College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Centers & Institutes > DePaul Humanities Center > Events > Event Archive > 2017-2018


Videos for selected DePaul Humanities Center lectures and events are available at the DePaul Humanities Center Youtube Page.

Fake 1 & In Conversation with Great Minds: Ricky Jay

Ricky Jay
Fake 1 & In Conversation with Great Minds
Ricky Jay

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
DePaul Student Center, room 120
2250 N Sheffield Avenue, Chicago

6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Screening of Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay
7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Conversation

With an acting résumé that includes work in film (e.g, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and as a James Bond villain in Tomorrow Never Dies), television (e.g., “The X-Files” and “Deadwood”), and stage (most notably as himself); a list of celebrated publications featuring stories and analysis of scoundrels, fakes, cons, and scallywags; and a reputation as the greatest sleight-of-hand artist in the world, Ricky Jay is at the top of his game in every pursuit he undertakes: the Joker, the Ace, and all four Kings combined in the arts & humanities’ deck of cards. Join us for an evening of magic and conversation as the DePaul Humanities Center welcomes writer, actor, scholar, historian, artist, magician, and all-around-genius Ricky Jay.

The Horror of the Humanities V

Horror of the Humanities
The Horror of the Humanities V

Monday, October 30, 2017
DePaul Student Center, room 120
2250 N Sheffield Avenue, Chicago

6:00 - 6:30 p.m. "Haunted House" Interactive Halloween Exhibit
6:30 - 7:45 p.m. Screening of the film, The Eyes of My Mother (2016)
7:45 - 9:00 p.m. Conversation with the film's director, Nicholas Pesce

The DePaul Humanities Center’s fifth-annual Halloween event begins, as always, with an avant-garde “haunted house” featuring multimedia, interactive posters, installation art, and exhibits pointing to the horror of everyday life as well as the relationship between horror and the history of the humanities; continues with a screening of a contemporary masterpiece of Americana horror, The Eyes of My Mother; and concludes with a talk and Q&A with the film’s director. Nicolas Pesce. Horrific surprises abound on Halloween Eve at the DHC!

The 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Russian Revolution
The 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
DePaul Student Center, room 120
2250 N Sheffield Avenue, Chicago

7:00 - 9:15 p.m.

In November of 1917, Bolshevik workers and soldiers successfully overthrew the provisional government that had been established in Russia only eight months earlier following the dissolution of the Tsarist autocracy. Under the guidance of Vladimir Lenin, the Marxist revolution promised land for the peasants, power for the workers, and food for the poor. A century later, the DePaul Humanities Center examines these promises and explores some of the methods the revolutionaries devised to fulfill them. Putting theory into practice in an evening devoted to a radical questioning of the hierarchies of public gatherings and academic institutions, ideas will be presented, but the audience will be invited to participate by making the ideas their own, considering how best to give them power. Featuring live music, performance, theatre, a world-premiere film by Our Literal Speed, and reports on Party work (Helena Goscilo on the Women’s Section, Zachary Cahill on the status of The Parapsychology Initiative, and William Nickell on the challenges of cultural transformation) our participatory assembly—our “soviet”—will think together about the positive aspects of the revolution, what its spirit represented, and what we might learn from it given our situation today.

The Biblical Humanities: Holy Ingestions: Sacrificial Bodies, Communion, and The Eucharist

Biblical Ingestions

The Biblical Humanities

Holy Ingestions: Sacrificial Bodies, Communion, and The Eucharist

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
St. Vincent DePaul Parish
1010 West Webster Avenue, Chicago​

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Lectures and Performances
9:00 - 9:30 p.m. Wine and cheese reception sponsored by Saint Vincent de Paul Parish

A sacrifice and a sacrament, the Eucharist brings together faith and practice in a way that causes us to think about the manner in which a community is constituted by what its members eat and how that ingestion is made possible and understood as something more—understood as a community in communion. Emeritus Prof. of Religious Studies, James G. Hart (Indiana University) undertakes a phenomenology of the Eucharist that thinks through the distinction between God and the world; DePaul alum and Assistant Prof. of Religion and Theology, Anthony Paul Smith (La Salle University) considers the political aspects of the practice of the Eucharist, especially how it is tied to the suffering of the flesh of marginalized others; Lecturer in Anthropology, Rachel Briggs (University of North Carolina) turns our attention to other traditions that bring together sacrifice and eating, especially the Corn Mother myth in various Native American cultures; and Robert Beatty, Director of Music at the Saint Vincent de Paul Parish, leads the Saint Vincent de Paul Chamber Chorale in live musical performances that tie together these various traditions and practices, making a case for how art as well as scholarly investigation leads to enlightenment, understanding, and satiation.

