Esther Freier Lecture
We look forward to seeing you at our next free event at the University of Minnesota campus, as the author series that began in 2001 continues to explore literature and the humanities.
An Evening with Alison Bechdel
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
7:30 pm Central Standard Time [a live Zoom event]
The Department of English and the Esther Freier Endowment present Alison Bechdel, bestselling author of the graphic memoirs Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which was adapted into a Broadway musical that won five Tony Awards including “Best Musical,” and Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama. For 25 years Bechdel created and self-syndicated the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, in part while living in Minnesota. Bechdel has received numerous awards, including MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships and the Lambda Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Literature.
This event is free and open to the public. Register here to attend this event via Zoom. Zoom information will be emailed to you one business day prior to the event. Per University policy, we will not post or share Zoom information on public event listings.
For disability-related accommodations, contact Terri Sutton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Esther Freier
The Esther Freier literature series hosts two free lectures each year featuring various prize-winning authors, from Zadie Smith to David Mitchell, Louise Glück to Natasha Trethewey.
The literary legacy that Esther Freier envisioned began in 2001, when celebrated novelist and essayist Jamaica Kincaid inaugurated the Esther Freier Endowed Lecture in Literature series. A clinical laboratory chemist and professor, Freier had a deep and profound love for literature and the humanities. She wanted to leave a legacy that would benefit the public and inspire emerging authors. In her will, Freier created an endowment that would bring prize-winning national and international authors to campus for free, public lectures and informal visits with students.
Esther Freier was born in Hibbing, Minnesota, in 1925. She moved to Minneapolis while still a child and spent her entire academic (BS ‘46, MS ‘56) and professional career of 45 years at the University of Minnesota. She co-authored the first paper dealing with quality control in clinical chemistry, winning several awards. When she retired in 1991, she held the only endowed professorship in medical technology in the nation. That year, Freier served as the first woman president of the Academy of Clinical and Laboratory Physicians and Scientists and was re-elected the following year.
Esther Freier was a teacher, friend, and mentor to many. The Department of English is deeply grateful for her generosity to us, the University, and the community.
Previous Freier Lecturers
- Occtober 23, 2019: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- October 4, 2018: Frank Bidart & Maggie Nelson
- April 4, 2018: Young People's Lit Panel with M. T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, David Barclay Moore, and Nicola Yoon
- October 25, 2017: Edwidge Danticat
- April 13, 2017: Andrew Solomon
- October, 2016: Claudia Rankine & Marilynne Robinson
- April, 2016: Abraham Verghese
- October, 2015: Jeanette Winterson
- February, 2015: Lynn Nottage
- October, 2014: James McBride
- April, 2014: David Mitchell
- October, 2013: Katherine Boo
- April, 2013: Colum McCann
- October, 2012: Zadie Smith
- April, 2012: Denis Johnson
- October, 2011: Philip Gourevitch
- April, 2011: Natasha Trethewey
- October, 2010: James Salter
- April, 2010: Richard Powers
- September, 2009: Maxine Hong Kingston
- March, 2009: Louise Glück
- October, 2008: Junot Díaz
- March, 2006: Suzan-Lori Parks
- November, 2007: Paul Muldoon
- April, 2007: E. L. Doctorow
- November, 2006: Bharati Mukherjee
- April, 2006: T. C. Boyle
- October, 2005: Philip Levine
- April, 2005: Anna Deavere Smith
- November, 2004: Rita Dove
- April, 2004: A. S. Byatt
- October, 2003: Arnold Rampersad
- February, 2003: Michael Chabon
- November, 2002: Edmund White
- March, 2002: Barry Lopez
- March, 2001: W. S. Merwin
- February, 2001: Jamaica Kincaid