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Welcome to the schedule for BBF 2016! Please note that with the exception of the following sessions (Life without Envy, The Art of Perspective, Writing with Risk, Sound Advice, and Lore), absolutely every session at the BBF is free, and no tickets or preregistration are required. Thanks, and enjoy your day!

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Nonfiction [clear filter]
Saturday, October 15


Architecture Keynote: Frank Gehry Talks with Paul Goldberger
Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain was declared “the greatest building of our time” by none other than Philip Johnson. Gehry’s work has been described by another great architect, Renzo Piano, as being “like an explosion. It’s about energy; it’s about joy. It’s frozen movement.” Gehry will be joined by Pulitzer Prize winner and leading architecture critic Paul Goldberger, author of the critical biography Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry. We are privileged to have the opportunity to hear this great architect and artist and his biographer speak about his life, his work, and his legacy. Hosted by Nicholas Negroponte, cofounder of the MIT Media Lab. Sponsored by Ann and Graham Gund.

avatar for Nicholas Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte is the co-founder (with Jerome B. Wiesner) of the MIT Media Lab, which he directed for its first twenty years. A graduate of MIT, Negroponte was a pioneer in the field of computer-aided design and has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1966. He gave the first... Read More →

avatar for Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry

Architecture Keynote
Frank Gehry is an award-winning architect and designer whose sculptural designs often subvert traditional expectations of building material and architectural form. Gehry, who was born in Canada, immigrated to the United States in 1947 and studied architecture at the University of... Read More →
avatar for Paul Goldberger

Paul Goldberger

Paul Goldberger is a Pulitzer Prize–winning architecture critic who is currently a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair. He was the architecture critic for the New Yorker from 1997 to 2011 and, before that, the architecture critic for the New York Times, and he holds the Joseph Urban... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 11:00am - 12:15pm
Trinity Sanctuary Copley Square, Boston, MA


Being Creative
Creativity and innovation are among the most overused buzzwords in circulation today.  But let’s face it: some people truly are more creative and able to innovate. Why? Alexa Clay, coauthor of The Misfit Economy, asserts that we can learn a lot about creativity from observing drug runners, computer hackers, con artists, Amish entrepreneurs and other outsiders and outcasts. In Inventology, Pagan Kennedy explores some characteristics of the highly inventive and outlines four main paths to discovery. Do you have what it takes to be creative? Find out and learn some tricks of the trade in this creative and innovative session moderated by BBF Fellow and digital reporter at WBUR, Zeninjor Enwemeka.

avatar for Zeninjor Enwemeka

Zeninjor Enwemeka

Zeninjor Enwemeka is a digital reporter at WBUR, covering all things relevant to people in Greater Boston on wbur.org. Before joining WBUR, she worked as a breaking news writer for Boston.com and spent several years as a homepage producer for the website. Enwemeka was part of the... Read More →

avatar for Alexa Clay

Alexa Clay

Alexa Clay is a writer, strategist, and leading expert on social innovation. She is cofounder of the League of Intrapreneurs, a movement to create change from within big business; founder of Wisdom Hackers; and cofounder / director of the collective The Human Agency, a global nonprofit... Read More →
avatar for Pagan Kennedy

Pagan Kennedy

Pagan Kennedy is a writer, journalist, and creator of the popular New York Times Magazine column Who Made That? She is the author of eleven books, including Black Livingstone, a New York Times notable book, and The First Man-Made Man, an acclaimed biography of transgender pioneer... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 11:30am - 12:30pm
Trinity Forum Copley Square, Boston, MA


Industries of the Future
Robots, drones, and genomes, oh my! Join an all-star panel for a discussion of which industries we can expect to thrive in the future and what they will mean for job and economic growth in general and Boston in particular. Alec Ross, former senior innovation advisor to Secretary Clinton, is the author of the “riveting and mind-bending” The Industries of the Future. Beth Comstock, vice chair of business innovation at newly Boston-based GE, has responsibility for the “industrial internet,” the confluence of big data collection with traditional heavy industrial products like jet engines, power turbines, and medical devices. Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter, author of On Competition, lends his expertise about industries. Joi Ito, who heads the MIT Media Lab and is coauthor of the forthcoming Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Futures, casts a technologist’s eye on the issue. MIT’s Andrew McAfee, coauthor of The Second Machine Age, will moderate. Get in on this wide-ranging conversation with world-renowned experts. Sponsored by GE.

