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Past Speakers

The WUD Distinguished Lecture Series has been able to host many outstanding individuals and groups as part of our program.  Below you will find listings of our past speakers.   

  • Speakers from 1987-1988

    • Jeremy Rifkin
    • Charles King
    • Irwin Abrams
    • The Costeau Society
    • Ntozaki Shangi

    Speakers from 1988-1989

    • John Waters
    • Martin Luther King III
    • Noam Chomsky
    • Garrett Hardin / Julian Simm debate

     

    Speakers from 1989-1990

    • Seymour Melman
    • Angela Davis
    • Edward Said
    • Frances Moore Lappe
    • Maya Angelou
    • Daniel Ellsberg
  • Speakers from 1990-1991

    • Audre Lord
    • Godfrey Binaisa
    • Faye Wattleton
    • Seymour Hersh
    • Barbara Ehrenreich
    • Isabel Allende

     

     Speakers from 1991-1992

    • Charlene Spretnak
    • Gloria Anzaldúa
    • Eqbal Ahmad
    • Dennis Barrie
    • Winona LaDuke
    • Ellie Wiesel

     

    Speakers from 1992-1993

    • Jesse Jackson
    • Oscar Arias
    • Chinua Achebe
    • Phyllis Schafly
    • Susan Faludi

     

    Speakers from 1993-1994

    • William F. Buckley, Jr.
    • bell hooks
    • Nadine Strossen
    • Helen Zia
    • Jello Biafra
    • Stephen Jay Gould

     

    Speakers from 1994-1995

    • Nat Hentoff
    • Dennis Banks
    • Oliver Sacks
    • Mary Matalin
    • Peter Singer
    • Tony Kushner
    • Hanan Mikhail-Ashrawi
  • Speakers from 1995-1996

    • Gloria Steinem
    • Dr. Peter Kramer
    • Cornel West
    • Edward Said
    • Rigoberta Menchi

     

    Speakers from 1996-1997

    • Jonathan Kozol
    • Adrienne Rich
    • Stanley Crouch
    • Noam Chomsky (2)
    • Harry Wu
    • Sarah Weddington
    • Stephen Jay Gould (2)
    • Richard Lamm
        • Spotlight Series program

     

    Speakers from 1997-1998

    • Bobby Seale
        • Co-founder and former chair of the Black Panther Party; director of R.E.A.C.H.!, an organization that teaches young people how to effectively organize within the community
        • Spoke on November 10, 1997 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Kurt Vonnegut
        • Writer
        • Lecture title:  How to Get a Job Like Mine
        • Spoke on December 2, 1997 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • First visit with DLS, would speak again on September 23, 2003
    • Luis Rodriguez
        • Award-winning poet, journalist, and critic
        • Spoke on February 10, 1998 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Ralph Reed
        • Executive Director of the Christian Coalition
        • Spoke on February 17, 1998 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Patricia Ireland
        • President of the National Organization on Women
        • Lecture title:  Feminism and Activism: Moving into the 21st Century
        • Spoke on April 14, 1998 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Jocelyn Elders

     

    Speakers from 1998-1999

    • Michael Moore
        • Filmmaker and activist
        • Spoke on October 13, 1998
        • First visit with DLS, would speak again with DLS in 2004-2005
    • William Schulz
        • Lecture title:  Torture, Terror, Tyranny:  The State of Human Rights Today
        • Spoke on November 5, 1998 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Dinesh D'Souza
        • Indian-American right-wing political commentator, provocateur, and author
        • Lecture title:  The End of Racism
        • Spoke on December 1, 1998
        • First visit with DLS, would speak again in 2006-2007
    • Terri McMillan
        • Novelist, author of Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back
        • Spoke on February 2, 1999
    • Chai Ling
        • Psychologist who was one of the student leaders in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
        • Lecture title:  The Road to Freedom:  Democracy in China
        • Spoke on March 25, 1999

     

