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Distinguished Lecture Series

In partnership with the Institute for Advancing American Values, the Honors College sponsors Boise State University’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Twice a year, the series brings eminent speakers to Boise State from the realm of politics, academics, and humanitarian activism to promote the discussion of important issues.

Spring 2022 Speakers

  • Danielle Allen: 7:00-8:00 pm, April 14, over a webinar with moderated discussion, followed by a 30-minute Q&A. Register here for the webinar.
  • Jason Riley: Spoke on March 7 in the Student Union Building.

Danielle Allen

Dr. Danielle Allen is the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University and a political theorist who has written broadly about democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Inspired by her work in justice and citizenship, and troubled by the fact that so few Americans actually know what the Declaration of Independence says, Allen set out to explore its arguments and contradictions in her book, Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality.

In Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A., Allen recounts her heroic efforts to rescue Michael Alexander Allen, her beloved baby cousin, who at age 15 was sentenced to 13 years for an attempted carjacking. Hailed as a “literary miracle” (Washington Post), this fierce family memoir makes mass incarceration nothing less than a new American tragedy.

She will speak 7:00-8:00 pm, April 14, over a webinar with moderated discussion, followed by a 30-minute Q&A. Register here for the webinar.

Jason Riley

Jason Riley is an opinion columnist at The Wall Street Journal, where his column, Upward Mobility, has run since 2016. He is also a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and speaks frequently on ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS and NPR on politics, economics, education, immigration and race.

He is the author of several books, including False Black Power? (2017), an assessment of why black political success has not translated into more economic success, and Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell (2021), on the life of one of America’s most influential conservative thinkers and writers.

He spoke from 7:00-8:00pm, March 7, in the Student Union’s Jordan Ballroom, followed by a 30-minute Q&A.

Past Speakers

  • H. R. McMaster: H. R. McMaster was the 26th Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. He served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018.
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates: Best-selling author, recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, and writer in residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones: American investigative journalist known for her coverage of civil rights in the United States
  • Antony J. Blinken: Former Deputy Secretary of State
  • Werner Herzog: Award-winning screenwriter, film director, author, and actor
  • Sarah Lewis: Bestselling Author and Assistant Professor at Harvard University
  • Carl Wieman: Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist and Professor of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University
  • Julia Gillard: Former Prime Minister of Australia, Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion, public speaker, and member of the United Nations Security Council
  • Margaret Atwood: Literary influence, Booker Prize winner, and distinguished author of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction
  • Sir Salman Rushdie: Distinguished author, public intellectual, and free-speech proponent
  • Richard Heinzl: Founder of the first North American chapter of Doctors Without Borders
  • Jonathan Spence: Respected Historian and China Expert
  • Louis Menand: Pulitzer Prize-winning author and scholar of American studies
  • Steven Pinker: Cognitive scientist one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind and human nature