avatar for Andrew McAfee

Andrew McAfee

Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at MIT, studies how digital technologies are changing business, the economy, and society. His 2014 book on these topics, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (co-authored with Erik... Read More →

avatar for Beth Comstock

Beth Comstock

Beth Comstock was named Vice Chair of General Electric in August 2015. In this capacity, she leads GE’s efforts to accelerate new growth and operates GE Business Innovations, which develops new businesses, markets, and service models. From 2008 to 2015, Comstock served as GE’s... Read More →
avatar for Joi Ito

Joi Ito

Joi Ito is an activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and director of the MIT Media Lab. An early investor in web companies including Twitter, Flickr, and Kickstarter, he is an advocate for emergent democracy, privacy, and internet freedom. He holds an honorary D.Litt from The... Read More →
avatar for Michael E. Porter

Michael E. Porter

Michael E. Porter is widely recognized as the father of modern business strategy. He is a University Professor at Harvard Business School, where he is the head of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness. Porter’s work applies the language of economics to corporate strategy... Read More →
avatar for Alec Ross

Alec Ross

Alec Ross is a leading expert on innovation. He is currently a distinguished visiting fellow at Johns Hopkins University and serves as an advisor to investors, corporations, and government leaders to help them understand the implication of factors emerging at the intersection of geopolitics... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 11:30am - 12:30pm
Old South Sanctuary 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


The Way Things Work Now: David Macaulay
David Macaulay, award-winning author of beloved works such as Cathedral, City, Castle, and Mosque, has, with humor and precision, depicted everything from buildings to machines to the human body. His worldwide bestseller The Way Things Work has now been updated to include machines of our modern era like 3D printers, touchscreens, and WiFi. The Boston Globe noted in its review of the original: “The Way Things Work is not the only book that has tried to explain modern mysteries, but it's the best. Macaulay's explanations are lucid; they are also fun. He includes visual puns, running jokes, a cast of thousands of tiny participants in on and around the machines, choirs of angels and lots of big woolly mammoths.” Meet David Macaulay as he discusses The Way Things Work Now with educator, computer scientist, musician, and photographer Michael Hawley. Sponsored by the Boston Public Library.

avatar for Michael Hawley

Michael Hawley

Michael Hawley is the director of Special Projects and founder of MIT’s Go Expeditions program and has been on the faculty of MIT for nearly a decade, working on a wide array of creative projects with students in electrical engineering and in the Media Lab, where he held the Alex... Read More →

avatar for David Macaulay

David Macaulay

David Macaulay is a visual storyteller and self-described “explainer” whose illustrated books demonstrate the origins, makeup, and workings of objects--from everyday utilitarian items to great engineering accomplishments--in a way that is accessible and entertaining for all ages... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 12:00pm - 1:00pm
BPL Rabb Hall 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


Biography: Extraordinary Lives

This session examines the lives of two amazing individuals whose rise in their respective fields was unlikely, to say the least. Daniel Bergner’s subject, Ryan Speedo Green, went from a childhood marked by poverty and violence to international opera star. Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family received a starred review from Publishers Weekly for its moving portrait of success in the face of huge personal and societal obstacles. The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act, by Child’s great-nephew Alex Prud’homme, relates how the publication of Julia Child’s  Mastering the Art of French Cooking propelled her to instant stardom in the US, exerting great pressure on her to accept the mantle of America’s first lady of French food. Each author will give a presentation about his subject, followed by conversation and audience Q&A. Moderated by BBF Fellow and associate producer of WBUR’s Here and Now, Erica Morrison.

avatar for Erica Morrison

Erica Morrison

Erica Morrison is a producer for WBUR's Here & Now. Prior to joining the WBUR staff in 2014, Erica worked at NPR on a variety of shows, including weekend All Things Considered, Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, and Morning Edition. Morrison also spent time as a print journalist writing... Read More →

avatar for Daniel Bergner

Daniel Bergner

Daniel Bergner is a writer and journalist whose work includes What Do Women Want?; In the Land of Magic Soldiers, winner of the Overseas Press Club Award for international reporting and a Lettre-Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage; and God of the Rodeo, a New York Times Notable... Read More →
avatar for Alex Prud'homme

Alex Prud'homme

Alex Prud’homme is a journalist who has been a staff writer for Talk magazine, TIME, and People, among other publications. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and elsewhere. Prud’homme is also the author of several nonfiction books, including Forewarned, The... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Boston Common Hotel Hancock 40 Trinity Place, Boston, MA


