Events & Lectures

The Hutchins Center hosts a vast array of lectures and events throughout the year. We have five endowed lecture series, a weekly colloquium series, lunchtime talks, public workshops, international conferences, panel discussions, medal ceremonies, art openings, and book readings that contribute to our robust schedule. We hope to see you at our next event!


Please scroll down to browse our event listings. Click on the dates in gold to jump ahead in the calendar.

June 2017

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Our six endowed lecture series feature renowned scholars in the field of African and African American Studies. Lecturers present new original work which they unfold to the Harvard community over three consecutive evenings. The talks are then published as monographs through Harvard University Press, Stanford University Press, or Yale University Press. Further details on the Cohen, Du Bois, Huggins, Locke, McMillan-Stewart, and Wein lectures follow below.

Richard D. Cohen Lectures on African and African American Art

The Richard D. Cohen Lectures takes up key issues in African and African American art history, bringing to Harvard University thinkers and practitioners who focus on the vital ways in which art has shaped the rich landscape of African Diasporic history, society, and thought across an array of artists, genres, periods, and critical issues. The series represents a unique opportunity to rethink vital questions of the past and to shape the related fields of scholarship anew. Newest of the Institute lecture series, it features scholars and practitioners who address the vast expanse of African Diasporic art communities through the study of contemporary works, specific historical concerns, or traditional art considerations in communities in Africa and elsewhere. Books from the lectures series will be published by Yale University Press.

W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures

The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures were established in 1981 with funding from the Ford Foundation. These lectures recognize persons of outstanding achievement who have contributed to the understanding of African American life, history, and culture. Previous speakers have included Kwame Anthony Appiah, Homi K. Bhabha, Hazel Carby, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Stuart Hall, Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Glenn C. Loury, Manning Marable, John McWhorter, Sidney Mintz, and Cornel West.

Order W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures Published by Harvard University Press

Forthcoming W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures will be published by Stanford University Press.

Nathan I. Huggins Lectures

The Nathan I. Huggins Lectures were established by friends and colleagues of Nathan I. Huggins, the distinguished historian and first holder of the W. E. B. Du Bois Professorship at Harvard University. Professor Huggins served as Chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies and as Director of the Du Bois Institute from 1980 until his untimely death in 1989. This series brings to Harvard distinguished scholars to deliver a series of lectures focusing on topics related to African American and Diaspora history. Previous speakers have included David Brion Davis, George M. Fredrickson, Paul Gilroy, Lani Guinier, Darlene Clark Hine, Thomas Holt, Robin D. G. Kelley, Leon F. Litwack, Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Gary B. Nash, and Charles Ogletree.

This series is co-sponsored with the Department of African and African American Studies and Harvard University Press

Order Nathan I. Huggins Lectures Published by Harvard University Press

Alain LeRoy Locke Lectures

The Alain LeRoy Locke Lectures are named after the godfather of the Harlem Renaissance and the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard in 1918, Alain LeRoy Locke (1885–1954). These lectures honor the memory and contributions of this noted Harvard scholar who also became the first and, until 1963, the only African American to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. This series brings a distinguished person to Harvard to deliver lectures on a topic related to the field of African American culture and history. Books from the lectures series will be published by Stanford University Press.

McMillan-Stewart Lectures

The McMillan-Stewart Lectures were established in 1996 to honor Geneviève McMillan of Cambridge and her colleague, Reba Stewart, who died tragically while working as a painter in Africa. Ms. McMillan endowed this lecture series in order to advance knowledge in the field of African Studies. Books from the lectures series will be published by Stanford University Press.

George and Joyce Wein Lectures in African and African American Music

The George and Joyce Wein Lectures in African and African American Music brings an artist or scholar to Harvard to speak on issues pertaining to African, African American, and African Diasporic music. Established by George Wein, the founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, in honor of his late wife, Joyce, and cosponsored with the Department of African and African American Studies, the series consists of one lecture and a master class or performance on two consecutive days. The inaugural Wein Lecture will be delivered by George Lewis in fall 2015.

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