College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘Evicted’ to speak at Clemson as part of Humanities Hub spring schedule


All Clemson University events have been suspended until April 5. Events scheduled for April 6 and beyond will continue to be evaluated, and any changes will be communicated as soon as decisions are made. 
Matthew Desmond’s talk planned for March 26 may be rescheduled in the future.


CLEMSON – Matthew Desmond, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Evicted,” is one of the guest speakers featured this semester as a part of the Humanities Hub series at Clemson University.

Photo of Matthew Desmond, author of the critically acclaimed "Evicted."
Matthew Desmond, author of the critically acclaimed “Evicted,” will speak at Clemson at 5 p.m. on March 26. Desmond’s Pulitizer Prize-winning book follows eight families as they struggle to keep from losing their homes. Image Credit: The MacArthur Foundation

In “Evicted,” Princeton sociologist Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep from losing their homes. Hailed as “wrenching and revelatory” (The Nation), the book sets “a new standard for reporting on poverty” (The New York Times).

Other talks in the series will focus on art museum curation, the International African American Museum planned for Charleston, and other topics in the humanities. Guests featured this spring include David Houston, a nationally recognized museum curator; and Christina Sharpe, a distinguished Black studies scholar.

Several of the Humanities Hub talks are part of the new “Preservation Across the Disciplines” series, made possible by funding from South Carolina Humanities.

“Thanks to this major grant from the South Carolina Humanities council, Clemson Humanities Hub has organized and co-sponsored a year-long series of events and presentations organized around preservation, from architecture to wildlife biology, with museum curation and linguistic preservation in between,” said Lee Morrissey, the founding director of the Clemson Humanities Hub.

“‘Preservation Across the Disciplines’ uniquely bridges the old divide between the humanities and the sciences — both want to preserve diversity, be it cultural or biological,” Morrissey said.

All Humanities Hub events are free and open to the public.

Jan. 23: David Houston, a former curator at several major U.S. museums, will speak on “People, Community and the Arts: A Curatorial Challenge in Our Changing World” at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23 in the Lee Hall Auditorium (Lee 2-111). Houston, who taught art history at Clemson, served as curator at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, followed by becoming curatorial director at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and then executive director at The Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, Georgia. Houston’s talk is part of the “Preservation Across the Disciplines” series.

Jan. 29: Sharalyn Orbaugh, an Asian studies professor at the University of British Columbia, will present a public talk: “Popular Culture as Propaganda: Visual Narratives in World War II Japan” at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29 in Watt Center 313.

Feb. 23 and 24: The Call My Name Coalition will host “Documenting Your Family Story,” providing a free opportunity for the public to have materials on African-American history preserved in digital form. People who have memorabilia relating to African-American life in Clemson are invited to bring those materials – newspapers, letters and other artifacts — for digital preservation. The materials and scanned copies will be returned to the people participating. The event takes place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Madren Center in Clemson; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24 at the West End Zone at Clemson Memorial Stadium. The digitization events are made possible by a National Endowment for the Humanities “Common Heritage” grant.

March 13: Donald Raleigh, a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will deliver the keynote lecture, “A Biographer’s Dilemmas: The Leonid Il’ich Brezhnev I Might Never Know,” at the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies on Friday, March 13 at the Westin Poinsett in Greenville. Raleigh is the Jay Richard Judson Distinguished Professor of History at UNC. The conference is organized by Clemson faculty members Steven Marks and Olga Volkova.

March 25: Joy Bivens and Brenda Tindal, the curatorial team developing the International African American Museum in Charleston, will speak at Clemson at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25 in the Vickery Hall Auditorium. A “Preservation Across the Disciplines” event.

March 26: Matthew Desmond, author of the critically acclaimed “Evicted,” will speak at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 26 in the Watt Family Innovation Center Auditorium. Desmond’s talk is the first in the “Lectures in Law and Humanities Series, Endowed by Loebsack & Brownlee, PLLC,” a law firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. A “Preservation Across the Disciplines” event.

April 1-3: Poet Nikky Finney, a National Book Award winner, will be the headliner at this year’s Clemson Literary Festival, April 1-3. Finney is the author of four books of poetry and writes extensively for journals, magazines and other publications. She holds the John H. Bennett Jr. Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. The 13th annual festival, directed by Clemson English senior lecturer John Pursley and his students, will feature a dozen other writers of poetry and fiction. More details will be announced closer to the festival. A “Preservation Across the Disciplines” event.

April 6: Three African-American scholars – Christina Sharpe, A.D. Carson and Rhondda Robinson Thomas — will speak at 4 p.m. Monday, April 6 in the Lee Hall Auditorium (Lee 2-111). Sharpe, a scholar of English literature and Black studies, is the author of “In the Wake: On Blackness and Being.” Carson is a graduate of the Rhetorics, Information and Communication Design Ph.D. program at Clemson and currently a professor of Hip Hop and the Global South at the University of Virginia. Thomas is the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson. The event is hosted by English professors Erin Goss and Matt Hooley. A “Preservation Across the Disciplines” event.

The Humanities Hub

The Clemson University Humanities Hub was created in 2016 with the aim of advancing outreach, scholarship and the teaching of the humanities at Clemson University. More information and scheduling updates are posted on the Humanities Hub website and Facebook page.

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