    Speakers from 1999-2000

    • Jaime Escalante
        • Bolivian-American educator whose work in a Los Angeles high school inspired the 1988 film Stand and Deliver
        • Spoke on October 21, 1999 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Also sponsored by the Latin American and Iberian Studies Program, Centro Hispano, and the Associated Students of Madison
    • Angela Davis (2)
        • Political activist, academic, and philosopher
        • Lecture title:  The Prison-Industrial Complex and Its Impact on Communities of Color
        • Spoke on November 16, 1999 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Second visit with DLS; previously spoke in 1989-1990 and would speak again on April 16, 219
    • William Kristol
        • Neoconservative political analyst
        • Spoke on December 7, 1999
    • Pat Schroeder
        • Former US Congresswoman from Colorado
        • Lecture title:  Challenges in America's Future
        • Spoke on February 15, 2000 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Also sponsored by the University Bookstore, Associated Students of Madison, Students for Bill Bradley, the Women's History Society, and the Young Feminist Task Force
    • Sherman Alexie
        • Spokane-Coeur d'Alene-Native American novelist, short story writer, poet, and filmmaker
        • Lecture title:  Killing Indians: Myths, Lies and Exaggerations
        • Spoke on March 2, 2000 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Howard Zinn
        • Professor, author, and historian
        • Lecture title:  The Uses of History
        • Spoke on April 18, 2000 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
  • Speakers from 2000-2001

    • Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
        • Former boxer who was wrongfully convicted of murder and released after almost 20 years in prison
        • Spoke on November 28, 2000 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Alan Keyes
        • Black conservative political activist, former official of the Reagan presidential administration
        • Spoke on February 13, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Sponsored in part by the University Bookstore, the Associated Students of Madison (ASM), College Republicans, Chadbourne Residential College, and Pro-Life Action League
    • Judy Shepard
        • Gay rights advocate and mother of Matthew Shepard
        • Lecture title:  The Legacy of Matthew Shepard
        • Spoke on February 27, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Jeffrey Wigand
        • Biochemist and tobacco industry whistleblower after serving as the vice president of research and development at Brown & Williamson
        • Spoke on March 7, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Was scheduled to speak in fall, but had to reschedule to March
    • Ralph Nader
        • Political activist, author, and Green Party candidate for President
        • Spoke on April 17, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Afeni Shakur
        • Political activist, former member of the Black Panther party, mother of rapper and actor Tupac Shakur
        • Lecture title:  Remember Me: The Living Legacy of Tupac Shakur
        • Spoke on April 22, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Robert Pinsky
        • Poet, essayist, literary critic, and translator; former poet laureate of the United States (1997-2000)
        • Spoke on May 2, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union

     

    Speakers from 2001-2002

    • Ingrid Newkirk
        • Co-founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
        • Lecture topic was animal rights
        • Spoke on November 14, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Part of the Spitfire Tour program which featured three other speakers on the same night
    • Jello Biafra (2)
        • Social commentator, spoken word artist, leader of the punk band Dead Kennedys
        • Lecture topic was "nonviolent extermination of the rich"
        • Spoke on November 14, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Part of the Spitfire Tour program which featured three other speakers on the same night
        • Second visit with DLS, spoke previously in 1993-1994 and would speak again in 2006-2007
    • Krist Novoselic
        • President and founder of the Joint Artist and Music Promotions Political Action Committee; former bassist for Nirvana
        • Lecture topic was censorship
        • Spoke on November 14, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Part of the Spitfire Tour program which featured three other speakers on the same night
    • Jill Sobule
        • Singer-songwriter best known for the songs "I Kissed a Girl" and "Supermodel"
        • Lecture topic was social commentary
        • Spoke on November 14, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Part of the Spitfire Tour program which featured three other speakers on the same night
    • Susan Faludi (2)
    • Randall Robinson
        • Author and advocate for human rights and democracy
        • Lecture was presented as a point-counterpoint on reparations for African-Americans with David Horowitz's lecture the following week
        • Spoke on December 4, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • David Horowitz
        • Conservative writer
        • Lecture was presented as a point-counterpoint on reparations for African-Americans with Randall Robinson's lecture the previous week
        • Spoke on December 11, 2001 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Spike Lee was scheduled to speak in February, but the program was cancelled due to other commitments
    • Guerilla Girls
        • An anonymous group of feminist, female artists devoted to fighting sexism and racism within the arts community
        • Spoke on March 12, 2002 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Hunter "Patch" Adams
        • Physician, comedian, author, and social activist
        • Spoke on April 15, 2002 in the Main Theater at the Orpheum Theater
    • Elie Wiesel (2)
        • Writer, political activist, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor
        • Spoke on April 16, 2002 in the Main Theater at the Orpheum Theater
        • Second visit with DLS, Wiesel previously spoke in 1991-1992
    • Jamaica Kincaid
    • Eric Saperston
        • Spotlight Series program

