Plan to arrive early for the continuation of this very popular FREE lecture series sponsored by the SMC Associates and the SMC English Department. Call (310) 434-4303 for details and more information.

Seating is strictly on a first-arrival basis.


Akhil Reed Amar

Akhil Reed AmarAmerica’s Constitution: Past, Present, and Future

American legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University and a recipient of the American Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Scholar Award, is an expert on constitutional law and criminal procedure. He has written for publications that include The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, and is the author of The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era (2016, named by Time magazine one of the year’s top 10 nonfiction books ), The Law of the Land (2015), and America’s Unwritten Constitution (2012, named by The Washington Post one of the year’s 100 best nonfiction books). He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Thursday, September 19 | 11:15 a.m. | Free
Thursday, September 19 | 6:30 p.m. | Free
Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)


Dana Gioia

Dana GioiaRebel Tongues & Poetic Blues

Poet and critic Dana Gioia will read from and talk about his work. The former California Poet Laureate and Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts has authored five collections of verse, most recently 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016), which won the Poets’ Prize. He has also published critical collections — including a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, Can Poetry Matter? — written four opera libretti, and collaborated with musicians in genres from classical to jazz and rock.

Thursday, October 3 | 11:15 a.m. | Free
Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)


Stephen Yenser

Adam WinklerStephen Yenser Reads His Poems

UCLA Distinguished Emeritus Research Professor Stephen Yenser is renowned as a poet, critic, and the co-editor of six volumes of James Merrill’s work. Yenser’s first volume of poetry, The Fire in All Things (LSU), won the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award. More recent poetry volumes include Blue Guide (University of Chicago) and Stone Fruit (Waywiser). A former Fulbright Fellow, he curates the Hammer Poetry Readings at the Hammer Museum and has also written three critical books, including A Boundless Field: American Poetry at Large (University of Michigan Poets on Poetry).

Tuesday, October 15 | 11:15 a.m. | Free
Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)


Lynell George

Lynell GeorgeLynell George Views Los Angeles Outside the Frame

Lynell George will talk about her recent book of essays and photography, After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame, which explores the city where she grew up. Her extensive career includes working as a staff writer for both the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly — covering social issues, human behavior, and identity politics, as well as visual arts, music, and literature — and teaching journalism at Loyola Marymount University. In 2017, she won a Grammy Award for her liner notes for Otis Redding Live At The Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings, and was also awarded the Huntington Library’s Alan Jutzi Fellowship for her studies of California writer Octavia E. Butler. George is also a contributing arts-and-culture columnist for KCET|Artbound.

Tuesday, November 19 | 11:15 a.m. | Free
Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)