Crowd viewed from the back of a long, packed bookshop, with two speakers (left, an older woman; right, a capped man speaking into a microphone) in the background of Bird in Hand cafe.
Author Nate Brown (JHU University Writing Prog.) shares new work and discusses the writing about the environment with Jean McGarry (emerita, Writing Seminars) at Bird in Hand cafe and bookstore in Feb. 2024.

The Alexander Grass Humanities Institute (AGHI) and the Ivy Bookshop/Bird in Hand present a gathering series called “Humanities in the Village.” The endeavor seeks to bring fresh scholarly work from our city’s thriving universities and colleges into conversation with a broader public audience. How does humanities research intersect with contemporary social and political concerns? Can we include these intersections in our developing work, bringing our scholarship into closer resonance with the pressing public matters of this time?

Join us for Humanities in the Village talks every month during the academic year and frequently during the winter and summer breaks. See our Events calendar for specific details. And to learn more about our past public humanities events, scroll down to our archive section.

Upcoming Humanities in the Village Events—Fall 2024 (TBA)

Interested in attending?

  • Time: The last Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
  • Location: Either The Ivy Bookshop patio, Mt. Washington (whenever weather permits) OR Bird in Hand bookshop, Charles Village.
  • Format: Scholars present short and accessible excerpts of ongoing research, often in conversation with colleagues, followed by spirited sessions of collective discussion and feedback with the audience.
  • Audience: All are welcome! These events draw a diverse audience of local teachers, students, professionals, activists, book lovers, and public intellectuals.
  • Curator: William Egginton
  • Email: [email protected]

New in 2023–2024: Humanities on the Mall!

With the opening of the newly renovated JHU Bloomberg Center at 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW in Washington DC, AGHI is proud to present our newest series: Humanities on the Mall. Check out the upcoming event on our calendar for early 2024:

More info about this series—in partnership with East City Bookshop in DC and open to the public—available here.

Want to present at a Humanities in the Village or Humanities on the Mall event?

Have a new book, project, or big idea ready for a public audience and wider discussion? We are scheduling Humanities in the Village and Humanities on the Mall gatherings for Spring 2024 and Fall 2024. If you are a faculty member or graduate student at any Baltimore or DC college or university and would like to pitch us an event for a public audience, please fill out our form. (And please note which location and series you would like to be considered for.)

Archive—Past Events:

Humanities in the Village—Spring 2024:

  • January 29 – David Steiner (author of A Nation at Thought: Restoring Wisdom in America’s Schools) in conversation with Fred Lazarus (president emeritus of MICA) [photo at top]
  • February 26 – Nate Brown (UWP), reading new short fiction and in conversation with Jean McGarry (Writing Seminars, emerita)
  • April 29 – Jennifer Gosetti Ferencei (author of Imagination: A Very Short Introduction) in conversation with Jane Bennett

Humanities on the Mall (DC)—Fall 2023 thru Spring 2024:

  • November 5: Bill Egginton (author of The Rigor of Angels) conversation with Emma Snyder (The Ivy bookshop)
  • December 3: Danielle Evans (author of The Office of Historical Corrections) in conversation with Bill Egginton
  • February 4: “Students, College Campuses, Difficult Conversations” panel—featuring Michael S. Roth (president, Wesleyan University), Chris Celenza (JHU Dean of KSAS), and Aliza Watters (JHU Assistant Dean and Director of First-Year Seminars)
  • March 3: “The Physics of Democracy” with JHU’s Sean Carroll and Hahrie Han
  • April 7: “Devoti Tutti [Devoted]” screening + discussion with Bernadette Wegenstein (JHU) and Eugenio Refini (NYU)

Past Humanities in the Village Events: 2023

  • January — Laura Mason, book event for The Last Revolutionaries (in conversation with Sarah Pearsall)
  • February — Elizabeth Bronwyn Boyd, book event for Southern Beauty (in conversation with Samanda Robinson)
  • March — Greg Smithsimon, book event for Liberty Road (in conversation with Lawrence Jackson)
  • August—Bill Egginton, book event for The Rigor of Angels (in conversation with Sean Carroll)
  • September—Melanie Marotta, book event for African American Adolescent Female Heroes (in conversation with Samanda Robinson)
  • October—Irena Stein (author of Arepa, founder of Alma Cocina) in conversation with D. Watkins
  • November—Zekeh Gbotokuma (author of Obamanomics and Francisconomics) in conversation with Linda Loubert (colleagues from Morgan State University)
  • More events for 2023–24 to come! Want to pitch us an event? Fill out this form.

Past Humanities in the Village Events: 2022

  • January 31 – Harold Morales: “Betting On Hope: Baltimore’s Black Butterfly and the Work Of 2020”
  • February 28 John Murungi, Towson U: Decolonization of the Postcolonial African Body
  • March 28 – Jean McGarry, JHU: Book Release – Blue Boy (In-person / Bird in Hand)
  • April 25 – Tim Murray, Cornell University: Book talk – Technics Improvised: Activating Touch in Global Media Art (In-person at the Ivy Bookshop)
  • May 23 – Will Linder and Dr. Ralph Hruban – A Scientific Revolution
  • August 29 – Virginia Jewiss – A New Life For Dante’s Vita Nuova (In-person at the Ivy Bookshop)
  • September 26 – Sean Carroll – The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion (In-person at the Ivy Bookshop)
  • November 7 – Alexander Heffner – Journalist & Civic Educator (virtual)

Past Humanities in the Village Events: 2021

  • January 25 – Jeanne-Marie Jackson author of the African Novel of Ideas (In Conversation With William Egginton & Ato Quayson)
  • February 22 – Salvadore Pappalardo: Modernism In Trieste: Literary Europe And The Alternatives To National Identification
  • March 29 – Writing And Translating Love With Julien Tribotté, JHU, French
  • April 26 – Audrey Fastuca, Italian, JHU – Letting Southern Italy Speak for Itself
  • August 30 – Lingxin Zhang – Drugs, amulets, and birth charts: Women’s health in ancient Egypt
  • September 27 – Jennifer Stager & Leila Easa – “A Feminist Practice of Monumentalizing: Scaling Loss, Listing Names”
  • October 25 – Donald Berger – Where Poems Come From: A Poetry Reading and Discussion of Influence and Processes of Composition

 Past Humanities in the Village Events: 2020

  • January 27 – Jean McGarry, Writing Seminars, JHU – Reading “The Last Time,” a story from Dream Date
  • February 24 – A Conversation with Kondwani Fidel and Devin Allen
  • May 18 (online) – Jan Dutkiewicz, Political Science, JHU; Alex Blanchette
  • July 6 (online) – Before Comic Books: The Early Newspaper Comic Strip and American Culture, Jean Lee Cole, Loyola University of Maryland
  • July 27 (online) – Russia’s Age of Genius: Jeffrey Brooks, History, JHU
  • August 31 (online) – On Not Being Someone Else: Tales from our Unled Lives. Andrew H. Miller, English, JHU
  • October 26 (online) – Ernest Quarles, JHU – Framing Frederick Douglass: The Female Talented Tenth That Shaped America.
  • November 30 (online) – Martin Shuster, Philosophy, Goucher College: The Art and Politics of New Television