In Conversation with Great Minds: Michael Shannon

Michael Shannon
In Conversation with Great Minds
Michael Shannon

Monday, January 29, 2018
DePaul Student Center, Room 120
2250 N Sheffield Avenue, Chicago

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Screening of Take Shelter (2011, dir. Jeff Nichols)
8:00 - 9:00 p.m. Conversation

Academy Award/Golden Globe nominee and SAG Award winner, Michael Shannon visits the DePaul Humanities Center and joins Center director H. Peter Steeves to talk about a career that has taken him from stage ("Bug") to television ("Empire Boardwalk") to film (Nocturnal Animals), establishing him as one of the most talented, compelling, creative, and original artists of our time.

Fake 2: Shadows


Fake 2

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
DePaul Student Center, Room 120
2250 N Sheffield Avenue, Chicago

6:30 - 7:00 p.m. The "Gallery of Shadows" interactive art and science exhibit
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Lectures and Performances

From Biblical Hebrew to Ancient Greek and Latin, a shade is thought to be a shadow-self, the part that continues on into the afterlife. But our shadows, of course, are always with us—not a fake-self, not a specter of a thing, but part of what it means to be in the light, to be enlightened.

Featuring a lecture on Plato’s “myth of the cave” by Professor of Philosophy, Michael Naas (DePaul University); Javanese “shadow puppet” court dance by Danielle Meijer (Aleph World Fusion Dance); performance of shadow puppetry poetry by Blair Thomas; an investigation of shadows’ relation to cinema by Assoc. Professor of English, Alice Maurice (University of Toronto); and musical performances of shadow-themed songs by jazz vocalist and pianist Shawn Wallace, the DHC peers into the light and the dark in a radically interdisciplinary investigation of all things shadowy.

Be sure to arrive early (6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.) to take home a free shadow silhouette portrait by Nina Nightingale and investigate the art and science of shadows in a dozen interactive exhibits featuring the artwork of Helen Vaughn, Joao Gonçalves, Megumi Kajiwara, Tathuhiko Nijima, and scientific explorations of such themes as the weight of a shadow, how to make colorful shadows, fourth-dimension shadows, and the varieties of shadow illusions and truths.

Fake 3: Plato's Nightmare: The Real, the Fake, and the World of Art

Fake 3
Plato's Nightmare: The Real, the Fake, and the World of Art

Monday, March 5, 2018
DePaul Student Center, Room 120
2250 N Sheffield Avenue, Chicago

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Screening of F for Fake (dir. Orson Welles, 1974),
and pre-show gallery of original artwork by such artists as "Cézanne."
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Lectures and Performances

The standard reading of Plato is that a physical pipe is a shadow, a poor imitation of the more real Pipe—the perfect abstract Form. A painting of a pipe is thus twice removed from perfection: a shadow of a shadow. For this reason, artists were to be banned from Plato’s Republic as their work brings us further from the truth. Does art lie? Even without committing to Plato’s metaphysic, might his worry have some merit? After all, an actor pretends to be Hamlet, and a drawing of an apple a day cannot keep the doctor away. We begin the evening with a look at forgeries, including a screening of Orson Welles’ masterpiece hybrid documentary on fakeness and art, followed by a lecture on Welles’ film by Catherine Benamou (UC Irvine). DHC Fellow Patty Gerstenblith next investigates the legality of fake records concerning fake and real art and artifacts. And DePaul Theatre School alumnus, Glenn Davis, makes a case for a truth portrayed on stage or screen being just as real as a truth in everyday life. Join us at the DHC as we artistically peel the layers of fakeness away and collectively wake from Plato’s nightmare!