Super Women
This session features a trio of some of the smartest, most outspoken, and perceptive women writing today.  And did we mention funny? Lindy West writes movingly and hilariously about fat shaming, internet trolls, and her own journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance in Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman. Luvvie Ajayi, popular and influential blogger, culture critic, and head of what her fans call “LuvNation,” uses a dash of humor to discuss serious topics like racism, sexism, homophobia and more in I’m Judging You. And Moira Weigel, in Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating, explains that market forces have always shaped the search for love and that dating is the equivalent of an unpaid internship. Expect a wide-ranging, possibly hard-hitting, but always interesting conversation as they mix it up with the fabulous Meghna Chakrabarti, WBUR’s host of Radio Boston.

avatar for Meghna Chakrabarti

Meghna Chakrabarti

Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of Radio Boston, WBUR’s acclaimed weekday show with a focus on news, in-depth interviews with extraordinary people, and analysis on broader issues that have an impact on Boston and beyond. She is also host of Modern Love: The Podcast, a collaborative... Read More →

avatar for Luvvie Ajayi

Luvvie Ajayi

A versatile writer, speaker, and self-described “professional troublemaker,” Luvvie Ajayi is a thirteen-year blogging veteran whose pop culture and entertainment blog Awesomely Luvvie draws in five hundred thousand readers a month. More recently, she’s expanded her online v... Read More →
avatar for Moira Weigel

Moira Weigel

Moira Weigel, who graduated with a B.A. from Harvard in 2007, is a PhD candidate in the Film and Media Studies Program at Yale University. Her first book, Labors of Love: The Invention of Dating, is a feminist history of dating and how it overlaps with other kinds of gendered labor... Read More →
avatar for Lindy West

Lindy West

Lindy West is a columnist at the Guardian, a contributor to This American Life, and a freelance writer whose work focuses on feminism, social justice, humor, and body image. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Vulture, Jezebel, The Stranger, and others... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Church of the Covenant 67 Newbury Street, Boston, MA


Graphic Nonfiction: Telling the Story with Words and Pictures
Drawings have been used to great effect by artists like Francisco Goya to describe history and, especially, the horrors of war. Much later, powerful comics like Art Spiegelman’s Maus transformed our view of what is possible for graphic nonfiction. Hillary Chute, the foremost scholar of the form, delves deeply into the history of graphic narrative as well as modern nonfiction comics and comics journalism in her revelatory Disaster Drawn: Visual Witness, Comics, and Documentary Form. Sarah Glidden’s graphic Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, describes how she and her journalist friends traveled through the Middle East exploring the effects of the Iraq War. Library Journal’s starred review calls this work “quiet but challenging, plain yet beautiful” and praises Glidden’s “skillful, sensitive reportage.” The two authors will give presentations on their work before they field questions from the audience. Moderated by Alexander Danner, author of Comics: A Global History, 1968 to the Present.

avatar for Alexander Danner

Alexander Danner

Alexander Danner is a writer, teacher, and co-creator / producer of Greater Boston, a serial audio drama. His fiction has appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Event: Poetry & Prose, and Fantasy Scroll Magazine, as well as in the anthologies Machine of Death and The Girl at the End... Read More →

avatar for Hillary Chute

Hillary Chute

Hillary Chute is a leading expert on comics whose scholarship aims to provide understanding of comics’ merged visual/graphic language as a literary form. A professor of English and art, media, and design at Northeastern, Chute was a visiting professor in English at Harvard for the... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Glidden

Sarah Glidden

Sarah Glidden is a cartoonist and illustrator whose work centers on nonfiction reporting and acts as visual witness, appearing in various newspapers and magazines. After studying painting at Boston University in 2006, she self-published the first few chapters of what would become... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Old South Sanctuary 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


Life Is Good + Not Impossible: The Power of Optimism

Two extraordinary motivational speakers and sensational doers in the world speak about the power of optimism and the refusal to accept the words “that’s impossible.” Mick Ebeling, author of Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn’t Be Done, describes how he has put together teams of hackers, artists, and inventors and empowered them to create low-cost solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. John Jacobs, who, with his brother Bert, went from selling t-shirts out of a car trunk to running a thriving, socially conscious business, tells his story in Life Is Good: The Book. What they have in common is an undying optimism and belief in the essential goodness of people. Each will give a presentation about their work, followed by Q&A. Prepare to be inspired. Hosted by BBF Fellow Erika Lantz, who leads the Kind World series on WBUR.

avatar for Erika Lantz

Erika Lantz

Erika Lantz is an associate producer in WBUR’s iLab. She leads and produces the Kind World project, a WBUR radio show and podcast which tells intimate stories about people whose lives have been profoundly affected by another. Share your story of kindness--email: kindworld@wbur... Read More →

avatar for Mick Ebeling

Mick Ebeling

Mick Ebeling is a career producer and filmmaker as well as founder and CEO of the Not Impossible Foundation, a multiple award-winning social innovation lab and production company whose mission is “changing the world through technology and story.” His mantra of “commit, then... Read More →
avatar for John Jacobs

