An upheaval in ideas arrives at CWRU’s Baker-Nord Center this fall

The Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University may title its fall series “Revolution,” but the emphasis isn’t on acts of war.

Ideas alone can dramatically reshape landscapes of all kinds—physical, political, social and intellectual—and this year’s lineup centers on change in its many forms.

The series begins with, “Is The Civil War the Revolution We Like to Forget?”—a lecture by David Blight, the recipient of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction for American Oracle:  The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era. He will speak Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 4:30 p.m. in Clark Hall 309. The event is free and open to the public. The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award honors fiction and nonfiction writing on the roots of racism and human diversity.

Blight, The Class of 1954 Professor of American History and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery at Yale University, is one of the nation’s leading authorities on U.S. Civil War history and its legacy.

American Oracle (Harvard University Press) provides an intellectual history of Civil War memory through the works of Robert Penn Warren (poet-novelist), Bruce Catton (journalist and historian), Edmund Wilson (literary critic) and James Baldwin (essayist and activist).

Other events in the Revolution series include a lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 9, on social revolutions in a wired age by Arjun Appadurai, the contemporary social-cultural anthropologist from New York University, and a lecture by Dorothy Parvaz, a journalist with Al Jazeera on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Also featured this semester is a Revolution Film Series with three films and introductions by Case Western Reserve faculty members. All are free and open to the public and begin at 6 p.m. in the Wolstein Building Auditorium:

  • Persepolis, Monday, Sept. 24, with Pete Moore, associate professor of political science on the Middle East
  • The Battle of Algiers, Monday, Oct. 15, with Robert Spadoni, associate professor of English and film, and
  • October (10 Days that Shook the World), Tuesday, Nov. 6, with John Orlock, Samuel B. and Virginia C. Knight Professor of Humanities.

For the entire fall schedule, visit For information, call Maggie Kaminski at 216.368.2242 or email