     

    Speakers from 2002-2003

    • Lani Guinier
        • Author and civil rights advocate, first black woman tenured professor at Harvard Law
        • Spoke on 17, 2002 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • F.W. de Klerk
        • Former President of South Africa
        • Spoke on October 9, 2002 in the Main Theater at the Orpheum Theater
    • Ben Stein
        • Political analyst and entertainer
        • Spoke on November 11, 2002 in the Main Theater at the Orpheum Theater
    • John Trudell
        • Native American activist and musician
        • Spoke on December 2, 2002 
    • Leslie Feinberg
        • Trans-liberation activist
    • Chuck D.
        • Rap and hip-hop artist and activist
        • Spoke on March 10, 2003 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Molly Ivins

     

    Speakers from 2003-2004

    • Kurt Vonnegut (2)
        • Writer
        • Spoke on September 23, 2003 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Second visit with DLS, previously spoke on December 2, 1997
    • Salman Rushdie
        • Novelist and essaying
        • Spoke on October 28, 2003
    • James Dale
    • Elizabeth Wurtzel
        • Writer and journalist, author of the memoir Prozac Nation
        • Spoke on February 2, 2004 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Linda Chavez
    • Jared Diamond
        • Geographer, historian, and writer; author of Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel
        • Spoke on March 23, 2004
    • Sylvia Earle
        • Oceanographer, marine biologist, author, and explorer; one of the first female pioneers of oceanic exploration
        • Spoke on April 5, 2005 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Arun Gandhi
        • Socio-political activist and founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
        • Spoke on April 12, 2004
    • Harvey Pekar
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Lama Ole Nydahl
      • Spotlight Series program
    • John Esposito
      • Spotlight Series program

     

    Speakers from 2004-2005

    • Karen Armstrong
        • Expert on the role of religion in the modern world
        • Spoke on October 27, 2004 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Eric Schlosser
        • Best-selling author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness
        • Spoke on November 22, 2004 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Robert Novak
        • Nationally syndicated conservative columnist
        • Spoke on December 1, 2004 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Chuck Palahniuk
        • Novelist and journalist, author of Fight Club
        • Spoke on January 31, 2005 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Jean Kilbourne
        • Public speaker, writer, and activist known for her work on the image of women in advertising and critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising
        • Spoke on February 2, 2005 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union 
    • Sister Helen Prejean
        • Roman Catholic sister, advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, and author
        • Spoke on February 15, 2005 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Reverend Al Sharpton
        • Civil Rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician
        • Spoke on March 7, 2005 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Part of UW-Madison's Black History Month
    • Robert Siegel
        • Former editor-in-chief of The Onion (1996-2003)
        • Spoke on April 11, 2005 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Michael Moore (2)
      • Spotlight Series program
    • John Perkins
      • Spotlight Series program
    • James Kunstler
      • Spotlight Series program
    • Andy Greenwald
      • Spotlight Series program
    • Craig Murray
      • Spotlight Series program
    • Paul Loeb
      • Spotlight Series program
    • Tim Wise
      • Spotlight Series program
  • Speakers from 2005-2006

    • Isabel Allende (2)
        • Novelist and Chilean-in-exile
        • Spoke on October 13, 2005 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Second visit with DLS, previously spoke in 1990-1991
        • Collaboration with the Wisconsin Book Festival
    • George McGovern
        • Former US Senator (D-SD), historian, and 1972 Democratic Party nominee for President
        • Lecture title:  The Iraq War: Lessons from the Past
        • Spoke on November 14, 2005 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the UW Law School, lecture was also the school's Robert W. Kastenmeier Lecture
    • E.O. Wilson
    • Brian Greene
    • Francis Bok
    • Laurie Garrett
    • Ben Karlin
    • Mark Zupan
    • Frank Luntz
    • Dan Savage
        • Author, sex-columnist, journalist, and LGBT community activist
        • Spoke on April 17, 2006 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the LGBT Campus Center for Out and About Month
        • Spotlight Series program
        • First visit with DLS, would speak again on November 19, 2012

     

    Speakers from 2006-2007

    • Laurie David
    • Howard Zinn (2)
    • Joseph Stiglitz
    • Dinesh D'Souza (2)
    • Sarah Vowell
    • David Suzuki
    • Stephen Lewis
    • Ali Abunimah
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Jello Biafra (3)
        • Spotlight Series program