John Jacobs

John Jacobs is co-founder and Chief Creative Optimist of Life is Good, which spreads the power of optimism through inspiring art, a passionate community, and groundbreaking nonprofit work. John and his brother Bert launched their business with $78 in their pockets, selling T-shirts... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Trinity Sanctuary Copley Square, Boston, MA


The American Dream—A Dream Turned German: Immigration, Integration, and Citizenship in Germany

Prizewinning author and essayist Jagoda Marinić, whose latest book is Made in Germany. What's German in Germany?, will speak about the progress of integration in Germany, an issue becoming increasingly urgent. Marinić will be in conversation with WBUR’s Shannon Dooling, touching on debates relevant not only to Germany but also to the rest of Europe and beyond.


avatar for Shannon Dooling

Shannon Dooling

Shannon Dooling is a reporter representing WBUR on a team of public radio station journalists in the New England News Collaborative. The NENC focuses on issues of regional interest including energy, transportation, immigration and the environment. She joined WBUR full time in 2013... Read More →

avatar for Jagoda Marinić

Jagoda Marinić

Jagoda Marinić is a prize-winning speaker, writer, and novelist whose work focuses on themes and questions of identity, migration, citizenship, and integration. Holding a degree from Heidelberg University in political science and German and American literature, she is the founding... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Goethe-Institut Boston 170 Beacon Street, Boston, MA


The Art of Experience

This session features three takes on the artistic expression of experience. Sarah Lewis, who guest curated an amazing special issue of Aperture magazine entitled Vision & Justice, explores black experience as depicted by black photographers in arresting images that capture both injustice and humanity. Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense, edited by Caroline Jones and Rebecca Uchill, offers a reading experience like no other: a heat-sensitive cover by Olafur Eliasson, endpapers that contain human pheromones, colorful margins and edges. The physical book produces experience while functioning as a container of ideas around cultural and sensory realms of experience. Artist Clifford Ross works to reconcile realism (he invented a super-high-resolution camera) and abstraction in his representations of nature. His books, Seen & Imagined and Hurricane Waves, offer augmented reality and virtual reality experiences through a free downloadable app. A highly visual session covering a spectacular range of experience will be hosted by art historian Robert Wiesenberger.


avatar for Robert Wiesenberger

Robert Wiesenberger

Robert Wiesenberger is a doctoral candidate in the department of art history and archaeology at Columbia University focused on twentieth-century art, architecture, and design. He is also a critic at the Yale School of Art, where he teaches an MFA seminar on the history and theory... Read More →

avatar for Caroline A. Jones

Caroline A. Jones

Caroline A. Jones is a scholar, writer, documentary filmmaker, and professor of art history in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art program at MIT, with a focus on modern and contemporary art and its technological modes of production, distribution, and reception... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis is a curator, teacher, critic, art historian, and author of The Rise, a celebration of creativity and success through failure. She has held curatorial positions at Tate Modern and the Museum of Modern Art New York, served as a curatorial advisor for Brooklyn’s Barclays... Read More →
avatar for Clifford Ross

Clifford Ross

Clifford Ross is a multimedia artist who began his career as a painter and sculptor after graduating from Yale University in 1974. In the mid-1990s, Ross became interested in photography, beginning his well-known Hurricane series and pioneering breakthrough techniques. In 2002, Ross... Read More →
avatar for Rebecca Uchill

Rebecca Uchill

Rebecca Uchill is an activist and writer who has worked as an independent curator and curatorial consultant for institutions including the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and Mass MoCA. Cofounder and codirector of Experience Economies, her academic... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Trinity Forum Copley Square, Boston, MA


Watchdog: The Role of the Journalist in a Democracy
The press has often been called the "fourth estate" for its vital role keeping the other branches of government in check. Without a free press there's no public sphere, no informed citizen, and thus no democracy. But in times when newspapers are shuttering and budgets for investigative teams are shrinking, is this function still needed, and, if it is, how do we preserve it? We'll be talking with Dick Lehr, author of Black Mass, and Mitchell Zuckoff, author of 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, about the role of the press as watchdog in stories ranging from the downfall of Whitey Bulger, the infamous Dartmouth murders, and the original Ponzi scheme. Moderated by Alysia Abbott, author of Fairyland and director of Boston's Literary District. Sponsored by the Boston Literary District.

