S.T. Lee Lectures

Dr. S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture Series in the Humanities

The Dr. S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture Series in the Humanities brings to the Wolf Humanities Center scholars and artists whose work has advanced our understanding of issues central to the humanities. The series is named for Seng Tee Lee, a business executive and noted philanthropist. Dr. Lee was director of the Lee Group of Companies in Singapore and of the Lee Foundation.

Wolf Humanities Center
Dr. S.T. Lee Distinguished Lectures 

2022-2023 Forum on Revolution (November 29, 2023)

From Revolution to Catastrophe: In the Trap of Empire
Keti Chukhrov, philosopher, art theorist, and poet, in conversation with Kevin M.F. Platt, Professor of Russian and East European Studies

2022-2023 Forum on Heritage (November 9, 2022)

Heritage as Poltergeist: A Conversation with Shahzia Sikander
Shahzia Sikander, Pioneering Pakistani American artist in conversation with Jamal J. Elias, Director, Wolf Humanities Center; Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor of the Humanities; Professor of Religious Studies

2021-2022 Forum on Migration (March 16, 2022)

The Life and Letters of Migration
Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity and Comparative Literature, University of Southern California
in conversation with Josephine Park, Professor of English, and Dagmawi Woubshet, Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English

2020-2021 Forum on Choice (postponed until October 21, 2021)

Tyshawn Sorey, Multi-instrumentalist and composer; Presidential Assistant Professor of Music; Marilyn Crispell, Jazz pianist, and composer
in conversation with Guthrie Ramsey, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music

2019-2020 Forum on Kinship (October 16, 2019) 

Who Belongs at Home?
Kamila Shamsie, Award-winning Author
in conversation with Emily Wilson, Professor of Classical Studies

2018-2019 Forum on Stuff (September 26, 2018)

Acts, Facts, and Artifacts: The Stuff of Black Culture
Kevin Young, Award-winning Author and Poet; Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
in conversation with Herman Beavers, Professor of English and Africana Studies

2017-2018 Forum on Afterlives (September 27, 2017)

Ghosts, Zombies, and the Afterlives of Slavery
Colson Whitehead, Pulitzer Prize-winning Author
in conversation with Salamishah Tillet, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies

 2016–2017 Forum on Translation (September 14, 2016)

Known and Strange Things
Teju Cole, Distinguished Writer in Residence, Bard College; Photography Critic, The New York Times Magazine
in conversation with Amardeep Singh, Associate Professor of English, Lehigh University

2015–2016 Forum on Sex (September 16, 2015)

What is Appropriate Behavior?
Desiree Akhavan, Filmmaker, Screenwriter, Actor
in conversation with Patricia White, Swarthmore Film & Media Studies

2014–2015 Forum on Color (September 17, 2014)

The Writer's Palette
Zadie Smith, Fiction Writer
in conversation with Jed Esty, Penn English

2013–2014 Forum on Violence (September 25, 2013)

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Michelle Alexander, Associate Professor of Law, Ohio State University

2012–2013 Forum on Peripheries (October 10, 2012)

Cores and Peripheries in the 21st Century
Immanuel Wallerstein, Senior Research Scholar, Sociology, NYU

2011–2012 Forum on Adaptations (November 30, 2011)

The End of Capitalism?
David Harvey, Distinguished Professor, Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center

2010–2011 Forum on Virtuality (April 6, 2011)

Nature's Revenge
Lorraine Daston, Executive Director, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

2008–2009 Forum on Change (February 11, 2009)

Tragedy is Easy, Comedy is Hard, and Love is Damn Near Impossible
Amy Bloom, Author

2007–2008 Forum on Origins (April 2, 2008)

Original Sin
Elaine Pagels, Historian of Religion, Princeton University

2006–2007 Forum on Travel (October 25, 2006)

Border Crossings
Caryl Phillips, Author

2005–2006 Forum on Word & Image (November 16, 2005)

Public Art
Jenny Holzer, Artist

2004–2005 Forum on Sleep and Dreams (March 15, 2005)

Cutting Cinematic Dreams
Mary Sweeney, Writer, Editor, and Producer

2003–2004 Forum on Belief (February 18, 2004)

Fanaticism, Belief, Empires
Tariq Ali, Writer and Filmmaker

2002–2003 Forum on The Book (March 19, 2003)

How Many Scriptures Became One Bible (and Why the Change Matters)
Jack Miles, Author

2001–2002 Forum on Time (November 28, 2001)

What is History Now?
Felipe Fernández-Armesto, Professor of History, Oxford


grid of headshots of over 20 distinguished lecture guests

Images (left to right from top): Shahzia Sikander, Tyshawn Sorey, Marilyn Crispell, Colson Whitehead, Zadie Smith, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Teju Cole, Michelle Alexander, David Harvey, Immanuel Wallerstein, Kamila Shamsie, Lorraine Daston, Amy Bloom, Kevin Young, Jenny Holzer, Felipe Fernández-Armesto, Desiree Akhavan, Caryl Phillips, Mary Sweeney, Jack Miles, and Tariq Ali.