Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series

The Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series brings nationally-known scholars concerned with promoting culture through the humanities and a better understanding of the problems of democracy to ASU. This annual free public lecture is funded with a gift from Jonathan and Maxine Marshall.

2021 Lecture

A conversation with Clint Smith

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

6:30 PM MST

ARM 101, Armstrong Hall, ASU Tempe Campus 

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About the Speaker

Clint Smith
Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He is the author of the narrative nonfiction book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, which was a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and the poetry collection Counting Descent, which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.
He has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New America, the Emerson Collective, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation. His essays, poems, and scholarly writing have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, the Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere.
Clint is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and a 2017 recipient of the Jerome J. Shestack Prize from the American Poetry Review. His two TED Talks, The Danger of Silence and How to Raise a Black Son in America, collectively have been viewed more than 9 million times.
Previously, Clint taught high school English in Prince George’s County, Maryland where, in 2013, he was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. He currently teaches writing and literature in the D.C. Central Detention Facility. He is also the host of the YouTube series Crash Course Black American History.
Clint received his B.A. in English from Davidson College and his Ph.D. in Education from Harvard University. Born and raised in New Orleans, he currently lives in Maryland with his wife and their two children.

Important event details

Face coverings are required for the duration of this event. Due to room capacity limitations, seating will be limited and RSVPs are required. Once all seats have been filled and registration has closed, you can email to be added to the waitlist. We will notify you via email if a seat becomes available. 

Visitor parking is available in several lots and parking garages near the venue. All parking fees are the responsibility of event attendees. For a list of parking locations and associated fees, please visit

Past lectures

Year Lecturer Title


Colson Whitehead

A conversation with Colson Whitehead and Solmaz Sharif

2018 Claudia Rankine Award-winning author
2017 Roger Cohen The Disunited States: Trump and the Fracturing of America
2016 Amy Goodman Host and executive producer of Democracy Now!
2015 Jane Smiley Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, essayist and biographer
2014 Charles Blow Visual op-ed columnist for The New York Times
2013 David Walsh Chief sports writer of the British newspaper The Sunday Times
2012 Russ Feingold Former senator, public speaker, educator.
2011 Nikki Giovanni World-renowned poet, activist and educator
2010 Kerry Kennedy International human rights advocate and author
2009 Heather Rae Award-winning Cherokee film director and producer
2008 Calvin Trillin Humorist, journalist and author
2007 Robin Wright Acclaimed journalist
2006 Jon Meacham Managing Editor of Newsweek
2005 Seymour Hersh Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
2004 Paul Krugman Professor, Economist, Author and New York Times Columnist
2003-cancelled Wendy Wasserstein Playwright
2002 Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Senior attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council
2001-cancelled Martha Nussbaum Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, University of Chicago
2000 Baruch Blumberg Director, NASA's Astrobiology Institute
1998 Martin Marty Director, Public Religion Project, University of Chicago School of Divinity
1997 Daniel Goldhagen Author, “Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust”
1997 Arthur Caplan Director, Center of Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania
President, American Association of Bioethics
1996 Doris Kearns Goodwin Pulitzer Prize winning historian
1995 Lester Brown Founder, WorldWatch Institute
1994 Thomas Wicker Former editorial columnist, The New York Times
1993 Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Pulitzer Prize winning historian