Union

Friends Member Appreciation Event featuring Marlene Zuk

Paleofantasy: What Evolution Tells us About Modern Life

Are our bodies and brains at odds with contemporary life? Would we be better off with things the way they used to be, before rapid changes in agriculture resulted in diseases like diabetes and obesity? Perhaps not—because over millennia, the evidence shows, our genes have changed substantially: never have our bodies, our minds, or our behavior been perfectly in sync with the environment.

Sunday, February 26, 2017
2:00 p.m. Doors open (cash bar); 2:30 program; 3:30 reception
A.I. Johnson Great Room, McNamara Alumni Center
Reservations Required