     

    Speakers from 2007-2008

    • Amy Goodman
    • Michael Eric Dyson
    • Ken Mehlman
    • Reza Aslan & Gideon Yago
        • Aslan would speak with DLS again on March 29, 2017
    • Richard Dawkins
    • Andrew Sullivan

     

    Speakers from 2008-2009

    • Amira Hanania
    • Shirin Ebadi
    • Rebecca Walker
    • Daniel Dennett
    • Chrystia Freeland
    • Neil deGrasse Tyson
        • Astrophysicist, planetary scientist, author, and science communicator
        • First visit with DLS, would speak again on May 10, 2012
    • Robin Wright
    • Ishmael Beah
    • Francisco Ayala

     

    Speakers from 2009-2010

    • Steven Pinker
    • Dan Ariely
    • Jeremy Rifkin
    • Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • Cornelia Flor
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Bill Marler
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Elon James & Christian Lander (Post-Racial Comedy Tour)
    • Vandana Shiva Ramachandran
  • Speakers from 2010-2011

    • Andrei Codrescu
        • Romanian-American poet, novelist, essayist, and NPR commentator
        • Spoke on October 4, 2010 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA).  Additional cosponsors included Global Studies, the Language Institute, the Center for Jewish Studies, “From Romania!” (a UW–Madison registered student organization focused on Romanian life and culture), the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature, the European Union Center of Excellence, the Center for the Humanities, and the Division of International Studies.  Further financial support provided by the Kemper Knapp Bequest Committee and from the Anonymous Fund of the College of Letters & Science
    • Ben Huh
      • South Korean-American internet entrepreneur and CEO of The Cheezburger Network
      • Spotlight Series program
    • Christine Jeske
      • Spotlight Series program
    • Chad Sorenson
      • Spotlight Series program
    • Merlin Mann
        • Writer and blogger
    • Errol Morris
        • Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and UW-Madison almnus
    • Matt Taibbi
        • Author and journalist
    • The Yes Men
        • A culture-jamming activist duo 
    • Jill Pruetz
        • Associate Professor of Anthropology at UW-Madison
        • Spoke on February 11, 2011 in the DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
        • Collaboration with the J.F. Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution; Darwin Day keynote speaker
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Brian Cox
        • Rockstar turned physicist
        • Spoke on March 7, 2011 at Memorial Union
    • Sir Ken Robinson
        • Author and international advisor on education
        • Spoke on April 5, 2011 at Memorial Union
        • First visit with DLS, would speak again with DLS on September 30, 2012
    • Billy Collins
        • Former Poet Laureate of the United States (2001-2003)
        • Spoke on April 18, 2011 in Varsity Hall at Union South
        • Collaboration with WUD Publications; part of their Madison Lit Fest Week
    • Pr. Jon Pevehouse
        • Political Science professor at UW-Madison
        • Lecture title:  Spotlight on Libya
        • Spoke on April 25, 2011 at Memorial Union
        • Spotlight Series program

     

    Speakers from 2011-2012

    • Mara Hvistendahl
        • Journalist, correspondent for Science Magazine
        • Lecture title:  Sex Selection and Asia's 160 million 'missing' females
        • Spoke on October 12, 2011 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Jake Wood
        • UW-Madison alumnus and founder and CEO of Team Rubicon
        • Spoke on October 13, 2011 in the Marquee at Union South
        • Collaboration with the UW Homecoming Committee; part of their Wisconsin Rewind Series
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Bill Strickland
        • President and CEO of the non-profit Manchester Bidwell Corporation
        • Spoke on November 2, 2011 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Joe Garden & Carole Kolb (An Evening with The Onion)
        • Garden is an editor at The Onion and UW-Madison alumnus; Kolb is his colleague from The Onion News Network
        • Spoke on December 5, 2011 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Jill Bolte Taylor
        • Neuroanatomist, author, and inspirational speaker
        • Spoke on March 5, 2012 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
    • Nikki Giovanni
        • Poet, writer, activist, and educator
        • Spoke on March 21, 2012 in the Wisconsin Union Theater at Memorial Union
        • First visit with DLS, would speak again with DLS on February 15, 2017
    • Robert Egger
        • James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award winner, author, and expert on sustainable food use and nonprofit management
        • Spoke on April 11, 2012 in Varsity Hall at Union South
        • Collaboration with the Morgridge Center for Public Service, for their 15th Anniversary
    • Derrick Jensen
        • Poet, ecophilosopher, radical environmentalist, and anti-civilization advocate
        • Spoke on April 17, 2012 in Varsity Hall at Union South
        • Collaboration with WUD Society & Politics, Madison Infoshop, and Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Deb Pangerl
        • Author; founder of the Image Project in Tanzania
        • Lecture Title:  Changing Lives in Tanzania Through the Education of Girls
        • Spoke on April 19, 2012 at Union South
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Benjamin Mee
        • Author of We Bought a Zoo
        • Spoke in Varsity Hall at Union South
        • Collaboration with WUD Publications, part of their Lit Fest program
    • Neil deGrasse Tyson (2)
        • Astrophysicist, planetary scientist, author, and science communicator
        • Spoke on May 10, 2012 on the Terrace Stage at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the 2012 Senior Class
        • Second visit with DLS, spoke previously in 2008-2009

