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What to See on the Final Weekend of Chicago Humanities Festival

A writer, a revolutionary, and a celebrity chef share their secrets.

Aleksander Hemon will discuss his forthcoming novel Sunday at at the Museum of Contemporary Art.   Photo: Carlos Javier Ortiz

It’s been a delightful two and a half weeks of big ideas and arty banter in the city, but like all good things, the Chicago Humanities Festival must end. The 25th annual culture fest wraps this Sunday, but not before another long weekend of talks, lectures, panels, and the like. (There are even a couple bus tours you can get on the waiting list for.)

As tickets sell out for CHF’s advance-purchase programming, here are three cash-only cover talks to target this weekend. Remember to line up early. Happy learning.

Maryam al-Khawaja on tweeting Arab Spring

When: Saturday, November 8 at 12:30 p.m.
Where: UIC Forum, Meeting Room GHI. 725 W. Roosevelt.
How much: $5-12 at the door. Cash only.
Why you should go: When Bahrain’s Arab Spring protests turned violent in February 2011, Maryam al-Khawaja—the then 24 year–old VP of Baihran’s Centre for Human Rights—took to Twitter and broadcast the otherwise undocumented fighting. She’s since seen both her boss and father imprisoned, sought refuge in the West, met with the UN, UK, US, and various universities in hopes of aid, and kept her 100,000 Twitter followers briefed along the way. In other words: She embodies this year’s CHF theme, "journeys.”

Marcus Samuelsson on home cooking

When: Saturday, November 8 at 6 p.m.
Where: UIC Forum, Main Hall AB. 725 W. Roosevelt.
How much: $10-20 at the door. Cash only.
Why you should go: Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson is nationally beloved for his spot on Chopped and coastally beloved for blending Swedish and American cuisines in New York, but this weekend’s CHF talk is all how he cooks out of the office, at home. Chances are you’ll leave with a new recipe.

Aleksander Hemon on his risqué new novel

WHEN: Sunday, November 9 at 12 p.m.
WHERE: Museum of Contemporary Art, Edlis Neeson Theater. 220 E. Chicago.
HOW MUCH: $5-12 at the door. Cash only.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: It’s been nearly five years since Bosnian American writer and longtime Chicagoan Aleksander Hemon published anything fictive, so it’s nice to see him describe his new novel as a “roller coaster ride of violence and sex.” Oh, and the word “zombie” is in the title.

GO: Chicago Humanities Festival runs through November 9 at Northwestern, U. Chicago, and various downtown cultural buildings. See the full schedule and ticketing info here.

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