Oct 29th 2015

Sarah Vowell (MA 1999) is a New York Times–bestselling author of six nonfiction books on American history and culture. By examining the connections between the American past and present, she offers personal, often humorous accounts of everything from presidents and their assassins to colonial religious fanatics, as well as thoughts on Native Americans, utopian dreamers, pop music, and the odd cranky cartographer. Author of such favorites as Assassination Vacation, The Partly Cloudy Patriot, and The Wordy Shipmates, Vowell will discuss her new book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, a lively and insightful portrait of Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette.

Vowell was a contributing editor for the public radio show This American Life from 1996–2008, where she produced numerous commentaries and documentaries and toured the country in many of the program’s live shows. She was one of the original contributors to McSweeney’s, also participating in many of the quarterly’s readings and shows. She has been a columnist for Salon.com, Time, and San Francisco Weekly and continues to write occasional essays for the opinion page of the New York Times. Vowell made numerous appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She is the voice of teen superhero Violet Parr in Brad Bird’s Academy Award–winning The Incredibles, a Pixar Animation Studios film.

Presented in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Tickets to the 2015 Chicago Humanities Festival go on sale to CHF Members on Tuesday, September 8 and to the general public on Monday, September 14. The full schedule of all programs will be available at chicagohumanities.org/citizens in August.

SAIC’s Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series was established in 2006 in partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations.

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