Humanities Broadsheet

St. Louis–Area Humanities Events

An Act of God
A divine comedy! Delivering a new and improved set of Commandments, God’s introduction of the revised laws is refreshingly positive, insisting on the separation of  church and state and encouraging us to believe in ourselves, not some elderly white guy in the sky. The play is sinfully funny delivering new meaning to the phrase divine intervention and where God and his devoted angels answer some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since Creation. He’s finally arrived to set the record straight ... and He’s not holding back! $42–$45. Talkbacks following the performances on Dec. 2 and Dec. 6.
New Jewish Theatre, The J, 2 Millstone Campus Dr., 63146

Active Latin Workshop and Lecture
JUSTIN SLOCUM BAILEY leads a workshop for area teachers and anyone interested in the practice of active Latin. Please plan on bringing your own lunch with you or purchasing lunch on campus during the midday break. At 1pm, he will give a talk in English entitled “Engaging the Whole Reader: ‘Active Latin’ as a Bridge Between Student and Text” (it’s not necessary to attend the entire workshop to attend this lecture). Bailey, a longtime language teacher, teacher trainer and curriculum designer, supports teachers and learners worldwide while consulting for schools, districts, publishers, software developers, travel companies and nonprofit organizations. He operates, a collection of resources and habits for boosting joy and success in language learning and teaching, with over 50,000 users from 172 countries. Justin has published several articles on language pedagogy and contributed to commercial materials for both modern and classical languages, but especially enjoys supporting Latin learners and instructors through endeavors such as the Latin Listening Project, the Quomodo Dicitur? podcast, and LIMEN, an online Latin teaching portal. Co-sponsored by the St. Louis Classical Club, Washington University's Institute for School Partnerships, and the Classical Association of the Middle West and South's Committee for the Promotion of Latin. Free but pre-registration is appreciated; email Tom Keeline (, assistant professor of classics, Washington University.
Washington University, Umrath Hall, Room 140

NiNi Harris, This Used to Be St. Louis (Author Talk)
St. Louis’ history is layered. Each layer — whether the French pioneers establishing St. Louis as a river trading post, or Swiss immigrants starting dairy farms and dairies, or immigrants from Europe putting on the uniforms of the American doughboy — has left an imprint on the city. This Used to Be St. Louis is a fun trip through those layers of history, following the stories of the glamorous, urban lofts that had been the factory for ball turrets for World War II Air Force bombers; the dock of the pasta plant where the Civil War ironclads were built; the elegant townhouse that once served as an Albanian Orthodox Church.
St. Louis Public Library – Carondelet Library, 6800 Michigan Ave., St. Louis, 63111

Louise Penny, Kingdom of the Blind (Author Talk)
LOUISE PENNY presents her latest spellbinding novel starring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, he discovers that a complete stranger has named him an executor of her will. The will is so odd that Gamache suspects the woman must have been delusional. But when a body is found, the terms of the bizarre will suddenly seem less peculiar and far more menacing. Tickets available through, $32–$38, includes book copy.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Human Rights, Counter-Terrorism and Islamic Reform: An Insider’s View of U.S. Policy Debates
Born in St. Louis, Ismail Royer converted to Islam in 1992 and has worked for several nonprofit Islamic organizations. He was sentenced to prison after traveling abroad to participate in “jihadist” conflicts in Bosnia and Pakistan. Following his release, Royer joined a leading human-rights NGO (Religious Freedom Institute) and has become an influential voice in American public discourse on Islam. Drawing on his unique personal and professional experiences, Royer discusses complex ongoing policy debates concerning human rights, counter-terrorism and religious reform as well as religious renewal.
Washington University, Busch Hall, Room 100

Antony Beevor, The Battle of Arnhem (Author Talk)
On September 17, 1944, Gen. Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany’s parachute forces, went out onto his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the arrival of the air armada of the legendary American 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and the British 1st Airborne Division — more than 40,000 troops. The largest airborne battle in history — Operation Market Garden, which was intended to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine — was a bold concept but ultimately a major defeat for the Allies. Award-winning military historian Antony Beevor has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which Gen. Student called “the last German victory.” Yet The Battle of Arnhem, written with Beevor’s inimitable style and gripping narrative, is about much more than a single dramatic battle; it looks into the very heart of war.
St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