The Scholar's Game Night: The DePaul Family Feud

Family Feud
The Scholar’s Game Night
The DePaul Family Feud

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
DePaul Student Center, Room 120
2250 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Audience members can win up to $1,000 in our fifth annual “Scholar’s Game Night” as this year we “play the Feud” with five DePaul professors going head-to-head against contestants from the audience on topics of academic import and interest. The question is, “Who lets students show off their smarts, defeat their professors, have fun, and win big all at the same time?” The top five answers are on the board…and all of them are: “The DePaul Humanities Center”!

Fake 4: Fake Nous: Knowing What We Don't Know

Fake Nous
Fake 4
Fake Nous: Knowing What We Don’t Know

Monday, April 16, 2018
DePaul Student Center, Room 120
2250 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago

5:45 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

5:45-7:00 p.m. - Screening of Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable
7:10 – 9:00 p.m. - Lectures

It’s arguably getting harder and harder to know what’s true. Fake news is in the news, but what if fake nous—a problem with mind, rationality, and epistemology themselves—is the problem? Surely, knowing what we don’t know becomes the first step toward a corrective. Following the screening of Damien Hirst’s new documentary revealing heretofore undiscovered treasures from the deep, three scholars take the stage. Lorraine Code (York University), the most important voice in contemporary feminist epistemology, investigates “manufactured uncertainty” and how male-oriented ways of knowing have obscured truth rather than uncovered it. Angie Blumberg (DHC Visiting Fellow) looks at fake records in history, thus challenging our understanding of our past as well as our present. And Andrew Shtulman (Occidental College), author of the best-selling book Scienceblind, explains why common sense often leads us to false scientific conclusions about the world. Nothing is necessarily what it seems as the DHC investigates what it means to know truth and to know truly!

Fake 5: Who Am I Now? The Art of the Con

Art of the Con
Fake 5
Who Am I Now? The Art of the Con

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
DePaul Student Center, Room 120
2250 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

We are performing our identities at all times, and there is no “true” self beyond such performance. But some of us explore and perfect this way of being with true artistic brilliance. Andy Kaufman performed as Tony Clifton, Foreign Man, and a variety of other personas, once claiming that “Andy Kaufman” was the true fake. Andy’s sister, Carol Kaufman Kerman, joins us to tell stories about what it was like to be in Andy’s family when Andy was exploring who he was and wasn’t. On the eve of his solo show opening at the DePaul Art Museum, we are also joined by DHC Fellow Zachary Ostrowski—a graphic artist, musician, and performance artist who often performs under the personae of Beverly Fre$h and Mr Midwe$t. The DHC is honored as well to host headliner Alan Abel, the greatest prankster and hoaxer of the past century, who will discuss his life of brilliant cons and put-ons. (Get a taste of Abel’s antics even before the event here, as “Abel Raises Cain,” and then check out “The Alan Abel Pop-Up Museum” at the event itself.) The evening also features a live musical performance by world-renowned tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Come as you are—or as someone else—and ask, “Who am I now?” with the DePaul Humanities Center!

Fake 6: Truly Sick? Truly Well?

Truly Sick Truly Well
Fake 6
Truly Sick? Truly Well?

Monday, May 7, 2018
DePaul Student Center, Room 120
2250 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago

5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Screening of Mommy Dead and Dearest (dir. Erin Lee Carr, 2017)
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Lectures and performances

What does it mean to be sick, healthy, disabled, or ill? When, if ever, is a body normal or normally-healthy? In order to think together about such questions, the DHC screens Mommy Dead and Dearest, a documentary by Erin Lee Carr that raises questions about fake identity as well as fake illness (in this case, Munchausen by proxy). Cicely Boggan joins us to perform ASL poetry and examine deafness vs. disability. And Allen J. Frances, M.D., the chair of the DSM-IV task force and expert on the politics of diagnosis, will address the topic of confusing “mad and bad” by criminalizing mental illness and medicalizing evil. Question normality, check your assumptions, and take your own pulse as the DHC investigates what it means to be truly sick or truly well!