As part of its Annual Distinguished Lecturer series, the Institute for Humanities Research seeks to showcase the work of scholars who demonstrate the importance of humanistic inquiry. The lecture series has brought the likes of Alan Lightman, Stephen Greenblatt, Donna Haraway, and a number of others to speak at ASU on topics ranging from ‘The Human Compulsion to Narrate’ to ‘Multispecies Cosmopolitics.’

In keeping with its tradition of bringing some of the brightest and most innovative humanists to speak at ASU, the IHR is proud to announce that it is partnering with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing to host award winning author Zadie Smith as the 2016 IHR Distinguished Lecturer/Piper Center Distinguished Visiting Writer.

Smith, a tenured professor of creative writing at New York University, has been recognized for her vibrant insights into contemporary multicultural life from the start. She received numerous awards for her first novel, White Teeth (2000) including the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award, and the Guardian’s First Book Award. The novel would later be adapted for a television broadcast in 2002.

Her success with White Teeth was followed with short stories and novels, such as The Autograph Man (2002) and On Beauty (2005), both of which have gone on to receive a number of awards, including the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction for the latter. Her most recent novel, NW (2012), was named as one of the New York Times’ ’10 Best Books of 2012’. Smith’s upcoming collection of essays, Feel Free, will be published next year.

On April 12, 2016, Smith will participate in a reading and discussion at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Keep checking back for more information on this not-to-be-missed event.