The Black Revolution on Campus
MARTHA BIONDI, the Lorraine H. Morton Professor of African American Studies and Professor of History, Northwestern University. Biondi’s research interests include 20th-century African-American history with a focus on social movements, politics, labor, gender, cities and international affairs.
Washington University, Simon Hall, Room 017

Faculty Book Talk: D.B. Dowd
As part of the University Libraries Faculty Book Talk series, Douglas B. Dowd, professor of art and American culture studies at Washington University and faculty director of the D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library (DMGHL), discusses his book Stick Figures: Drawing as a Human Practice. In Stick Figures, Dowd examines the ancient practice of drawing and proposes that it can serve as a tool for learning and communication for everyone. A rich exploration of the artifacts of drawing — mainly illustrations and cartoons — the book features 100 images, including works from the collections at the DMGHL. A reception follows the discussion.
Washington University, Olin Library, Room 142

World’s End: Writing Caribbean Apocalypse
EMILY MAGUIRE of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University specializes in modern Latin American literature and culture, with a focus on the Hispanic Caribbean and its diasporas. Her book Racial Experiments in Cuban Literature and Ethnography shows how Cuban writers in the first half of the 20th century forged a literary space in which to write the nation by drawing from two forms of expression, ethnography and literature, in their re-valorization of Afro-Cuban culture as the source of Cuban-ness. She has published articles in Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Small Axe, A Contracorriente, ASAP/Journa, and The Routledge Companion to Latino Literature, among other places. She is the co-editor, with Kahlil Chaar-Pérez, of a special issue of Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture on “After Glissant: Caribbean Aesthetics and the Politics of Relation” (2014).
Washington University, Women’s Building Formal Lounge

St. Louis, A Musical Gateway: The Balkans, India and Mexico
Gallery talk by curator Aurelia Hartenberger. The first in a series that celebrates St. Louis’ immigrant communities, this exhibit features rare and beautiful instruments drawn from The Sheldon’s Hartenberger World Music Collection from India, Mexico and the Balkan region. Highlights include a 3,000-year-old Olmec whistle and an ornate “Bajo Quinto” from Mexico, a 19th-century Croatian “Berda” tamburitza, an ancient Greek terra cotta “siren” whistle and a 12th-century Hindu “Vamavarta” conch from India. The exhibition is on display through April 13, 2019. Free but reservations are suggested. Contact Paula Lincoln at (314) 533-9900 x37 or
The Sheldon Concert Hall & Art Galleries, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

Andrea Gibson, Lord of the Butterflies (Author Talk)
In a fierce oscillation between activism and love, Andrea Gibson’s newest literary triumph, Lord of the Butterflies, is a masterful showcase from the renowned poet whose writing and performances have captured the hearts of millions. An artful and nuanced look at gender, romance, loss and family, this is also a book of protest. While rioting against gun violence, homophobia and white supremacy, Gibson celebrates gender expansion, queer love and the will to stay alive. Each emotion in Lord of the Butterflies is deft and delicate, resting within imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

The Western Mississippian Cosmos and Its Characters
Cahokia, the westernmost Mississippian cultural expression, is not only the largest in size, but it is also the earliest. James Duncan, former director of Missouri State Museum, explores how these westerners had a cosmology that influenced American Indian cultures stretching from the eastern Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic. 
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

A Fresh View of a Historic Presidency: An Evening With Stuart Eizenstat
STUART EIZENSTAT discusses his recent book President Carter: The White House Years. Eizenstat was at Jimmy Carter’s side from his political rise in Georgia through four years in the White House, where he served as chief domestic policy adviser. He was directly involved in all domestic and economic decisions as well as in many foreign policy ones. Famous for the legal pads he took to every meeting, he draws on more than 5,000 pages of notes and 350 interviews of all the major figures of the time to write the comprehensive history of an underappreciated president — and to give an intimate view on how the presidency works. Eizenstat reveals the grueling negotiations behind Carter’s peace between Israel and Egypt, what led to the return of the Panama Canal and how Carter made human rights a presidential imperative. He follows Carter’s passing of America’s first comprehensive energy policy, and his deregulation of the oil, gas, transportation and communications industries. And he details the creation of the modern vice presidency. Eizenstat also details Carter’s many missteps, including the Iranian Hostage Crisis, because Carter’s desire to do the right thing, not the political thing, often hurt him and alienated Congress. His willingness to tackle intractable problems, however, led to major, long-lasting accomplishments. This major work of history shows first-hand where Carter succeeded, where he failed and how he set up many successes of later presidents. Audience Q&A and reception with book signing immediately to follow the discussion.
Washington University, Mallinckrodt Center, Edison Theatre