avatar for Alysia Abbott

Alysia Abbott

Alysia Abbott is the director of Boston’s first-in-the-nation Literary District. A graduate of the New School’s Writing Program, she instructs memoir and essay at GrubStreet. She is also the author of the memoir Fairyland, named an Editors’ Choice by the New York Times, awarded... Read More →

avatar for Dick Lehr

Dick Lehr

Dick Lehr is a professor of journalism at Boston University. From 1985 to 2003, he was a reporter at the Boston Globe, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in investigative reporting and won numerous regional and national journalism awards. He served as the Globe's legal affairs... Read More →
avatar for Mitchell Zuckoff

Mitchell Zuckoff

Mitchell Zuckoff is the Sumner M. Redstone Professor of Narrative Studies at Boston University and the author of seven nonfiction books. His most recent book, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. His two previous... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Old South Mary Norton Hall 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


True Story
This session features four very different but utterly fascinating true stories, told one at a time. In Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars, Nathalia Holt explains how a team of young women mathematicians, using pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design in the early days of our nation’s space program. Daniel Korschun’s We Are Market Basket: The Story of the Unlikely Grassroots Movement That Saved a Beloved Business, tells the incredible, local story about how workers and customers joined forces in support of an ousted CEO. Eric Jay Dolin sheds light on the poignant story of lighthouses and their role in American history in Brilliant Beacons. And John Kaag, in his highly praised American Philosophy: A Love Story, explains how he stumbled on a rare book collection and found both meaning and love. Discuss these amazing works with host Lisa Pierpont, editor in chief of Boston Common Magazine.

avatar for Lisa Pierpont

Lisa Pierpont

Previously a three-time Emmy Award-winning producer for Chronicle on WCVB-TV, Lisa Pierpont is the founder and editor in chief of Boldfacers.com, as well as the current editor in chief of Boston Common magazine. An expert on style, events, and people, Pierpont is also a contributing... Read More →

avatar for Eric Jay Dolin

Eric Jay Dolin

Eric Jay Dolin is a bestselling author of American history and a graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he received his PhD in Environmental Policy. His acclaimed nonfiction work includes Fur, Fortune, and Empire, winner of the James P. Hanlan Book Award, given by the New England... Read More →
avatar for Nathalia Holt

Nathalia Holt

Nathalia Holt is a science writer and New York Times bestselling author of Cured: The People Who Defeated HIV. She was trained as a fellow at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times... Read More →
avatar for John Kaag

John Kaag

John Kaag is a professor of philosophy at University of Massachusetts, Lowell, specializing in aesthetics, philosophy of mind, and American philosophy. He is the author of Idealism, Pragmatism, and Feminism and Thinking Through the Imagination: Aesthetics in Human Cognition, and his... Read More →
avatar for Daniel Korschun

Daniel Korschun

Daniel Korschun is a scholar, award-winning writer, and an associate professor of marketing at Drexel University, where he is also a fellow of the Institute for Strategic Leadership and the Center for Corporate Governance at the Lebow College of Business. His current research focuses... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Boston Common Hotel Hancock 40 Trinity Place, Boston, MA


Nonfiction Keynote: James Gleick Talks with Tom Ashbrook
The notion of time has fascinated scientists, philosophers, novelists and poets for, well, for a long time, if not forever. The acclaimed and influential science writer James Gleick’s new book, Time Travel: A History, is an engaging cultural, literary, and scientific exploration of time travel that seamlessly weaves discussions of the works of, among others, H. G. Wells, Ursula Le Guin, Vladimir Nabokov, Daphne du Maurier, William Gibson, and Woody Allen with the theories of Newton, Einstein, Gödel, Hawking, and Schrödinger. Come hear James Gleick discuss the history and, perhaps, the future of time travel with the timeless Tom Ashbrook, host of On Point on WBUR. Sponsored by the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation/Plymouth Rock Foundation.

avatar for Tom Ashbrook

Tom Ashbrook

Tom Ashbrook has been the host of WBUR’s On Point since 2001. Prior to radio work, Ashbrook spent ten years in Asia, starting his journalistic career at the South China Morning Post and later becoming the foreign editor for the Boston Globe. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University... Read More →

avatar for James Gleick

James Gleick

Nonfiction Keynote
James Gleick is a bestselling science writer who served for ten years as a reporter and editor for the New York Times. His first book, Chaos, was a National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist and inspired Nature’s Chaos, a collaboration with photographer Eliot Porter... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Old South Sanctuary 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


