The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) is back with in-person events in April and Mayand there's a wide variety of guests lined up for its series.
Some of the featured guests will be advocate and legal scholar Anita Hill; former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch; Queer Eye co-host Jonathan Van Ness; actress and disability-rights activist Selma Blair; legendary filmmaker John Waters; actor/reality-show winner (America's Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars) Nyle DiMarco; comedian Sarah Cooper; and actress Molly Shannon.
Events will take place at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St. Below are just some of the talks slated to take place:
On Wed., April 13, at 6 p.m., Shannon will sit down to talk about her memoir, Hello Molly!; former SNL actor Tim Meadows will moderate the discussion.
Also on Wed., April 13, at 8:30 p.m., Van Ness will sit down with CHF for a candid conversation about their new book of essays, Love That Story: Observations from a Gorgeously Queer Life.
During part of a loaded line-up on Saturday, May 7, at 10:30 a.m., Hill will talk about her latest book, Believinga combination of memoir, law, social analysis and a call to arms. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura S. Washington will talk with Hill.
On May 7 at 1:30 p.m., Yovanovitch will sit down at CHF with Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former U.S. ambassador to NATO. Yovanovitch became a household name when she testified during the Trump impeachment inquiry.
Also on May 7, at 7:30 p.m., Waters will discuss turning his mind to fictionspecifically, his first novel and what he calls the "feel-bad romance." In Liarmouth, Waters employs his trademark combination of hilarity and obscenity, weaving a tangled tale of sex, crime, and family dysfunction, with main character Marsha Sprinkle (scammer, suitcase thief, master of disguise) at the helm.
On Tuesday, May 10, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and music journalist Sinead Gleeson will discuss women's work in the music industry, which includes claiming their stories (and songs) while simultaneously smashing the patriarchy. They will also be talking their new anthology, This Women's Work.
Selma Blair will be the featured subject on Saturday, May 14, at 1 p.m. Blair has played many memorable Hollywood roles, from "preppy ice queen" in Legally Blonde to "the ingenue" in Cruel Intentionsbut people seem to love her most as herself. In her memoir Mean Baby, Blair gets candid about being a friend, mother and disability-rights advocate.
America's Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars champion Nyle DiMarco (a member of the LGBTQ+ community) knows "just how damn cool it is to be deaf." On Saturday, May 14, at 3:30 p.m., he will engage in conversation about his new book, Deaf Utopia: A Memoirand a Love Letter to a Way of Life.
Also on Saturday, May 14, at 6 p.m. Chuck Klosterman (author of The Nineties) will sit with WTTW's Mark Bazer (The Interview Show) to make sense of this era. Then, at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 12 S. Michigan Ave., at 8 p.m., "'90s Trivia Night! hosted by Mark Bazer" will take place.
At many of these events, featured guests will be answering pre-submitted audience questions.
According to its the Harris Theater website, CHF "connects people to the ideas that shape and define us, and promotes the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human.
"We present smart and entertaining programming about ideas that matter. We shape ideas, helping our audiences see the world differently. We help them challenge the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and culture. We help them understand what it means to be human."
See www.chicagohumanities.org/ .