Lecture Series

Here is a list of active lecture series hosted by the College and its departments. Videos of past lectures are available on the College’s Vimeo account.

Interdisciplinary & Popular Series

Margaret Atwood standing at a podium, smiling
Award-winning author Margaret Atwood speaking as part of the Bankhead Visiting Writers Series

Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution (ALLELE)

Sponsored by the departments of biological sciences, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, history, and geological sciences, ALLELE aims to promote greater knowledge of modern evolutionary science through lectures and performances. Find more information on Facebook or on the ALLELE series website.

Bankhead Visiting Writers

The Department of English’s Bankhead Visiting Writers Series brings emerging and internationally renowned writers to campus to read from their work. Past visiting writers include Margaret Atwood, Charles Simic, Alice McDermott, Kevin Young, Andrew Dubus, Robert Pinsky, Alice Walker, Bei Dao, Neil Gaiman, and George Saunders, among others.

Helen Crow Mills and John Carrol Mills Lecture Series

The Helen Crow Mills and John Carrol Mills Lecture Series was established and endowed in the College of Arts and Sciences by Mrs. Helen Mills Pittman and her late husband, Dr. John Mills of Birmingham, to bring successful and distinguished alumni and citizens to campus to motivate and inspire students.

Hidden Humanities

Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the interdisciplinary Hidden Humanities series challenges the widespread notion that the humanities ought to be a low educational priority. The lectures intend to clarify current debates over the importance of the humanities and illuminate why intellectual disciplines once at the heart of the university are now so undervalued.

John S. Steiner Endowed Lecture Series

Hosted by the University of Alabama Museums, the John S. Steiner Lecture Series sponsors public lectures on a variety of topics in disciplines emphasized by the Museums such as anthropology, archaeology, biology, geology, paleontology, and history. The lectures feature speakers who are known for being able to discuss science or historical/cultural research with non-academic audiences and engage them in discussions about cutting-edge research.  

Philosophy Today

The popular Philosophy Today series reflects a commitment by the department to make contemporary philosophical work accessible to those outside the discipline and to provide public forums for addressing controversial or provocative problems. Every Philosophy Today speaker presents a public talk and also conducts a professional colloquium for UA’s philosophy faculty and majors. Most of these distinguished scholars also teach a class while on campus, giving advanced seminar students the opportunity to address questions and objections to a prominent philosopher whose work they have studied.

Robert F. Olin Endowed Distinguished Lecture Series in Science

The Robert F. Olin Endowed Distinguished Lecture Series in Science was established and endowed in UA’s College of Arts and Sciences by Robert F. Olin in order to bring speakers to campus to discuss how the sciences have impacted society and humanity, through the lenses of the research of the speaker and others in their field.

Department-Sponsored Series

American Studies

Rose Gladney Lecture for Justice and Social Change

Sponsored by the Department of American Studies, the annual Rose Gladney Lecture for Justice and Social Change honors Dr. Gladney, who retired in 2003 as UA associate professor of American studies. Gladney spent her career working on issues of social justice and change. She was one of the early professors in UA’s Department of Women’s Studies and helped craft the master’s program in that field. She also helped develop and sustain the African-American studies minor.

Art & Art History

Paul Jones Lecture Series

In conjunction with the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art, the Paul Jones Lecture Series is designed to bring to campus artists whose work is part of the Jones Collection and leading scholars in the field of American Art. Guest speakers offer a formal presentation on their artwork or scholarly research as well as meet informally with interested faculty and students during their visit.

Biological Sciences

Darden Lecture

Named for Dr. William Darden, professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, the Darden Lecture Series brings prominent biologists to campus to address environmental and humanitarian problems. Mrs. Ilouise Hill of Montgomery established the series to honor Darden, who was on the UA faculty for 31 years.

Arduengo Lecture

Sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and established to honor the contributions of Professor Anthony J. Arduengo III, the Arduengo Lecture is given annually by a world-renowned researcher in the area of main group element chemistry or physical organic chemistry. A faculty committee chooses the lecturers in recognition of their seminal contributions to the field. Each speaker gives both a technical talk and a general talk as part of the Arduengo Lecture.

Cava Lecture

Established in memory of Professor Michael P. Cava, the Cava Lecture recognizes preeminent scientists, primarily in the field of organic chemistry. Cava Lecturers typically present both a technical talk and a general audience talk during their time on campus.

Communicative Disorders

Cooper Lecture Series

Sponsored by the Department of Communicative Disorders, the Cooper Lecture Series has been providing local professionals with an opportunity to learn about current trends in the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology for over 25 years. The symposium also provides graduate students in the department an opportunity to plan and organize a one-day workshop held each July.


Hudson Strode Lecture Series

Presented by the English department and privately endowed Strode Program, the Strode lectures feature distinguished scholars in the fields of Renaissance literature, film, and literary criticism. The endowment, which also funds graduate fellowships and residencies by prominent scholars, is named after Hudson Strode, a prolific author and celebrated teacher of Shakespeare and creative writing who served on the UA faculty from 1916 to 1963.

Gender & Race Studies

Feminism Spoken Here Brown Bag Lecture Series

The Department of Gender and Race Studies co-sponsors this monthly series with the UA Women’s Resource Center. Lectures cover various aspects of feminism, including talks on women in sports, feederism, and female entrepreneurs.


Summersell Series

Sponsored by the Summersell Center for the Study of the South and the University Libraries, the Summersell Series explores various aspects of Southern history and culture.

Phi Beta Kappa

Going Lecture

Established in 1999, the annual Allen Going Lecture is presented by the UA chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Previous speakers include Martin Marty, Robert Putnam, Diane McWhorter, and Mark Edmundson.


Basowitz Memorial Lecture

Presented by the Department of Psychology, the Basowitz Memorial Lecture honors Dr. Harold Basowitz. After graduating from UA, serving in the Army, and receiving his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Princeton in 1951, Basowitz had an incredible career, including administrative roles at the National Institute of Mental Health and serving as Professor of Psychology at New York University. Each year, an expert from the field of clinical psychology speaks to UA students in honor of Dr. Basowitz.

Michael Dinoff Memorial Lecture

Presented by the Department of Psychology, the annual Michael Dinoff Memorial Lecture was founded in honor of Dr. Michael Dinoff, a professor and director of the University’s Psychological Clinic from 1963 until his death in 1982. Lectures are given by experts from various parts of the field of psychology.

Religious Studies

Aronov Lecture

Sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the annual Aronov Lecture Series was founded with the goal of introducing the University community to a nationally recognized scholar of religion who is capable of reflecting on issues of wide relevance to scholars from across the humanities and social sciences.

Day Lecture

Sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the annual Day Lecture Series aims to change the way students approach religion by inviting them to adopt a contemporary critical perspective on the subject. The lecture honors Zachary Day, a UA graduate who died in 2011 and is supported by the Zachary Day Memorial Fund.