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The Betty M. & William B. Jones Humanities Speaker Series presents   

All presentations are free and open to the public, and will be held in the Hackney Theater of the Meredith Center for the Arts, 7336 Granby Street. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. A reception will follow each lecture.


Saturday,  Sept. 10, 2016,  at 4 p.m.

An Afternoon with Brian Bress ’93 

Artist, filmmaker and alumnus Brian Bress ’93 will be returning to Norfolk for an exhibition at the Chrysler Museum of Art. Join Brian as he explores the vision, humor and trajectory of his art in this unique and intimate afternoon. 


Saturday,  Oct. 15, 2016,  at 3 p.m. 

The Changing Role of Political Parties in the Lives of American Citizens

Join our four distinguished panelists as they discuss a historical perspective on our nation's politics, the heightened degree of partisanship in Congress and the weakening of the parties among the public, gender as a factor in politics, as well as a cross-cultural perspective on political parties in Western democracies.

  • Dr. Leslie Caughell, VWC assistant professor of political science
  • Dr. Jesse Richman, ODU associate professor of political science & international studies
  • Dr.  Antje Schwennicke, VWC assistant professor of political science
  • Dr. G. William Whitehurst, ODU Kaufman lecturer for public affairs and former Republican Congressman


Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016,  at 3 p.m.

Plain Janes and Rebellious Catherines: Female Identity and the Brontes' Legacy

Join Dr. Manuela Mourão, ODU professor of English, as we explore plain Janes and rebellious Catherines. In an 1845 essay about British women writers, Lady Elizabeth Eastlake referred to British women as "the finest production of the finest country upon earth." This sentiment was echoed in a broad range of 19th Century British texts, where ideologies of perfect femininity were disseminated even as they sometimes were brought into question. Women writers' works were especially likely to offer conflicted views of female identity.

This talk will discuss the representation of female identity in iconic works of the Bronte sisters, and consider how they continue to influence our notions of feminine.