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Distinguished Lecture Series

The Boise State Distinguished Lecture Series was created to promote the discussion of important issues.

The Distinguished Lecture Series brings eminent speakers to Boise State University from the realm of politics, academics, and humanitarian activism to promote the discussion of important issues and to enrich our campus and community.

The lectures are free of charge. The Distinguished Lecture Series is presented by the Honors College and President’s Office at Boise State University.

April 17: Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis

Author and Assistant Professor at Harvard University, Sarah Lewis

The Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series at Boise State University presents author and assistant professor of History of Art and African-American Studies at Harvard University, Sarah Lewis at 7 p.m. Monday, April 17, in the Jordan Ballroom. Her remarks are titled “Vision and Justice: How Artists Continue to Reshape Our World.”

This event is free and open to the public. Parking at no charge.

Sarah Lewis’ Bio

Sarah Lewis is the bestselling author of The Rise, which is the biography of an idea—a big idea—that no current term yet captures. It’s about creative human endeavor, and how innovation, mastery, and new concepts are found in unlikely places. Lewis also guest-edited the “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture—a landmark collection that addresses race, photography, and social justice.

Sarah Lewis recently guest-edited the summer 2016 issue of Aperture, which has garnered enormous praise. The New York Times, in its article “Reclaiming the Photographic Narrative of African-Americans,” calls it “an insightful volume.” Time makes note of Lewis’s “masterly direction,” while writing that the issue “comes at a time astir with thoughtful considerations about black culture and a new quest for self and identity.” Talking to Fast Company, Lewis, says, “My aim for the issue was to create a constellation of artists, writers, scholars, poets, even musicians who could match the gravity—and enormity—of ‘Vision & Justice’. I hope that it becomes the beginning of a conversation about the transformative role of images and pictures and cinema and media of all kinds for social justice and for citizenship.”

Lewis’s first book, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery, a bestseller, has been hailed by a who’s who of creative thinkers. Lewis Hyde calls it a “welcome departure from standard accounts of artistry and innovation.” The New York Times calls it “strikingly original”: “Lewis’s voice is so lyrical and engaging that her book, The Rise, can be read in one sitting, which is so much the better since its argument is multilayered and needs to be taken whole.” In January of 2017, the Times named Lewis’s contribution to the recent collection of essays on Michelle Obama, The Meaning of Michelle, “the finest essay here.”

Lewis has spoken on the TED main stage, appeared on Oprah’s “Power List,” served on President Obama’s Arts Policy Committee, been profiled in Vogue, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Departments of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies. She has held positions at Yale’s School of Art, the Tate Modern, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and her essays have been published in Artforum and The Smithsonian. Her second book, on Frederick Douglass, will be published by Harvard University Press in 2016. She received her B.A. from Harvard, M.Phil from Oxford, and Ph.D. from Yale.