Andrew Delbanco, The War Before the War (Author Talk)
For decades after America’s founding, fugitive slaves exposed the contradiction between the myth that slavery was a benign institution and the reality that a nation based on the principle of human equality was in fact a prison house in which millions of Americans had no rights at all. By awakening Northerners to the true nature of slavery, and by enraging Southerners who demanded the return of their human “property,” fugitive slaves forced the nation to confront the truth about itself and ultimately set the country on the path to civil war. The fugitive slave story illuminates what brought us to war with ourselves and the terrible legacies of slavery that are with us still. Presented by the ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Peter Shinkle, Ike’s Mystery Man (Author Talk)
PETER SHIKLE in conversation with St. Louis author Stephen Louis Brawley. This page-turning narrative takes readers from top-secret Cabinet Room meetings to exclusive social clubs and into the pages of a powerful man’s intimate diary. Ike’s Mystery Man shows that Eisenhower’s national security adviser, Robert “Bobby” Cutler — working alongside Ike and also the Dulles brothers at the CIA and the State Department — shaped U.S. cold war strategy in far more consequential ways than has been previously understood. In addition to Bobby’s diary, Ike’s Mystery Man relies on thousands of personal letters, interviews and previously classified archives to tell a gripping story that has never before been told. For the past three decades, Steven Louis Brawley has been an active member of St. Louis’ LGBTQIA+ community. In 2007, he founded the St. Louis LGBT History Project, partnering with local archives, colleges and universities, community elders, historians and researchers to preserve and promote St. Louis’ vibrant LGBTQIA+ past.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Pushmower Undergraduate Reading
Undergraduate students in creative writing read from their fiction, nonfiction and poetry in an event hosted by MFA students.
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Hurst Lounge (Room 201)

Flora and Fauna in Japanese Art
Gallery talk by Philip Hu, curator of Asian Art, Saint Louis Art Museum.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr., St. Louis, 63110

Get Your Book Published!
Do you daydream about landing a book deal for your masterpiece? Do you wonder how best-selling authors got their foot in the door? Do you want to know how to secure a publishing contract? Published editor Bridget Hurd walks you through the steps of writing your letter and book proposal, the documents you must use to entice a book agent to shop your product to publishing houses nationally and abroad. Hurd is the co-editor of PUNK: The Best of PUNK Magazine (HarperCollins, 2012), which has been favorably reviewed in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and USA Today, and was featured on BBC News. She earned an MA in English from Missouri State University and is a graduate of the Summer Publishing Institute at New York University.
St. Louis Public Library – Carpenter Library, 3309 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 63118

Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work Curatorial Tour
Join curator Tamara H. Schenkenberg for a tour of Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work. This landmark career-spanning show brings together some 80 works, comprising nearly 60 sculptures from the full trajectory of her career — including looped wire, tied wire, electroplated and cast works — as well as 20 drawings and collages.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

Beyond Mapping Decline: Fighting a Lasting Legacy
Learn about the steps that two cities, St. Louis and Baltimore, are taking to confront issues of blight and neighborhood decline. Working with Nneka N’namdi, founder of Fight Blight Bmore, and representatives from St. Louis area initiatives, this two-day event engages St. Louisans in thinking about how they can empower themselves and their neighbors to break down the lasting legacy of housing inequality.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Tour with Beatrice Red Star Fletcher and Wendy Red Star
Join Beatrice Red Star Fletcher and Wendy Red Star, an intergenerational artist collaborative duo, for a kid-friendly tour of Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work and Lola Álvarez Bravo: Picturing Mexico. In her practice, Wendy Red Star explores the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures both historically and in contemporary society. As a part of her collaborative art practice, Beatrice Red Star Fletcher leads tours for younger visitors. In addition to the tour, visitors also have the opportunity to participate in an art-making activity. This program is free, but space is limited; registration is encouraged via the website.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

