Skip to main content
Photo of podium with microphone

2017-18 Tanner Talks Series

It's 500 years since Martin Luther's stand and 100 years since the Russian Revolution

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences has an informative and timely schedule of talks for the 2017-18 Tanner Talks series. CHaSS is very appreciative of the funding by the O.C. Tanner Foundation that allows us to invite scholars and writers from across the country to speak on campus and mix one-on-one with our students.

Dates still undetermined will be announced as they are finalized. The lectures are free and open to all. They will be held in the ballroom of the Taggart Student Center unless otherwise noted.

Tanner Talks speaker Bob Zellner

Bob Zellner
Civil rights activist and author
Oct. 5, 2017

6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Eccles Science Learning Center, room 103

Robert Zellner is a civil rights activist and original Freedom Rider. The Alabama-born son and grandson of Ku Klux Klan members, Zellner has devoted his life to building relationships across color lines. In 1963, he was a young organizer of the March on Washington, which gave us Martin Luther's King "I Have a Dream" speech. He describes his 50-plus year career in the memoir The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement.

Book jacket: The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement

Tanner Talks speaker Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall
Historian and author
Nov. 9, 2017

7 p.m. 
Auditorium, Taggart Student Center
Book signing to follow

Lecture title: "Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation"

Oct. 30 will be the 500th anniversary of  Martin Luther’s decision to post the 95 Theses on a church door -- changing the world  in ways historian are still trying to untangle. Peter Marshall commemorates that event with a new book, 1517: Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation, to be released October 2017. Marshall, a history professor at the University of Warwick, is a preeminent scholar on the English Reformation and is the author of Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation (Yale University Press, 2017).
Here's a wonderful blog post by Dr. Marshall on "The English Reformation: Was Henry VIII the Founder of Roman Catholicism?"

Book jacket: 517: Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation

Tanner Talks speaker Karen Petrone

Karen Petrone
Historian and author
Spring 2018

Lecture title: "The Russian Revolution – A Centennial"

2018 makes the centennial of the Bolshevik Resolution. What better way to commemorate this earth-shaking event than a conversation with an expert on Russia of the last century. Historian Karen Petrone, University of Kentucky history professor, will draw on her vast knowledge and research of the Soviet Union. Her most recent book is The Great War in Russian Memory (2016, Indiana University Press).

Book cover, 'The Great War in Russian Memory', by Karen Patrone

Tanner Talks speakers: poet scholars combo pix

Poetry, the Stranger series:
Edward Hirsch and scholars of poetry

Various dates throughout the academic year

  • Oct. 30, 2017: Christina Karageorgou-Bastea, Vanderbilt University (3:45-5 p.m., Alumni House)
  • Dec. 4, 2017 : Daniel Aguirre Oteiza, Harvard University (3:45-5 p.m., Alumni House)
  • March 19, 2018: Leah Middlebrook, University of Oregon (place and time TBD)
  • April 12, 2018: Edward Hirsch (place and time TBD)


Christina Karageorgou-Bastea: Associate professor of Spanish at Vanderbilt University.  She is the author of Arquitectónica de voces: Federico García Lorca y el Poema del cante jondo (El Colegio de México, 2008).

Leah Middlebrook: Associate professor of comparative literature and Romance languages at the University of Oregon. She is the author of Imperial Lyric: New Poetry and New Subjects in Early Modern Spain.

Daniel Aguirre-Oteiza: Assistant professor of Romance Languages and Literatures (Spanish) at Harvard University. Among his translations are works by John Ashbery, Samuel Beckett, Wallace Stevens, and W. B. Yeats. His second book El canto de la desaparición: memoria, historia y testimonio en la poesía de Antonio Gamoneda appeared in 2015. His forthcoming book is titled This Ghostly Poetry: Spanish Republican Exiles between Literary History and Poetic Memory.

Ed Hirsch: Celebrated author of nine books of poetry. He is also the author of A Poet's Glossary, a complete compendium of poetry terms and the author of the bestseller about poetry, How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry.
Hirsch is an international advocate for poetry and serves as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He taught creative writing at Wayne State University and the University of Houston and is now president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, which offers fellowships to those engaged in any field of knowledge and creation of the arts.

Image of title page, Tanner Talks 2016 reportFor more about the annual Tanner Talk series,
which is supported by The O.C. Tanner Trust Foundation,
download this report.