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John Edgar Tidwell image

John Edgar Tidwell, Speaker

Professor emeritus of English at the University of Kansas

Good Trouble

The late political activist and US congressman John Lewis coined the phrase “good trouble” to describe his civil disobedience in the 1960s. Others, who did not share his vision, considered his actions as merely “disturbing the peace.” Notwithstanding these conflicting perspectives, Lewis raises an interesting question: "What role have the humanities played in times of crisis, contentiousness, and incredible disagreement?" This talk will seek to answer this question by looking at selected works, such as Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Exposition speech, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Barack Obama’s consolation speeches to victims of gun violence at Sandy Hook and Charleston, and how they frame today’s perspectives and debates about racism. 

Contact John directly about speaking at your event:
(785) 331-4201

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  2. Contact the speaker and confirm time, date, and location.
  3. If interested, you can apply for funding to bring this speaker to your community. Find out how. (Please Note: Completed applications must be submitted six weeks before the event date to be considered for funding.)
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  5. Tell us how it went. After the event, download and fill out a Speakers Bureau Evaluation and Cost Share Form. For applications submitted after November 1, 2023, please log in to your applicant dashboard to access your report.
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