WWI: St. Louis and the Great War Tour
Curator Mike Venso leads this tour, pinpointing the pivotal events of World War I and the critical role St. Louisans played in them. Delve into the stories of service overseas and at home while also exploring how men and women on the home front supported their counterparts on the front lines. You’ll discover how St. Louis changed — and was changed by — the Great War. Space is limited and registration is required.
Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, 1315 Chestnut St., St. Louis, 63103

18th-Century Economics of Exchange
This panel includes Sowande' Mustakeem, associate professor of history, Departments of History and of African and African-American Studies, Washington University, whose research interests include middle passage studies, gender and slavery in the Americas, diaspora/black Atlantic Studies, medical history, violence, maritime history, sexuality and historical memory; Rebecca Sprang, professor of history, and director of the Liberal Arts Management Program and the Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Indiana University; and Corey Tazzara, assistant professor of history, Scripps College, whose research interests include economic history, political history, and material culture of Early Modern Italy and the Mediterranean.
Washington University, Danforth University Center, Room 276

Human Rights Day 2018
Join the Missouri History Museum to commemorate Human Rights Day with a special panel discussion on the condition of human rights in contemporary society. Winners of the annual human rights expression contest read from and/or perform their work. Presented with the Coalition for Human Rights.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Creativity Unbound: The Need for Urban Experimentation
The creative capacity of society is one of its most intangible and undervalued assets. We talk about “creative cities,” but do little to systemically augment, articulate and unleash a creative ethos into cities themselves. As an inherent part of their urban DNA, cities must facilitate idea sharing, provoke new possibilities and encourage experimentation. In this talk, Gabriella Gómez-Mont draws from her experiences leading Laboratorio para la Ciudad — the award-winning experimental arm and creative think tank of the Mexico City government — to address how we can reframe the role of government, citizens and businesses to encourage social, economic and political inventiveness for our urban futures. $40 general admission, $55 VIP preferred seating and post-talk meet-and-greet.
Innovation Hall STL, 4220 Duncan Ave., St. Louis, 63110

Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism
JAMES HOFFMEIER, Trinity International University, explores Akhenaten, one of the most intriguing rulers of ancient Egypt. This lecture focuses on Akhenaten’s religion and his preoccupation with worshiping the sun disc, or Aten. How did Akhenaten’s religion develop? What prompted his program of persecution against Amun, who had been the imperial god of Egypt? These questions and more are explored. Presented with the Archaeology Institute of America.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Yoruba Arts for Gods and Mortals
Gallery talk by Nicole Bridges, associate curator for African art, Saint Louis Art Museum.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr., St. Louis, 63110

Coffee with the Artists Gallery Talk
Join Art Saint Louis and meet four of the artists featured in Art St. Louis XXXIV, The Exhibition. Guests can enjoy complimentary coffee tastings courtesy of Catalyst Coffee Bar while the artists talk about their works on view in the exhibit, discuss the media that they use and the various techniques that they apply to making their form of artwork. Guests can walk with the artists through the gallery as they talk about their works on view in the exhibition. The four featured artists are Alexa Clavijo, Mark Appling Fisher, Donna Hasegawa and Jeff Hornung.
Art Saint Louis, 1223 Pine St., St. Louis, 63103

Main Street USA: The Life and Photography of H.H. Bergstone
Real-photo postcards were all the rage in the 1910s. They allowed customized images to be sent to family and friends. H.H. Bregstone was St. Louis’ leading postcard photographer. Join Andrew Theising and learn about Bregstone’s life and how his distinctive postcards were made. See a display of his work, with a book signing to follow.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

The Search for the Primitive: German Expressionism 1900–1914
Gallery talk by Samuel Harned, former chair of the history department at Clayton High School.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr., St. Louis, 63110

Schindler’s List Screening & Discussion
Twenty-five years ago, Steven Spielberg created this seminal, award-winning film based on the true story of rescuer Oskar Schindler. A member of the Nazi party, Schindler felt compelled to turn his factory into a refuge for Jews, saving about 1100 Jewish lives. Introductory remarks and post-screening discussion facilitated by Erin McGlothlin, associate professor of German and Jewish Studies at Washington University. McGlothlin’s main research interests are German-Jewish literature and the literature of the Holocaust. In 2006, she published Second Generation Holocaust Literature: Legacies of Survival and Perpetration. Rosenberg Film Series. Please RSVP by calling (314) 442-3711 or by emailing
Holocaust Museum & Learning Center, 12 Millstone Campus Dr., St. Louis, 63146