     

    Speakers from 2012-2013

    • Sir Ken Robinson (2)
        • Author and international advisor on education
        • Spoke on September 30, 2012 in the DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
        • Collaboration with the Wisconsin Science Festival
        • Second visit with DLS, spoke previously on April 5, 2011
    • Paul Farmer
        • Medical anthropologist and physician
        • Spoke on October 1, 2012 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Morgan Spurlock
        • Documentary filmmaker, humorist, television producer, and screenwriter
        • Spoke on October 29, 2012 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Dan Savage
        • Author, sex-columnist, journalist, and LGBT community activist
        • Spoke on November 19, 2012 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Aron Ralston
        • Outdoorsman, mechanical engineer, and motivational speaker
        • Spoke on February 20, 2013 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Michelle Alexander
        • Civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar, and New York Times best-selling author
        • Spoke on March 7, 2013 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Julianna Carbin
        • Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Wisconsin
        • Spoke on March 12, 2013 in Rm 107 at the Brogden Psychology Building
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Frank Warren
        • Founder and curator of the PostSecret Project
        • Spoke on March 20, 2013 in Varsity Hall at Memorial Union
    • Arundhati Roy
        • Author, essayist, and political activist
        • Spoke on March 21, 2013 in Great Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the Center for the Humanities
    • Byron Pitts
        • Emmy award-winning journalist and author
        • Spoke on April 3, 2013 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Jane Goodall
        • Spoke on April 15, 2013 at the Monona Terrace
        • Collaboration with the Nelson Institute; keynote speaker at the Earth Day Conference

     

    Speakers from 2013-2014

    • Jalen Rose
    • Ira Flatow
        • Host and executive producer of NPR program Science Friday
        • Spoke on September 26, 2013 in the DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Michele Norris
        • Award-winning journalist and former co-host of NPR's All Things Considered
        • Spoke on October 7, 2013 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Ruth Ozeki
        • Author, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest; writer of A Tale for the Time Being
        • Spoke on October 28, 2013 in Varsity Hall at Union South
        • Collaboration with Go Big Read program
    • Zainab Hawa Bangura
        • United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict
        • Spoke on November 6, 2013 in Great Hall at Memorial Union
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Orhan Pamuk
        • Turkish novelist, screenwriter, and academic; recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature
        • Spoke on December 2, 2013 in Varsity Hall at Union South
        • Collaboration with the Center for the Humanities.  Part of their Great World Texts program
    • Max Brooks
        • Actor and author; writer of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z:  An Oral History of the Zombie War
        • Spoke on December 3, 2013 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Lawrence Krauss
        • Theoretical physicist, author, and Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University
        • Spoke on February 12, at 2014 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Alexis Ohanian and Nilay Patel
        • Ohanian is a startup founder and investor; cofounder of reddit.  Patel is a UW-Madison alumnus and editor of The Verge
        • Spoke on February 20, 2014 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Cheryl Strayed
        • Writer and podcast host; author of Wild, a #1 New York Times bestselling memoir
        • Spoke on March 5, 2014 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Alice Waters
        • Chef, restauranteur, activist, and author
        • Spoke on March 27, 2014 in Varsity Hall at Union South
    • Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick
        • Stone is an award-winning film director, producer, screenwriter, and US Army veteran.  Kuznick is a professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University
        • Spoke on April 24, 2014 in Varsity Hall at Union South

