Edwdige Danticat, "Home as Grief, Home as Us"                                        

2018 Humanties Symposium Keynote Lecture

Celebrated author and activist, Edwidge Danticat’s books include “Breath, Eyes, Memory,” an Oprah’s Book Club selection; “Krik? Krak!,” a National Book Award finalist; “The Farming of Bones,” an American Book Award winner; and “The Dew Breaker.” Her memoir, “Brother, I’m Dying,” was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She is the editor of several books including, “The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Diaspora in the United States.” She has written six books for young adults and children, as well as a travel narrative. She is a 2009 MacArthur Fellow and the 2016 recipient of the Toni Morrison Award.


Edwidge Danticat

2017 American Democracy Lecture "King's Dream for Justice: Then and Now"

The Messiah College American Democracy Lecture: Sponsored by the Center for Public Humanities and the Department of Politics and International Relations.

American Democracy LectureWinner of the 1999 National Humanities Medal and recipient of both a Guggenheim and a MacArthur Fellowship, Taylor Branch is an American author and historian best known for his landmark narrative history of the civil rights era, “America in the King Years.” The trilogy’s first book, “Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63,” won the Pulitzer Prize and numerous other awards in 1989. Two successive volumes also gained critical and popular success: “Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65,” and “At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968.” Decades later, all three books remain in demand. Branch returned to civil rights history in his latest book, “The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement (2013)."

American Democracy lLecture 2017

Earl Lewis, "History, Mental Health, and Humaor: the Lingering Effects of Slavery and Race"2016 American Democracy Lecture

The Messiah College American Democracy Lecture: Sponsored by the Center for Public Humanities and the History Department

Earl Lewis became the sixth president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2013. Under his guidance, the Foundation has reaffirmed its commitment to the humanities, the arts and higher education by emphasizing the importance of continuity and change. A noted social historian, Lewis has held faculty appointments at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Michigan. He has championed the importance of diversifying the academy, enhancing graduate education, re-visioning the liberal arts, exploring the role of digital tools for learning and connecting universities to their communities. Prior to joining the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,

Lewis served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University. As provost, Lewis led academic affairs and academic priority setting for the university. A native of Tidewater, Va., Lewis earned an undergraduate degree in history and psychology from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Earl Lewis, President Melon Foundation

Mark Samels, "To Tell a True Story" 

2016 Humanities Symposium Keynote Address

Mark Samels is executive producer of “American Experience,” PBS’s flagship history series. Produced by WGBH Boston, “American Experience” is television’s most-watched and longest-running history series. Under Samels’ leadership, the series has been honored with nearly every industry award, including the Peabody, Primetime Emmys, the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award, Writers Guild Awards and Sundance Film Festival Audience and Grand Jury awards. In 2015, the series received its ninth Academy Award nomination for the critically acclaimed “Last Days in Vietnam.”

Portrait of Mark Samuels, humanities 2016



Dr. Willie Jennings, "Overcoming the Geography of Race"

2015 Religion and Society Lecture

Willie Jennings is Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School. He teaches in the areas of systematic theology, black church and cultural studies. He is the author of The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale, 2010).

willie jennings, center for public humanities


Dr. Reginald Oduor, "How Africa Can Help America"

Kenyan philosopher and activist, Dr. Reginald Oduor is internationally known for his scholarship in political philosophy, ethics and philosophy of religion. Blind since he was a baby, he is also one of Kenya's leading voices for the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. 

Portrait of Reginald Oduor