Alabama Story
A determined librarian and a segregationist senator face off over an innocent children’s book in 1959 Montgomery. Depicting the marriage of two rabbits — who happen to have different-colored fur — the story has Sen. E.W. Higgins calling for a book ban. But even as the pressure mounts, librarian Emily Wheelock Reed refuses to yield to censorship. Inspired by true events, Alabama Story is a stirring testament to free expression. $19–$92. Post-show discussions after the following performances: Wed., Jan. 9, 1:30 pm; Thurs., Jan 10, 8 pm; Thurs., Jan. 17, 8 pm; Wed., Jan. 23, 1:30 pm.
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts, 130 Edgar Rd., Webster Groves, 63119

Steve Talks
To celebrate Steve Woolf’s final season as The Rep’s Augustin Family Artistic Director, The Rep is dedicating its entire Talk Theatre season to his experiences and insights. The Rep will present three “Steve Talks” throughout the year, in which Steve will dive into the themes and behind-the-scenes production details of our Mainstage shows. He’ll also look back on his 30+ years of artistic leadership at The Rep, and take part in open audience Q&As. Join us for illuminating conversations with a living legend! $15.
Opera Theatre of St. Louis, 210 Hazel Ave., St. Louis, 63119

Exploring Late Pre-Columbian Potting Practices in the American Bottom
Over the last two years, Alleen Betzenhauser has employed experimental archaeology to investigate Terminal Late Woodland and Mississippian (AD 900–1400) potting practices in the American Bottom. The goals of the project include identifying raw clays that were used to make pots 1,000 years ago and making new pots by using local resources and similar hand-building techniques and firing methods. This presentation summarizes her findings thus far and proposes future directions for research that include further collaborations with artists and archaeologists and engaging with the general public. Presented with Mound City Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Emancipation Day
Emancipation Day represents the freedom of African Americans from the bondage of slavery and is celebrated at various times throughout the country. This year, in conjunction with Greenwood Cemetery, Miller K. Boyd gives voice to those once enslaved and celebrate their lives and contributions to American society. Presented in collaboration with Greenwood Cemetery.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112
James Rollins, Crucible (Author Talk)
Bestselling author James Rollins combines historical mystery and scientific exploration in his latest thrilling Sigma Force adventure. Arriving home on Christmas Eve, Commander Gray Pierce discovers his house ransacked, his pregnant lover missing, and his best friend’s wife, Kat, unconscious on the kitchen floor. The only witness to what happened, Kat is in a semi-comatose state and cannot speak — until a brilliant neurologist offers a radical approach to “unlock” her mind. What Pierce learns from Kat sets Sigma Force on a frantic quest reaching back to the Spanish Inquisition and to one of the most reviled and blood-soaked books in human history. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.
St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

From Home Fires to Hello Girls: The Women of WWI
In a time before women’s suffrage, St. Louis women left their mark on the world with contributions on the home front and in Europe. Join the Missouri Historical Society for a conversation to better understand the vital role women of all backgrounds played in the Great War.
Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, 1315 Chestnut St., St. Louis, 63103

Jeremy Brown, Influenza (Author Talk)
On the 100th anniversary of the devastating pandemic of 1918, Dr. Jeremy Brown, currently the director of emergency care research at the National Institutes of Health, explores the troubling, terrifying and complex history of the flu virus. While influenza is now often thought of as a common and mild disease, it still kills over 30,000 people in the U.S. each year. Brown expounds on the flu’s deadly past to solve the mysteries that could protect us from the next outbreak. In Influenza, he talks with leading epidemiologists, policy makers and the researcher who first sequenced the genetic building blocks of the original 1918 virus to offer both a comprehensive history and a roadmap for understanding what’s to come. Presented by the Medical Arts Series. Books will be available for purchase at the event from The Novel Neighbor.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Art on Campus Lecture with Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle
Part of the University’s Art on Campus program of public art, the site-specific kinetic sculpture Weather Field No. 2 by contemporary artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (American, b. Spain, 1961) will be installed in December 2018 between Olin Library and the steps to the new Forest Park Parkway pedestrian bridge. Internationally known for a diverse body of work, Manglano-Ovalle engages with scientific research in such areas as climatology and genomic mapping and creates a platform for dialogue about the ways we understand the world through both natural and manmade systems.
Washington University, Women’s Building