     

    Speakers from 2014-2015

    • Sheryl WuDunn
        • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, business executive, and author
        • Spoke on September 30, 2014 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Dave Arnold
        • Founder of the Museum of Food and Drink; radio host, author, and food researcher
        • Spoke on October 22, 2014 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the Underground Food Collective and Madison Magazine
    • Naomi Klein
        • Award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, and author
        • Spoke on October 28, 2014 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the Havens Center for Social Justice
    • Bill Bryson
        • Writer of books on science, travel, the English language, and other topics
        • Spoke on November 17, 2014 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Jad Abumrad
        • Host and creator of Radiolab
        • Spoke on December 8, 2014 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Bill T. Jones
        • Choreographer, director, author, and dancer; co-founder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zan Dance Company; Artistic Director of New York Live Arts
        • Spoke on February 12, 2015 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the WUD Performing Arts Committee
    • Ezra Klein
        • Journalist and political strategist; co-founder of Vox
        • Spoke on March 9, 2015 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Tavi Gevinson
        • Actress, writer, and magazine editor
        • Spoke on March 17, 2015 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Danielle S. Allen
        • MacArthur Award-winning classicist and political theorist
        • Spoke on March 24, 2015 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with Center for the Humanities
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates
        • Author and journalist
        • Spoke on April 7, 2015 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
  • Speakers from 2015-2016

    • RJ Mitte
        • Actor and disability activist
        • Spoke on September 30, 2015 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • John Waters (2)
        • Filmmaker, actor, writer, and artist
        • Spoke on October 15, 2015 in Mills Hall at the George L. Mosse Humanities Building
        • Collaboration with the LGBT Campus Center
        • Second visit with DLS, previously spoke in 1988-1989
    • Jeannette Walls
        • Writer and journalist
        • Spoke on November 11, 2015 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the Chadbourne Residential College and Center for the Humanities
    • Dr. John Hawks
        • Paleoanthropologist
        • Spoke on November 23, 2015 in the DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
    • Alex Blumberg
        • CEO of Gimlet Media, radio journalist and producer
        • Spoke on December 1, 2015 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Marc Brown
        • Author and illustrator of children's books; creator of the Arthur book series
        • Spoke on December 8, 2015 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Junot Diaz
        • writer, creative writing professor at MI, and editor
        • Spoke on February 8, 2016 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the Center for the Humanities
    • Jon Ronson
        • Journalist, documentary filmmaker, radio host, and author
        • Spoke on February 23, 2016 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Kaleen Caire, Dr. Randall Horton, and Sean Medlin
        • Caire is a former CEO of Madison Urban League, Dr. Horton is an Assoc. Professor at the University of New Haven, and Medlin is rapper, poet, actor, and First Wave Hip-Hop Scholar
        • Spoke on March 3, 2016 in the Concerto Room at Gordon Dining & Event Center
        • Collaboration with the Black Law Student Association
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Sally Mann
        • Photographer
        • Spoke on March 29, 2016 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the Center for the Humanities
    • Anna Deavere Smith
        • Actress, playwright, and professor
        • Spoke on April 20, 2016 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the WUD Publications Committee and UW Madison Friends of the Library.  Part of WUD Publications' Lit Fest program
    • Dean Strang
        • Attorney, advisory to Wisconsin Innocence Project; known as defense attorney for Steven Aery
        • Spoke on April 26, 2016 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the WUD Society & Politics Committee
    • Jeff Halper
        • Anthropologist, author, political activist
        • Spoke on May 4, 2016 in the DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
        • Collaboration with the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Laverne Cox
        • Actress and LGBTQ+ activist
        • Spoke on May 9, 2016 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the LGBT Campus Center

     