Injustice, Incarceration, Invisibility
From shootings of unarmed black men to mass incarceration, this session will take on some urgent and divisive issues, including deep outrage over whether black lives really matter equally in our society. Join some of today’s smartest and most authentic voices for this important discussion. In Democracy in Black, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. argues that the black community remains in crisis as a result of the 2008 recession and that radical change is required to bridge the “value gap.” In From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime, Elizabeth Hinton traces the roots of the problem of mass incarceration to Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Shaka Senghor has firsthand experience: having served nineteen years in prison for murder, he is now an activist and author of Writing My Wrongs. Finally, Mychal Denzel Smith, in Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, tells what it was like to be a young black man coming of age during the Obama presidency. A no-holds-barred discussion moderated by Callie Crossley, host of Under the Radar on WGBH radio. Sponsored by G. Barrie Landry.

avatar for Callie Crossley

Callie Crossley

Callie Crossley is a broadcast journalist, media commentator, and radio and TV host at WGBH, where her latest show is Under the Radar with Callie Crossley. Crossley previously hosted and moderated on Boston Public Radio and hosted and executive produced The Callie Crossley Show, on... Read More →

avatar for Elizabeth Hinton

Elizabeth Hinton

Elizabeth Hinton is an assistant professor in the Department History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Hinton’s research focuses on the persistence of poverty and racial inequality in the twentieth-century United States. Her new book... Read More →
avatar for Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies and chair of the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. Glaude has appeared on the Tavis Smiley Show, Fox TV’s Hannity & Colmes Show, CNN, and C-SPAN. Along with Dr... Read More →
avatar for Shaka Senghor

Shaka Senghor

Shaka Senghor is a leading voice in criminal justice reform and the Director of Strategy for #Cut50, a national bipartisan initiative to safely and smartly reduce the prison population by 50 percent by 2025. Senghor’s 2014 TED Talk has been viewed more than 1.2 million times; TED... Read More →
avatar for Mychal Denzel Smith

Mychal Denzel Smith

Mychal Denzel Smith is a contributing writer at The Nation, a blogger at TheNation.com, and an Alfred Knobler Fellow at The Nation Institute. He is also a freelance writer and social commentator who has appeared frequently on radio and television programs. His work on race, politics... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Trinity Sanctuary Copley Square, Boston, MA


Sports in Context
Buzzer-beaters, world record times, and walk-off home runs are all thrilling, but what do amateur sports really mean to their players, fans, and communities? Two distinguished writers consider this question. Sports Illustrated writer S. L. Price ponders whether high school football can be the salvation of a once-thriving Pennsylvania steel town after the demise of its primary industry, in Playing Through the Whistle. And in Black Gods of the Asphalt, Onaje X. O. Woodbine (who was once a shooting guard for Yale) explores how street basketball serves as a ritual act of healing and connection for black youths devastated by loss and dehumanized by systemic racism. Guiding us through this exploration of sports and their cultural context is Bill Littlefield, host of Only a Game on WBUR.

avatar for Bill Littlefield

Bill Littlefield

Bill Littlefield is the host of NPR’s Only A Game and a columnist for the Boston Globe. He served as the guest editor for The Best American Sports Writing 1998, has published several other books, and most recently wrote the introduction for and edited The Top of His Game, a collection... Read More →

avatar for S.L. Price

S.L. Price

S. L. Price has been a senior writer at Sports Illustrated since 1994. He is the author of several books, including Heart of the Game; Pitching Around Fidel, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and Far Afield, which Esquire named one of the top five reads of... Read More →
avatar for Onaje X.O. Woodbine

Onaje X.O. Woodbine

Onaje Woodbine currently teaches philosophy and religious studies at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. A former streetball player on the hard courts of Roxbury, Woodbine went on to become an all-star Ivy League player at Yale with NBA aspirations--until he quit, answering... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Old South Mary Norton Hall 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


Start Making Sense: Solutions to Intractable Problems
Why can’t we just cut through the partisan bull***t and apply a little common sense to our country’s problems?  The authors in this session bring a mountain of wisdom and credentials to bear in their efforts to do just that. James M. Stone, in Five Easy Theses: Commonsense Solutions to America’s Greatest Economic Challenges, proposes solutions to seemingly intractable issues like the affordability of healthcare and widening income inequality. Philip K. Howard, in The Rule of Nobody: Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government, faults a governing system that has replaced leadership with overly specific rules and regulations that are followed mindlessly by bureaucrats.  And MIT’s Zeynep Ton takes on the practice of companies investing too little in their employees in pursuit of profits in The Good Jobs Strategy. Join these thoughtful and articulate authors for a discussion of what makes sense with Shelley Metzenbaum, former Associate Director for Performance and Personnel Management at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in the Obama administration.

