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Fall 2020 Humanities Forum

Fall 2020 Events

Glory and the Songs of War: Reading Homer’s Iliad in the 21st Century

Friday, September 11, 3 – 4 p.m.

Dr. Spencer Klavan
Classicist and Assistant Editor of the Claremont Review of Books
Dr. Spencer A. Klavan is host of the Young Heretics podcast and assistant editor of the Claremont Review of Books and The American Mind. His book, Music in Ancient Greece, will be published with Bloomsbury next year. Some of his other writing can be found in the Atlantic, the Los Angeles TimesCity Journal, and Newsweek. Dr. Klavan earned his doctorate in Greek and Latin languages and literature from Oxford University.

March and the Legacy of John Lewis

Friday, September 25, 3 – 4 p.m.

Dr. Patrick Breen, associate professor of history at Providence College
Dr. Patrick Breen is associate professor of history at Providence College. A scholar of American history, his concentrations include African-American history, the American South, and slavery. His book, The Land Shall Be Deluged in Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt was published in 2015 by Oxford University Press. Dr. Breen will lead a discussion of the life and legacy of the late Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington and a lifelong champion for civil and voting rights. Rep. Lewis died in July, 2020.

March and the Legacy of John Lewis: A Conversation with the Co-Author and Illustrator

Friday, Oct. 2, 3 – 4 p.m.

Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, co-author and illustrator of March
Andrew Aydin, an Atlanta, Ga. native, was a member of the late Rep. John Lewis’ Washington D.C. staff and press secretary on the congressman’s reelection campaign. A lifelong devotee of comic books, Aydin proposed that Lewis write a comic book about his involvement in the civil rights movement. Lewis agreed, but only on the condition that Aydin write it with him. The result, March, became the first comics work to win the National Book Award and reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Aydin has received numerous awards and honors for his work.

Nate Powell is the first cartoonist ever to win the National Book Award. He began self-publishing at age 14 and is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts. He has won numerous awards and honors for March and other graphic works. His books are included in school curricula in more than 40 states, and he has discussed his work at the United Nations and on MSNBC, CNN, and Free Speech TV.

At the request of Mr. Aydin and Mr. Powell, the recording of this event was publicly available here for one week after its conclusion. The recording is available for private academic use within the Providence College community. If you are interested in this, please contact the director of the Humanities Forum at

Pandemics: What the Great Plague of Athens Can Teach Us Now

Friday, Oct. 16, 3 – 4 p.m.

Katherine Kelaidis, Resident Scholar at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago
Katherine Kelaidis is Resident Scholar at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago and a visiting assistant professor of classical studies at Loyola University Chicago. She holds a B.A. in classical languages from University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in classics from the University of London. She is currently completing a Diplôme d’études supérieures in Biblical Studies at the Institut Catholique de Paris.

The Great Influenza: Pandemics Then and Now

Friday, Oct. 30, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

John M. Barry, Award-Winning Author and Professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
John M. Barry is an award-winning author whose books have also involved him in policy making. An advisor to the Bush and Obama administrations, he served on the original team which recommended public health measures to mitigate a pandemic. The National Academies of Science named his 2004 book The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, a study of the 1918 pandemic, the year’s outstanding book on science or medicine, and it was a #1 New York Times best-seller. Barry is a sought-after contributor in print and broadcast media. He serves on numerous advisory boards and is a professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

On Unlearning Race and Open Debate

Thursday, Nov. 12, 3 – 4 p.m.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, American Cultural Critic and Author
Thomas Chatterton Williams is the author of Losing My Cool: Love, Literature and a Black Man’s Escape from the Crowd (2010) and Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race (2019). Williams work has appeared in The New YorkerThe Atlantic, and The London Review of Books. He is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and a columnist at Harper’s. In July 2020, Williams helped write and organize “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate,” a defense of freedom of expression signed by more than 150 public figures (including Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, and Noam Chomsky) and published in Harper’s Magazine.

A recording of this event is accessible at the following link for all current members of the Providence College community:

Special Event: Towards Fraternity: Reflections on Fratelli Tutti

Thursday, November 12, 7 p.m.

The Providence College Humanities Program is pleased to co-sponsor an upcoming event organized by the Portsmouth Institute: “Towards Fraternity: Reflections on Fratelli Tutti.” More information, including registration details.

Special Event: Campus Ministry’s ‘Faith and Science’ Presents

Isolation & Faith in the Digital Age: Interdisciplinary Panel on the Loneliness Pandemic

Monday, December 7, 4 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Philosophy department, Theology department, the
Humanities Forum, and Biology Society.