    Speakers from 2016-2017

    • Peter Sagal
        • Radio host, author, humorist, and commentator
        • Spoke on October 17, 2016 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Eileen Collins
        • Astronaut and Air Force colonel; first female pilot and first female commander of a space shuttle
        • Spoke on November 14, 2016 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Pussy Riot
        • Russian feminist protest punk rock and performance art group
        • Spoke on November 17, 2016 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the WUD Performing Arts Committee and the Center for Russia, East Europe, & Central Asia
    • Manu Prakash
        • Scientist and professor of bioengineering
        • Spoke on November 21, 2016 at Shannon Hall in Memorial Union
    • Andrew Solomon
        • Writer on politics, culture, and psychology
        • Spoke on February 2, 2017 at Shannon Hall in Memorial Union
    • Nikki Giovanni (2)
        • Poet, writer, activist, and educator
        • Spoke on February 15, 2017 in the Symphony Room of Gordon Dining & Event Center
        • Collaboration with the Black History Month Planning Committee and Multicultural Student Center
        • Second visit with DLS, previously spoke on March 21, 2012
    • Michael Shellenberger
        • Journalist and author
        • Spoke on March 7, 2017 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the Nelson Institute
    • Reza Aslan (2)
        • Scholar of religious studies, writer, and television host
        • Spoke on March 29, 2017 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the Multicultural Student Center
        • Second visit with DLS, previously spoke in 2007-2008
    • Margaret Atwood
        • Poet, novelist, teacher, and activist
        • Spoke on April 3, 2017 in Varsity Hall at Union South
        • Collaboration with the Center for the Humanities, the Wisconsin Book Festival, and Promega
    • Roxane Gay
        • Author, professor, and cultural critic
        • Spoke on April 11, 2017 at Gordon Dining & Event Center
        • Collaboration with WUD Publications, the Multicultural Student Center, and LGBT Campus Center.  Part of WUD Publications' Lit Fest program
    • Michael "Killer Mike" Render
        • Grammy award-winning rapper, actor, and activist
        • Spoke on April 24, 2017 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the Wisconsin Alumni Student Board (WASB)'s All-Campus Party

     

    Speakers from 2017-2018

    • Charles Burnett
        • Independent filmmaker and photographer
        • Spoke on September 21, 2017 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with UW Cinematheque
    • Jason de León
        • Anthropologist and 2017 MacArthur Fellow
        • Spoke on October 12, 2017 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Miss Major Griffin-Gracy
        • Trans activist and community leader for transgender rights
        • Spoke on October 23, 2017 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the LGBT Campus Center and the Multicultural Student Center in honor of the 25th birthday of the LGBT Campus Center
    • Bassem Youssef
        • Egyptian surgeon, writer, and comedian
        • Spoke on November 8, 2017 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the WUD Performing Arts Committee
    • Dr. David Johnson
        • Professor of Economics at UW-Madison
        • Spoke on November 16, 2017 in the Sonata Room at Gordon Dining & Event Center
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Leana Wen
        • Physician, former Health Commissioner for the City of Baltimore, MD
        • Spoke on December 6, 2017 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Nyle DiMarco
        • Deaf model, actor, and activist
        • Spoke on January 30, 2018 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the McBurney Disability Resource Center
    • Lena Waithe
        • Screenwriter, producer, and actress
        • Spoke on February 13, 2018 in Varsity Hall at Union South
        • Collaboration with the Black History Month Planning Committee and Multicultural Student Center
    • Dr. Faisal Abdu'Allah
        • Associate Professor of Art and Faculty Director of UW-Madison's Creative Arts Community, The Studio
        • Spoke on February 20, 2018 in the Sonata Room at Gordon Dining & Event Center
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Jeremy Scahill
        • Independent journalist and podcaster
        • Spoke on March 6, 2018 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Sandra Steingraber
        • Biologist and author
        • Spoke on April 9, 2018 in L160 at the Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
        • Collaboration with the Center for the Humanities
    • Phil Yu
        • Blogger and activist; founder of the Angry Asian Man blog
        • Spoke on April 16, 2018 in the Overture Room at Gordon Dining & Event Center
        • Collaboration with the Asian Pacific Islander Desi-American (APIDA) Heritage Month Planning Committee, the Multicultural Student Center, the UW-Communication Arts Department, and the Asian American Studies Program
    • Dr. Revel Sims
        • Assistant Professor in Planning and Landscape Architecture and the Chican@ and Latin@ Studies Program
        • Spoke on April 18, 2018 in Varsity Hall at Union South
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Eve Ewing
        • Sociologist, poet, and author
        • Spoke on April 23, 2018 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the WUD Publications and WUD Society & Politics Committees.  Part of WUD Publications' Lit Fest program

     

