Mike Daisey

After two days of speakers earlier this month, the Chicago Humanities Festival kicks into full gear next Thursday—and doesn’t stop for a full ten days. With speakers offering insights on everything from marketing to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, choosing the best events to attend can be a daunting task. Here is our roundup of the most interesting discussions happening this year. Purchase tickets for the fest at chicagohumanities.org.

Mike Daisey
Daisey earned the ire of many NPR listeners earlier this year with his not-entirely-verifiable story about Apple’s Foxconn factories. See if he redeems himself at CHF, where he’ll be presenting his new work, “American Utopias,” a monologue which examines places like Disney World and Burning Man as spaces for the public to “act out [their] dreams of a better world.” If he doesn’t, head over to the Chicago Cultural Center on Sunday for “Truth Be Told: Mike Daisey in Conversation,” and see what he has to say for himself.

American Utopias: November 1, 3, 8, 10 at 7:30–9 p.m., November 11 3–4:30 p.m.
Truth Be Told: November 14 1:30–2:30 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago

Larry Wilmore
You might have missed out on the chance to see The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’s John Hodgman October 14 presentation, but you can catch his colleague Larry Wilmore (“Senior Black Correspondent” for The Daily Show) at CHF. Wilmore, who recently taped the second installment in a series for specials on Showtime called “Race, Religion & Sex,” will be speaking at CHF on the state of race relations in the United States today.

Friday, November 2, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Francis W. Parker School, Diane and David B. Heller Auditorium
2233 N. Clark

Tricia Rose
Rose, a professor of Africana Studies at Brown University, will be offering her thoughts on contemporary hip-hop as a globalized form of art. Rose is the author of Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, a book that is considered to be the first scholarly text about hip-hop.

Saturday, November 3, 12:30–1:30 p.m.
UIC Forum
725 W. Roosevelt

Marc Ribot
Ribot has recorded with artists from Elton John to Norah Jones, and his trio Ceramic Dog is set to release a sophomore album in 2013, mixed by Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier. Ribot will be speaking about his role in the music industry at CHF, and if you’re lucky, he’ll play a little something on his guitar, too.

Wednesday, November 7, 6–7 p.m.
Francis W. Parker School, Diane and David B. Heller Auditorium
2233 N. Clark

Tracy Fullerton
It might seem counterintuitive for a book that is all about getting back to nature to be turned into a video game, but that’s exactly what Fullerton and her team at the University of South California did with Henry David Thoreau’s 1845 classic and $40,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts. Fullerton was a fan favorite at CHF’s “Serious Play” panel last year.

Sunday, November 11, 2–3 p.m.
Northwestern University School of Law
375 E. Chicago


Photograph: Ursa Waz