avatar for Shelley H. Metzenbaum

Shelley H. Metzenbaum

Shelley H. Metzenbaum is a catalyst for better government and an independent consultant. As Associate Director for Performance and Personnel Management at the US Office of Management and Budget during the first term of the Obama administration, she developed and led the federal government’s... Read More →

avatar for Philip K. Howard

Philip K. Howard

Philip K. Howard is the founder and chair of Common Good, a nonpartisan drive to enact legal reform and simplify government. His books includes the bestselling The Death of Common Sense, The Collapse of the Common Good, and Life Without Lawyers, and he writes for various publications... Read More →
avatar for James M. Stone

James M. Stone

James M. Stone is a business leader, esteemed economic thinker, and Founder and CEO of Plymouth Rock. Holding a PhD in economics from Harvard, he has previously served as the Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner and as chairman and commissioner for the US Commodity Futures Trading... Read More →
avatar for Zeynep Ton

Zeynep Ton

Zeynep Ton is an adjunct associate professor of Operations Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a former assistant professor at Harvard Business School. She is currently focused on examining how organizations can design sustainable competitive strategy and manage operations... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 3:00pm - 4:00pm
BPL Abbey 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


Art History Keynote: Sebastian Smee Talks with Sarah Lewis
When Boston Globe art critic Sebastian Smee was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2011, the Pulitzer committee cited him for “his vivid and exuberant writing about art.” Join Smee in an enthusiastic presentation of The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art. Learn about the friendly and sometimes fraught relationships between Picasso and Matisse, Manet and Degas, Bacon and Freud, and Pollock and de Kooning in a revelatory talk with illustrative slides. In its starred review, Publishers Weekly notes: “This ambitious and impressive work is an utterly absorbing read about four important relationships in modern art.” Moderated by Sarah Lewis, assistant professor of art and architecture and African and African American studies at Harvard. Sponsored by Cynthia and John Reed.

avatar for Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis is a curator, teacher, critic, art historian, and author of The Rise, a celebration of creativity and success through failure. She has held curatorial positions at Tate Modern and the Museum of Modern Art New York, served as a curatorial advisor for Brooklyn’s Barclays... Read More →

avatar for Sebastian Smee

Sebastian Smee

Art History Keynote
Sebastian Smee is an art critic for the Boston Globe whose work earned him a 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. Working as an art writer and critic based in London, Smee developed a close friendship with the artist Lucian Freud and went on to write essays accompanying four books of... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 3:15pm - 4:15pm
BPL Rabb Hall 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


Having Presence and Being Present
Forget your online identity: it’s time to think about how you move through the real world with two superstar authors whose bestselling books make a case for enhancing our experience of ourselves and each other. In Presence, Amy Cuddy expands on her spectacularly popular TED talk about how we can stop being anxious about the impression we make on others and build our self-confidence from the inside out through our posture and mindset. MIT’s Sherry Turkle, in Reclaiming Conversation, argues that our devices have taken us away from others and from ourselves, destroying both our ability to have intimate relationships and our capacity for introspection. Join this essential conversation with two compelling thinkers. Moderated by Robin Young, cohost of WBUR’s Here and Now. Sponsored by the Cue Ball Group.

avatar for Robin Young

Robin Young

Robin Young brings more than twenty-five years of broadcast experience to her role as co-host of Here & Now, a WBUR-produced daily news magazine that airs on NPR stations nationwide. She is a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker who has also reported for NBC, CBS and ABC television... Read More →

avatar for Amy Cuddy

Amy Cuddy

Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist and Harvard Business School professor specializing in power and influence, leadership, and decision-making. Her 2012 TED Talk “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” is the second-most viewed in TED history and was dubbed one of the “Twenty... Read More →
avatar for Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle is a media scholar, psychologist, and social researcher who has studied digital culture for over thirty years. She is the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and is also the founder and current director of the MIT Initiative... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Emmanuel Sanctuary 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA


Politics: Is This Any Way to Elect a President?
This election season has been quite a ride. From unease, if not outright horror, over the candidates to structural issues with our democracy, four scholars and commentators will try to make sense out of our political process in general and this election in particular. Join Ellen Fitzpatrick, author of The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women’s Quest for the American Presidency; Joy-Ann Reid, author of Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide; Alexander Keyssar, author of the forthcoming Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?; and McKay Coppins, author of The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party’s Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House, for an intelligent and spirited conversation. Anthony Brooks, senior political reporter at WBUR, will moderate, with ample opportunity for audience involvement. Sponsored by WBUR.