    Speakers from 2018-2019

    • Sonia Nazario
        • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author
        • Spoke on October 2, 2018 in the AT&T Lounge at the Pyle Center
        • Program was in collaboration with the Multicultural Student Center's Social Justice Program and the LatinX Heritage Month Planning Committee
    • Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
        • Pediatrician, professor, and public health advocate; her research exposed the Flint, MI water crisis
        • Spoke on October 23, 2018 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Amara La Negra
        • Dominican-American multi-faceted entrepreneur and entertainer
        • Spoke on October 25, 2018 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Program was in collaboration with the LatinX Heritage Month Planning Committee and the WUD Music and WUD Performing Arts Committees
    • Frank Haney
        • Executive Chef of the Sioux Chef
        • Spoke on November 13, 2018 in Varsity Hall at Union South
        • Program was in collaboration with the WUD Cuisine Committee
    • Mariame Kaba
        • American activist, educator, and grassroots organizer
        • Spoke on November 29, 2018 in the DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
    • Angela Rye
        • American attorney and political analyst
        • Spoke on February 20, 2019 in Varsity Hall at Union South
        • Program was in collaboration with the Black History Month Planning Committee
    • Tarana Burke
        • American activist, founder of the Me Too movement
        • Spoke on March 4, 2019 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Angela Davis (3) 
        • Political activist, academic, and philosopher
        • Spoke on April 16, 2019 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Third visit with DLS, previously spoke in 1989-1990 and on November 16, 1999

     

    Speakers from 2019-2020

    • Samantha Skenandore
        • American Indian lawyer
        • Spoke on September 23, 2019 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with the Our Shared Future Planning Group
    • Emily Bazelon
        • Journalist and podcaster
        • Spoke on October 22, 2019 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Mariela Shaker
        • Syrian violinist and refugee activist
        • Spoke on November 18, 2019 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Claire Gervais
        • Family practice physician and Clinical Associate Professor with the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
        • Spoke on November 20, 2019 in the Play Circle Theater at Memorial Union
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Charles "Chaz" Wheelock
        • Member of Oneida Nation and co-founder of the Indigenous Environmental Network
        • Spoke on December 5, 2019 in the DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Megan-Phelps Roper
        • Political activist and former member of the Westboro Baptist Church
        • Spoke on February 4, 2020 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
    • Marlon James
        • Jamaican novelist
        • Spoke on February 13, 2020 in the Madison Room at the Madison Central Library
        • Collaboration with the Center for the Humanities
    • Jerome Rand
        • American sailor who completed a solo and nonstop sailing voyage around the world
        • Spoke on February 19, 2020 in the Play Circle Theater at Memorial Union
        • Collaboration with Hoofers Sailing Club
        • Spotlight Series program
    • Rebecca Skloot
        • American science writer and journalist
        • Spoke on March 4, 2020 in Shannon Hall at Memorial Union
  • Speakers from 2020-2021

    • LaTosha Brown
        • Community organizer, political strategist, and consultant; co-founder of the voting rights group Black Voters Matter
        • Spoke on September 22, 2020; program was presented virtually
    • Celine Gounder
        • Infectious disease physician, epidemiologist, filmmaker, and medical journalist
        • Spoke on September 29, 2020; program was presented virtually
    • Amanda Nguyen + Beverly Gooden
        • Nguyen is a social entrepreneur, civil rights activist, and founder of Rise; she was involved in the drafting of the Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act.  Gooden is a writer and social activist known for her work in domestic violence and victimology
        • Spoke on October 5, 2020; program was presented virtually
    • Gabby Rivera
        • Writer and storyteller
        • Spoke on October 20, 2020; program was presented virtually
        • Collaboration with the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center (GSCC) and Multicultural Student Center (MSC)
    • Shalini Kantayya
        • Filmmaker and environmental activist; director of Coded Bias
        • Spoke on November 12, 2020; program was presented virtually
        • Collaboration with the WUD Film Committee
    • Ben Crump
        • Civil rights attorney; known for representing families of individuals killed by police
        • Spoke on February 16, 2020; program was presented virtually
    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
        • Sabre fencer and member of the US fencing team; first Muslim American woman to wear hijab while competing for the US in the Olympics
        • Spoke on March 10, 2020; program was presented virtually
    • Noname
        • Rapper, poet, and record producer
        • Spoke on April 7, 2020; program was presented virtually
        • Collaboration with the WUD Publications, WUD Music, and WUD Performing Arts Committees along with The Black Voice and the Division of the Arts.  Part of WUD Publications' Lit Fest program
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