The 29th Annual Governor's Lecture in the Humanities

"A Conversation with Amy Tan"

September 24, 2024 • Lied Center for Performing Arts, Lincoln

Presented by Humanities Nebraska (HN) and the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues, “A Conversation with Amy Tan” will be free and open to the public at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln and live-streamed on Tuesday, September 24, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

Tan, a widely acclaimed best-selling author, will speak on her many books, all of which have shone light on the human experience from fresh perspectives.

Photo by Kim Newmoney

Born in the U.S. to immigrant parents from China, Tan’s first best-selling novel was “The Joy Luck Club,” which is a look at the immigration experience from the perspective of mothers and daughters. Other New York Times best-sellers followed, including “The Kitchen God’s Wife,” “The Hundred Secret Senses,” “The Bonesetter’s Daughter,” “Saving Fish from Drowning,” and “The Valley of Amazement.” Tan is also the author of two children’s books, a memoir, and other works. In keeping with her love of science and childhood love of doodling, she recently took up nature journal sketching. Her new book, “The Backyard Bird Chronicles” (Knopf, 2024), debuted at #1 on the ABA’s Indie bestseller list and was called “delightful” by the New York Times. She received the National Humanities Medal in 2021.

Co-chaired by Connie Duncan and Andy Pollock, this year’s Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities is the 29th consecutive year that Humanities Nebraska has brought an outstanding national speaker to Nebraska to give a free public talk on topics related to the humanities.  It will also kick off the 37th year of the E.N. Thompson Forum lecture series. Prior to Amy Tan’s free public talk, the 2024 Sower Award in the Humanities will be presented during Humanities Nebraska’s benefit reception and dinner at Embassy Suites. The Sower Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to the public understanding of the humanities in Nebraska. Nominations for the Sower Award are due June 14

History of Humanities Nebraska's Governor's Lecture

In 1996, Humanities Nebraska collaborated with Governor Ben Nelson to establish the Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities, an annual event to demonstrate the importance of the humanities in public life. His successors, Governors Mike Johanns, Dave Heineman, Pete Ricketts, and Jim Pillen have continued to enthusiastically support this lecture series, which is free and open to the public. The lecture features a nationally renowned speaker and is preceded by a benefit dinner. Each year the event alternates between Lincoln and Omaha. When held in Lincoln, the Governor’s Lecture is affiliated with the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues lecture series at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In addition to bringing a nationally recognized speaker to Nebraska and building a strong working relationship with Nebraska’s governor, the Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities increases public visibility for Humanities Nebraska and its programs and generates income for statewide humanities programs. Annually, Humanities Nebraska honors individuals, institutions, businesses and communities with the Sower Award in the Humanities for contributions to public understanding of the humanities in Nebraska, based on nominations and letters of support from the citizens of Nebraska. The Sower Award is an original bronze sculpture by Nebraska artist Sondra Dunn Mahoney.