Need to Know: 2018 Lectures calendar


Jackie Norman/Iowa State Daily

Tarana Burke has dedicated most of her life to helping young women who have experienced sexual trauma. Burke spoke about her work that started long before the #metoo movement and continues going strong. The lecture was held in Stephens Auditorium on March 26.

Jill O'Brien

Iowa State’s lectures program has been known to host a variety of speakers covering a variety of topics, from Me Too founder Tarana Burke to clothing company Patagonia to feminist authors. 

This year, the fall semester lectures schedule will feature a diverse group of lecturers, their ideas and experiences to campus. Interested in attending a lecture or a few? Here’s who you can see at Iowa State this fall:

Sept. 5- “Refugee Stories: The Art of Mohamed Hafez”

8 p.m. MU Sun Room

Mohamed Hafez came to Iowa State to study architecture, but after the start of the Syrian civil war, could not return to his home country. Hafez will talk about his experience as a refugee, his art and how they intersect. His exhibit “Unpacked: Refugee Baggage” will be on display at the Christian Petersen Art Museum from Sept. 4 to Oct. 19. 

Sept. 6- “The Art of Science: Bringing Pixar’s Animated Worlds to Life”

7 p.m. MU Great Hall

Danielle Feinberg, Harvard graduate and Director of Photography for Lighting at Pixar Animated Studios, will talk about how Pixar brings together art, science, math and code to bring movies like “Coco,” “Finding Nemo,” “Toy Story” and more to life. 

Sept. 10- “Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose: A New Approach to Vocation”

7 p.m. MU Sun Room 

Kathleen Cahalan, professor of theology at Saint John’s University, will lecture as part of the Msgr. James A. Supple Lecture Series. 

Sept. 11- “The Dark Side of Big Data”

7 p.m. MU Great Hall

Data scientist, mathematician and author Cathy O’Neill will talk about how the use of big data, and how “objective” algorithms actually reinforce human bias all across human interactions. O’Neill’s lecture is part of the National Affairs Series. 

Sept. 13- “The Design Process, Autism and Animals”

7 p.m. MU Great Hall

Temple Grandin is a person with autism, as well as a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and expert on animal behavior and autism. Her works explore the connection between autism and animal behavior, as well as advances in understanding autism. 

Sept. 17- “Latina Memories: A Chilean Human Rights Perspective”

7 p.m. MU Sun Room

Wellesley College professor Marjorie Agosin has been vocal about women’s rights in Chile in her creative and scholastic work throughout her life. Raised by Jewish parents in Chile and having fled after the Pinochet takeover, her works focus on feminism and social justice, as well as the blending of her Jewish and South American cultural backgrounds.

Sept. 25- “Mental Illness, Tragedy and Transformation: The Mark Becker Story”

7 p.m. MU Great Hall

As part of the Story County Mental Health Expo, Joan and David Becker will tell their story of how they dealt with their son’s paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis a the tragedy that followed after. The Becker’s hope is that their lecture will help people make a difference in improving mental healthcare. 

Oct. 8- “Watergate 45 Years Later: What Have We Learned?”

8 p.m. MU Great Hall 

Three panelists — a Pulitzer Prize winning author, a former Iowa congressman and former General Counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee during Watergate — will discuss lessons from Watergate and how they can be seen today. Des Moines Register opinion editor Kathie Obradovich will moderate the discussion.

Oct. 9- “A Hollywood Career in Costume Design” – Black Panther’s Ruth Carter

7 p.m. MU Great Hall 

Costume designer Ruth Carter has been credited with over 40 films, but her most recent was designing more than 1,000 costumes for the nation of Wakanda in Marvel’s “Black Panther.” Carter’s other credits include Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” and and Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad”, both of which earned her Academy Award nominations for Best Costume Design.

Carter’s lecture is part of the Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair Lecture Series and Human Sciences Week 2018. 

Oct. 10- “Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Meat Processing Industry” 

7 p.m. MU Sun Room

Phil Howard is an associate professor at Michigan State University, and his work focuses on consolidation across food systems. His lecture will focus on the impact of government subsidies on the three largest meat processors in the world, as well as changes in the industry.

Howard’s lecture is this year’s George M. Beal Distinguished Lecture in Rural Sociology.

Oct. 29- “Lion Conservation on a Crowded Continent”

7 p.m. MU Great Hall 

Craig Packer is a professor at the University of Minnesota and director of the university’s Lion Research Center. Packer’s work focuses on lion conservation, lion behavior and interaction between humans and lions. His book, “Into Africa,” and his scholastic works tells us about how to protect lions in the modern world. 

Packer’s lecture is this year’s Paul L. Errington Memorial Lecture. 

Nov. 1- “We Rise: Building a Movement that Restores the Planet”

7 p.m. MU Great Hall 

Seventeen-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is an indigenous author, activist, hip-hop artist and leader of a youth-led environmental movement. Martinez is also Youth Director of the Earth Guardians, where he and other young artists and activists come together to work toward global change. 

Martinez’s lecture is part of “Celebrating the Live Green Initiative” and part of the National Affairs Series: Building a Better Democracy. 

More information on the lectures program can be found on the Lectures website.