avatar for Anthony Brooks

Anthony Brooks

Anthony Brooks is WBUR’s senior political reporter. Previously, Brooks was co-host of Radio Boston, WBUR’s local news and talk show. For many years, Brooks worked as a Boston-based reporter for NPR, covering regional issues across New England, including politics, the economy... Read More →

avatar for McKay Coppins

McKay Coppins

McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team. In 2012, he was named one of Forbes’s “30 Under 30” media pundits and one of Politico’s ten “breakout reporters.” Prior to joining BuzzFeed to cover the 2012 presidential campaign, Coppins wrote for... Read More →
avatar for Ellen Fitzpatrick

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Ellen Fitzpatrick is a scholar of modern American intellectual and political history and a professor of history at the University of New Hampshire. Her work includes Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation, a New York Times bestseller that was adapted into a documentary... Read More →
avatar for Alexander Keyssar

Alexander Keyssar

Alexander Keyssar is the Matthew W. Stirling, Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, specializing in the relationship between historical dynamics and contemporary policy decisions. He is the author of several works... Read More →
avatar for Joy-Ann Reid

Joy-Ann Reid

Joy-Ann Reid is an author, journalist, and political commentator. Now a national correspondent for MSNBC, she was previously host of The Reid Report, a daily program analyzing the day’s news, as well as managing editor of theGrio.com, a daily online news and opinion platform devoted... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Church of the Covenant 67 Newbury Street, Boston, MA


Boston: Le nez en l’air
Blogger Mathilde Piton will discuss her guidebook to Boston from a French perspective: Boston: Le nez en l’air. This sesison will be moderated by Christianne Beasley, Library Director at the French Cultural Center.

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Mathilde Piton

Mathilde Piton moved from Paris to Boston in January 2012 and started to tell stories on a blog, Le blog de Mathilde, about her new life in the USA. A few months later, Michelin contacted her to work on their travel guide Boston et la Nouvelle-Angleterre. As her blog grew bigger... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 4:00pm - 5:15pm
French Cultural Center 53 Marlborough Street, Boston, MA


The Book Revue

At the Book Revue, authors strut their hour upon the stage. And they sing, and they show slides, and they play guitar, and they tell stories. Richard Russo, Ann Hood, Ben Mezrich and Faith Salie, joined by Berklee singer songwriter Jennah Bell, will entertain, challenge, and move you with a series of presentations inspired by their recent work. Ann Hood will talk about writing in the context of her latest novel, The Book That Matters Most. Ben Mezrich tells a compelling (and true!) tale about the hunt for UFO’s in his nonfiction The 37th Parallel: The Secret Truth Behind America’s UFO Highway. Richard Russo displays talents you didn’t know he had when he presents his latest, Everybody’s Fool. And Faith Salie tells a story from her memoir, Approval Junkie. Join us at this unconventional author event, part Moth, part TED, part cabaret and 100% bookish fun.Hosted by Henriette Lazaridis, founding editor of The Drum and author of The Clover House. Sponsored by the Boston Globe.

avatar for Henriette Lazaridis

Henriette Lazaridis

Henriette Lazaridis’s work has been published in the New England Review, the New York Times online, Elle, and elsewhere. Lazaridis is the founding editor of The Drum online literary magazine. Her debut novel, The Clover House, explores issues of exile, nostalgia, belonging, and... Read More →

avatar for Jennah Bell

Jennah Bell

Jennah Bell is an Oakland-grown singer/songwriter who pulls from a colorful palette of folk, soul, R&B, hip‐hop, and bluegrass. In 2005, while still in high school, Bell auditioned for a summer program hosted by the Grammy Foundation, where Jimmy Jam, Paul Williams, and David Foster... Read More →
avatar for Ann Hood

Ann Hood

Ann Hood is a bestselling author of nonfiction, novels, and short stories including The Knitting Circle, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, The Red Thread, and An Italian Wife. She served as editor for the collection Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, and her writing has appeared... Read More →
avatar for Ben Mezrich

Ben Mezrich

Ben Mezrich has authored seventeen books of fiction and nonfiction, with a combined printing of over four million copies, including the wildly successful Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, which spent sixty-three weeks on... Read More →
avatar for Richard Russo

Richard Russo

Richard Russo is a novelist, screenwriter, memoirist, and recipient of a 1990 Guggenheim fellowship for fiction. He is the author of seven novels and two collections of short stories, including Empire Falls, which earned the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and which he adapted into... Read More →
avatar for Faith Salie

Faith Salie

Faith Salie is an Emmy-winning television and radio host, comedian, journalist, actor, and Rhodes scholar. She is a regular contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning, a panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!, and host of PBS’s Science Goes to the Movies. A commentator on... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 4:15pm - 5:30pm
Old South Sanctuary 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA