Carla Hayden and Huntington President Karen Lawrence

Office of the President - President's Series Lectures

Lectures and programs from the Office of the President.

Three people sit in chairs on a stage in front of a full audience.

Highlights from the 2023 Haaga Program: Ramesh Srinivasan and Todd Presner on Generative AI

On Nov. 20, 2023, digital democracy advocate Ramesh Srinivasan and digital humanities scholar Todd Presner joined Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence in a conversation about the rise of generative AI, focusing on the ethical implications of its aggregation of data at an unprecedented scale. Watch the full recorded program.

Two people in conversation on a stage.

Highlights from Why It Matters: Hilton Als in Conversation with Karen R. Lawrence

On Sept. 28, Hilton Als joined Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence for a lively conversation about his career, the relationship between visual and textual forms, and the endless inspiration found in The Huntington’s collections as part of the “Why It Matters” series.

Read Sharing the Love with Hilton Als or watch the full recorded program.

An audience watches two people have a conversation on a stage, where a large graphic says, “Why It Matters.”

May 31, 2023 - Highlights from Why It Matters: Darren Walker in Conversation with Karen R. Lawrence

On May 31, 2023, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker joined Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence in a conversation about the shifting landscape of charitable giving, the role of art in the pursuit of social justice, and the importance of hope to civic engagement.  

Read A Courageous Vision for Philanthropy or watch the full recorded program

guest speakers on stage

March 21, 2023 - Highlights from Stories We Tell: Founders’ Day At The Huntington 2023

In honor of Founders’ Day 2023, The Huntington and The Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West presented a mix of serious and quirky stories—inspired by Eve Babitz’s archive, The Huntington’s Montezuma cypress, portraits by Laura Aguilar, the Horatio Nelson Rust collection, and glass plate photographs of 1890s and 1900s Chinatown—demonstrating the broad range of The Huntington’s collections and the rich history of the institution’s location in the San Gabriel Valley.

Read Stories We Tell or watch the full recorded program

Karen R. Lawrence and Billie Tsien in conversation on a stage.

Nov. 7, 2022 - Why It Matters: Billie Tsien in Conversation with Karen R. Lawrence

Architect and educator Billie Tsien joins Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence to discuss how the built environment shapes individual and communal experiences, the interplay between design and purpose, and how architecture can empower future generations.

Read Making a Better World through Architecture or watch recorded program

 Lonnie G. Bunch III in conversation with Karen R. Lawrence and Robert C. Davidson Jr.

April 26, 2022 - Why It Matters: Lonnie G. Bunch III in conversation with Karen R. Lawrence and Robert C. Davidson Jr.

Lonnie G. Bunch III, 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, joins Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence and Huntington Governor Robert C. Davidson Jr. in a conversation about why museums and collecting institutions matter, what they have to offer to contemporary social and racial justice movements, and what it means to lead a museum in the current moment.

Read Helping a Nation Live Up to Its Ideals or watch recorded program

map of Octavia Butlers Pasadena

March 19, 2022 - Revisiting Octavia E. Butler’s Pasadena & Walking/Driving Tour - Octavia E. Butler’s Pasadena: A Literary Tour

Revisiting Octavia E. Butler's Pasadena

Ayana Jamieson, local educator and founder of the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, leads a moderated conversation about our desire to locate Butler’s Pasadena. The Revisiting Butler's Pasadena events are sponsored by the Office of the President and the Library division at the Huntington.

Octavia E. Butler’s Pasadena: A Literary Tour

Visitors can take a self-guided walking or driving tour of the locations around Pasadena where Butler lived, visited, and often found inspiration. Tour maps are available online and in the exhibition "Mapping Fiction."

March 2, 2022 - Founders' Day Lecture - Charles Yu in Conversation with Simon K.C. Li

For The Huntington's 2022 Founders' Day celebration, acclaimed writer Charles Yu joins Huntington Trustee Simon K.C. Li to discuss Yu's experiences writing in multiple genres, the role of fiction in constructing identity, current U.S. dialogues about race and identity, and more.

Read Charles Yu in Conversation

This event is no longer available for viewing.

ulysses map

Feb. 2, 2022 - Joycean Cartographies: Navigating a New Century of "Ulysses"

Joyce's Ulysses uses Dublin as map as well as palimpsest upon which to inscribe his vision of worlds past and present. This conference explores approaches to literary study that make clearer the verbal and nonverbal coordinates of Joyce's literary terrain and their global expressions. Topics range from forms of visualization (schemas, maps, charts, word indexes) to decolonization, intertexts and intermedia, mapping as metaphor and places as texts, in an effort to open up new ways of reading.

Watch recorded program

Side-by-side photos of Karen R. Lawrence (left) and James P. Folsom (right).

Dec. 2, 2020 - Why It Matters: James P. Folsom in Conversation with Karen R. Lawrence

James P. Folsom, the Telleen/Jorgenson Director of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington, shares insights into a lifetime spent exploring the intersections of botany, art, literature, and history. After a brief presentation, Folsom joins Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence in conversation before taking questions from virtual attendees around the world. This will be one of Folsom's last public appearances as director of the gardens before he retires at the end of the year.

Read Legacy of Wonder or watch recorded program

Portrait of Lynell George

Aug. 26, 2020 - President’s Series: Inspired by Octavia E. Butler - A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: Lynell George in conversation with Bill Deverell and Karla Nielsen

Writer Lynell George discusses her forthcoming book, A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler, and her experience in The Huntington archives, in conversation with William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute for California and the West and professor of history at USC, and Karla Nielsen, curator of literary collections at The Huntington.

Read A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky or watch recorded program

Cover of Parable of the Sower graphic novel

March 5, 2020 - President's Series: Author Talk and Signing: Parable of the Sower, A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Damian Duffy and John Jennings, the award-winning team behind the #1 bestseller Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, discuss their new graphic novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower. This event is moderated by author Nalo Hopkinson and a book signing follows.

Read Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation or watch recorded program

Side-by-side photos of Karen R. Lawrence (left) and Drew Gilpin Faust (right).

Feb. 27, 2020 - Why It Matters: Drew Gilpin Faust and Karen R. Lawrence

Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence speaks with Drew Gilpin Faust, Civil War scholar and former president of Harvard, about the importance of the humanities.

Read Why it Matters to Drew Faust or watch recorded program

Side-by-side photos of Carla Hayden (left) and Karen R. Lawrence (right).

Feb. 6, 2020 - Why It Matters: Karen R. Lawrence In Conversation with Carla Hayden

For the debut of the new Centennial lecture series “Why It Matters,” Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence speaks with Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, about why archives and libraries exist and why the work they do continues to be important.

Read An Evening with Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress or watch recorded program

Photo of Meg Whitman.

Jan. 13, 2020 - Paul G. Haaga Jr. Program on American Entrepreneurship

Featuring Paul G. Haaga Jr., Huntington Trustee emeritus, chair of the board of NPR, and retired chair of Capital Research and Management Company, in conversation with Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi, former president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and eBay Inc., and 2010 Republican nominee for governor of California.

Watch recorded program

Portrait of Toshi Reagon playing guitar

Jan. 7, 2020 - President's Series: Octavia E. Butler’s Parables: A Music Talk with Toshi Reagon

Toshi Reagon, acclaimed composer and lyricist, discusses her operatic adaption of Octavia E. Butler's science fiction novel Parable of the Sower with special guests. Presented in association with UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance.

Read Amplifying Black History or watch recorded program

Nov. 14, 2019 - President's Series: Shakespeare's Bad Quarto on Stage

Scholar and author Zachary Lesser and actors from the Independent Shakespeare Co. present an evening of drama, audience interaction, and more than a few surprises, in a program that asks the question "What if you don't know Hamlet after all?"

This event is no longer available for viewing.

Susan Orlean

Nov. 4, 2019 - President's Series: Susan Orlean and Viet Thanh Nguyen

Authors Susan Orlean (The Library Book) and Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer) and moderator William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, discuss their books' shared focus on the role of memory and forgetting in the writing of history.

Watch recorded program

Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence

Sept. 5, 2019 - Centennial Celebration

President Karen R. Lawrence presents opening remarks at The Huntington's Centennial Celebration.

Read The Huntington's Centennial Launch or watch recorded program

Karen Lawrence

Feb. 28, 2019 - Founder's Day Lecture: James Joyce: How Good Writers Borrow, Great Writers Steal

Karen Lawrence, president of The Huntington and a James Joyce scholar, delivers the annual Founder's Day Lecture on the subject of Joyce's novel Ulysses. Lawrence's lecture examines what makes Joyce one of the greatest writers, and how he created one of the most original novels by stealing from everybody else.

Watch recorded program