Cultural Events

The Spring 2020 Cultural Season at Elmhurst University

The Cultural Season at Elmhurst University features our acclaimed public lecture series.

Join us for thought-provoking talks by:

  • Autism activist Temple Grandin
  • Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Rick Atkinson…and more!

All of our cultural events are open to the public. Tickets are available for purchase here. When demand permits, tickets also are available at the door. Lectures and most other events are free for Elmhurst University students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Questions? Call (630) 617-5186 or send an email to

2020 Events

CANCELED: In Pursuit of Justice: Womanist Non-Binary Perspectives About Intersectionality, Trauma, Lament and Hope

Linda Thomas

A professor of theology and anthropology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Linda Thomas’ academic interests focus on cultural anthropology and its intersection with theology, ethics, and African-American and gender studies. Embodying a womanist perspective, Thomas aims to teach women and men to think critically and pursue social justice in a wide variety of contexts.

The Genevieve Staudt Intercultural Lecture
Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission is $10

CANCELED: Autism—Helping Different Kinds of Minds Solve Problems

Temple Grandin

A professor of animal science, a pioneer in improving the welfare of farm animals, and an advocate for autism awareness and understanding, Temple Grandin has spoken to parents and teachers throughout the U.S. about her remarkable life and growing up with autism. She is the author of several books, including the New York Times bestseller Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior.

The Roland Quest Lecture Series
Thursday, April 9, 2020, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel (Note: This lecture also will be live-streamed to a separate, sensory-friendly viewing area on campus.)
Admission is $20 ($10 for sensory-friendly venue)

POSTPONED: Moral Reckoning: Geographies of Goodness and Evil

Stephen G. Ray Jr.

The Rev. Dr. Stephen G. Ray Jr. is president of Chicago Theological Seminary and of the Society for the Study of Black Religion. Seeking to understand the evil that is racism, Ray became a student of the Holocaust, focusing on the systematic murder of Jews by ordinary individuals in villages across Europe. A comparative analysis of lynchings in the U.S. led to his insight about a “moral geography” creating spaces of atrocity or, alternatively, goodness.

The Holocaust Service of Remembrance and Lecture
Sunday, April 19, 2020, 7:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission is free but reservations are encouraged.

Past Events

The Area: Odyssey of a Neighborhood

Film screening and panel discussion

The Area follows the five-year odyssey of a South Side Chicago neighborhood where more than 400 African-American families are being displaced by a multi-billion dollar freight company. The documentary introduces us to homeowner-turned-activist Deborah Payne and the teenage friends who must start a new life across gang lines. A panel discussion with the filmmakers will follow the screening.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Intercultural Presentation
Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
Schaible Science Center, Illinois Hall
Admission is $10

Follow the Leaders: What Our Military History Teaches About Being in Charge

Rick Atkinson

World War II was one of the most significant events in the last century for the U.S., shaping the country socially, economically and internationally. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Rick Atkinson, author of The British are Coming and the acclaimed Liberation Trilogy, looks at prominent military leaders from this great conflict and others, and discusses what we all can learn from their successes and failures.

The Rudolf G. Schade Lecture Series
Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 7:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Book signing to follow the lecture. Books will be available for purchase.
Admission is $10

A Brief History of Teva: God and Nature in the Jewish Tradition

David Shyovitz

The spiritual relationship between human beings and the natural world is a key—but often overlooked—element of the Jewish tradition. Drawing on a range of classical texts and traditions, this lecture will explore the historical development, and contemporary relevance, of Jewish environmental ethics. David Shyovitz is an associate professor of history at Northwestern University, and director of Northwestern’s Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies.

The Abraham Joshua Heschel Lecture
Thursday, March 5, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission is free

Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm

One Earth Film Festival

Steeped in images of natural beauty, Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm is a thoughtful and quietly observed documentary that highlights what is involved in bringing good food from the farm to the table, and how biodiversity and resilience are key to survival in an ever more unpredictable future. Presented with Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition as part of the One Earth Film Festival.

Sunday, March 8, 2020, 1:00 p.m.
Schaible Science Center, Illinois Hall
Admission is free, with a suggested $8 donation. Seating is limited; reservations are strongly recommended. Tickets to this and other One Earth films are at

Separating Art from the Artist: #MeToo and the Music Industry

Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot

The #MeToo movement has shined a spotlight on sexual misconduct in Hollywood, the media and politics, where powerful men have fallen rapidly. But the music world has lagged behind. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, hosts of WBEZ’s “Sound Opinions,” explore questions about the responsibility we bear for enjoying—or failing to speak out about—troubling themes in an artist’s work. Can we really separate the art from the artist? Should we?

Presented with Elmhurst Public Library
Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Book signing to follow the lecture
Admission is free but registration is required, at

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