Chris McGreal, American Overdose (Author Talk)
CHRIS MCGREAL is a reporter for the Guardian and a former BBC journalist. The opioid epidemic has been described as "one of the greatest mistakes of modern medicine." But calling it a mistake is a generous rewriting of the history of greed, corruption and indifference that pushed the U.S. into consuming more than 80 percent of the world's opioid painkillers. Journeying through lives and communities wrecked by the epidemic, McGreal reveals not only how Big Pharma hooked Americans on powerfully addictive drugs, but the corrupting of medicine and public institutions that let the opioid makers get away with it. A comprehensive portrait of a uniquely American epidemic, American Overdose is devastating in its findings and damning in its conclusions.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Brad Meltzer, The First Conspiracy (Author Talk)
In 1776, an elite group of soldiers were handpicked to serve as George Washington’s bodyguards. Washington trusted them, relied on them. But unbeknownst to Washington, some of them were part of a treasonous plan. In the months leading up to the Revolutionary War, these traitorous soldiers, along with the governor of New York, William Tryon, and Mayor David Mathews, launched a deadly plot against the most important member of the military: George Washington himself. In this historical page-turner, best-selling author Brad Meltzer unravels the shocking true story behind what has previously been a footnote in the pages of history. Presented by the ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series. Books will be available for purchase at the event from The Novel Neighbor.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Beyond the Dream: A Conversation with Traci Blackmon
As spoken by the late Coretta Scott King, “The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example — the benefit of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership.” Rev. Traci Blackmon reminds us of the importance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and what it means to serve communities and one another.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration
The evening’s program includes a keynote speaker address, presentation of the Rosa L. Parks Award, remarks from Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, presentations by student speakers. Reception immediately to follow in Tisch Commons, 8:30–9:30 pm.
Washington University, Graham Chapel

River Styx Reading Series: Derek Palacio, Deborah Taffa & Tiana Clark
DEREK PALACIO earned an MFA in creative writing from the Ohio State University. His short story “Sugarcane” appeared in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, and his novella, How to Shake the Other Man, was published by Nouvella Books. His debut novel is The Mortifications. He is the co-director, with Claire Vaye Watkins, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada. He lives and teaches in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is a faculty member of the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program. An enrolled member of the Yuma Nation, Deborah Taffa settled in St. Louis, Missouri, after she earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa in 2013. Originally from the beautiful red rock and sandstone Southwest, Taffa loves canoeing, backcountry trekking and travel. The Trail of Tears, a documentary she co-wrote for Stratigraphic Productions, appeared on PBS nationwide in November 2018. In March 2018, she won the Ellen Meloy Desert Writer’s Award for her collection, Kiva Song. She was named a Public Space Fellow by the Brooklyn, NY magazine in February 2018. She teaches CNF at Webster University, and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in​ Public Space, ​Salon, The Rumpus, The Best American Travel Writing, Pank, Brevity and other places. Tiana Clark is the author of Equilibrium, selected by Afaa Michael Weaver for the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. She is the winner of the 2017 Furious Flower’s Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize, 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize and winner of a Pushcart Prize. Clark was the recipient of the 2017–18 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Best New Poets 2015, BOAAT, Crab Orchard Review, Thrush, The Journal and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. $4–$5. 
Rooster South Grand, 3150 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 63118

Mesha Maren, Sugar Run (Author Talk)
Set within the charged insularity of rural West Virginia, Mesha Maren’s vibrant and compassionate debut is a novel of dreams and dark consequences. In 1989, Jodi McCarty is 17 years old when she’s sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter. She’s released 18 years later and finds herself at a Greyhound bus stop, reeling from the shock of unexpected freedom. Not yet able to return to her lost home in the Appalachian Mountains, she goes searching for someone she left behind, but on the way, she meets and falls in love with Miranda, a troubled young mother. Together, they try to make a fresh start, but is that even possible in a town that refuses to change? Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

