Sixty years of the Assembly Series: spring 2014 schedule released

Mission remains to present most vital, compelling voices of the day

The Washington University in St. Louis Assembly Series turned 60 in 2013, and to mark such an august occasion, it’s fitting to remember why the lecture series was conceived in the first place. The Assembly Series launched during the institution’s centennial celebration in 1953 as a way to involve the broader St. Louis community in the robust intellectual life on campus.

Back then and through much of its history, Assembly Series programs could be enjoyed only by physically attending them, always at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays in Graham Chapel on the Danforth Campus. Sixty years hence, and for a number of reasons, the programs are no longer tethered to a set time or place. The change means a lost tradition, but it allows more members of the community and campus to attend programs. And if you can’t make it at the scheduled time, you may be able to watch or listen to it later on the Assembly Series website, or stream it live. (Recordings are posted online if speakers permit.)

Much has changed in the delivery of Assembly Series programs, but the mission has not: to bring some of the most vital and compelling voices of the day here for the enlightenment of WUSTL students, faculty and staff on campus, and to share these experiences with the broader St. Louis community. Today, that audience has been broadened immeasurably, and WUSTL can share much of this rich and diverse intellectual environment with the wider world.

It’s also fitting that the spring 2014 lecture series begins and concludes with WUSTL faculty members. It serves as a reminder of how fortunate campus community members are to live, study and work with some of the most vital and compelling voices of our day.

Washington University has an abundance of wealth when it comes to thought leaders, and the Assembly Series provides the chance to experience the best and brightest minds right here.

Every Assembly Series program is free and open to the public, although space may be limited.

Assembly Series Schedule

Mark D. Jordan, PhD

Noon Tuesday, Feb. 4, Umrath Hall Lounge
“Divine Beauty and Its Ghosts: Nietzsche”
(Note that this is the first of three lectures; on Feb. 5, Jordan will focus on Simone Weil and on Feb. 6, on Michel Foucault. Visit here for more information.)

Sean B. Carroll, PhD

4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, Graham Chapel
“Brave Genius: A Scientist’s Journey from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize”

Sheryl WuDunn

7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, Graham Chapel
“Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide”

Jon Huntsman Jr.

6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, Graham Chapel
“Opportunities and Challenges Facing America Today”

Eric Kandel, MD

5 p.m. Monday, March 3, Graham Chapel
“The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind and Brain from Vienna 1900 to the Present”

Richard J. Davidson, PhD

5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, Graham Chapel
“Change Your Brain by Transforming Your Mind”

Chai Feldblum, JD

Noon Tuesday, March 18, Anheuser-Busch Hall Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom
“The 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act”

Adam Steltzner, PhD

6 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, Graham Chapel
“How Curiosity Changed My Life”

John Camp, PhD

4 p.m. Thursday, March 27, Steinberg Hall Auditorium
Biggs Lecture in the Classics (title to be announced)

Joe Pantoliano

Monday, March 31, Simon Hall May Auditorium (time to be announced)
“Mental Illness Awareness: No Kidding? Me Too!”

Speaker to be announced

Thursday, April 10 (time and location to be announced)
Skandalaris Center Lecture on Social Entrepreneurship

Holden Thorp, PhD

5 p.m. Thursday, April 17, Simon Hall May Auditorium
“From Salesman to Hamletmachine: The Need for the Humanities ”

The Assembly Series website will be updated soon with detailed information regarding each program; visit the website or call 314-935-4620.