District Merchants
A play inspired by Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. Love and litigation, deep passions and predatory lending are taken to a new level in this uneasy comedy, which wades fearlessly into the endless complexities and contradictions of life in America. Set among the black and Jewish populations of an imagined time and place — simultaneously Shakespearean, post–Civil War Washington, D.C., and today — a remarkable tale of money, merchandise and mercy. It explores race, religion, power and money in America that feels all too contemporary. Talkbacks facilitated by Jennifer Wintzer, associate artistic director, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, scheduled after the following performances: Jan. 31, 7:30 pm; and Feb. 7, &:30 pm.
New Jewish Theater, Staenberg Family Complex, 2 Millstone Campus Dr., St. Louis, 63146

Conversation: Helen Molesworth + Aruna D’Souza with Tamara Schenkenberg 
Join Pulitzer curator Tamara Schenkenberg for a conversation with Helen Molesworth and Aruna d’Souza, contributors to the catalogue on Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work. Ticketed event; see website for details.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

Living With Others: Conscience, Coercion, and Freedom
An essential part of society and civilization is living with others. But living with others brings with it challenges to the freedom of individuals. What is freedom? How can political and social life be arranged so as to promote it? To what extent are freedom and coercion antithetical? Does society involve not just coercing what we do but what we think as well? What are the central threats to liberty of conscience, and how might they be overcome? What should we do when societal norms come into conflict with an individual’s conscience? This two-day conference brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars working in the social sciences, humanities and law from across the St. Louis community to address these urgent and complex questions on the precarious project of living with others. Keynote speaker Neil Roberts is an associate professor of Africana studies, political theory, and the philosophy of religion at Williams College. His present writings deal with the intersections of Caribbean, Continental and North American political theory with respect to theorizing the concepts of freedom and agency.
Washington University, Umrath Hall, Umrath Lounge

Anthony Ray Hinton, The Sun Does Shine (Author Talk)
The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence. But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. For the next 30 years Hinton was a beacon on Death Row — transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, 54 of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. He ultimately won his release in 2015. Destined to be a classic of wrongful imprisonment, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor or joy. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.
St. Louis County Library ­– Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Visitas Guiadas en Español [Exhibition Tours in Spanish]
Los visitantes hispanohablantes están invitados a realizar un recorrido especial de las exposiciones actuales, Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work y Lola Álvarez Bravo: Picturing Mexico. Esta visita guiada estará dirigida por Jamie Infante, escritora, educadora y administradora universitaria cuyo trabajo se enfoca en conectar las artes con la comunidad. [Spanish-speaking visitors are invited to take a special tour of the current exhibitions, Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work and Lola Álvarez Bravo: Picturing Mexico. This tour will be led by Jamie Infante, a writer, educator and university administrator focused on connecting underrepresented communities to the arts.]
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

The 21st-Century Veteran
Join a panel of contemporary St. Louis veterans for a community dialogue about what it means to be a veteran in the 21st century by reflecting on veterans of the past.
Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, 1315 Chestnut St., St. Louis, 63103

April Henry, The Lonely Dead (Author Talk)
Join New York Times bestselling author April Henry as she discusses her latest young adult thriller, The Lonely Dead. In this masterful combination of murder mystery, suspense and the supernatural, Adele is in a race against time to find the killer of an old friend with the help of her ghost.
St. Charles City-County Library, 1000 Kisker Rd., St. Charles, 63304

MFA Open Studios
The public is invited to go behind the scenes at this annual event to meet current Sam Fox School MFA students in their art studios. View work in progress, ask questions and learn directly from these emerging artists working in painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, combined media, installation and video. Light refreshments provided. Sponsored by Women and the Kemper.
Lewis Center, 721 Kingsland Ave., University City, 63130

Lynda Cohen Loigman, The Wartime Sisters (Author Talk)
Author of The Two-Family House, Lynda Cohen Loigman presents her latest powerful historical novel about the strength of women on the World War II home front. Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives. Books will be available for purchase at the event from The Novel Neighbor.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

The Muny During Wartime
War touches every aspect of life, including theater. Muny archivist Laura Peters and Muny Memories curator Sharon Smith offer a glimpse of life at The Muny during the 1942–44 seasons, including military-themed productions and the shortage of male performers. You’ll also have the opportunity to listen to a rarely heard 1942 recording of Show Boat, which was broadcast to soldiers overseas. 
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112