2022 Tucson Humanities Festival

Community is found wherever and however people collect together, in places, in groups, in ideas, in hopes and in fears. Community is found in streets and neighborhoods, towns and cities and countries. It’s found in ideas and beliefs and ambitions. Together, we find strength and friendship, support and love, trust and compassion. In communities, we celebrate and we mourn. Community is what we have in common. It’s our unity. How can we create and share in a community? What’s the power of a community?


Co-Sponsored by the Borchard Foundation Center on the Literary Arts, University of Arizona Office of Faculty Affairs, and University of Arizona Health Sciences Innovations in Healthy Aging


Rita Dove, a recipient of the 2022 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation, was U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995 and Special Consultant in Poetry for the Library of Congress bicentennial in 1999/2000, and she served as the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2004–2006. In 1987 she received the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her book Thomas and Beulah. She has received honorary doctorates from 28 institutions of higher learning, the 1996 National Humanities Medal, the 2001 Duke Ellington Lifetime Achievement Award in the Literary Arts, the 2011 National Medal of Arts and numerous other awards and honors. Her 2021 book Playlist for the Apocalypse, is her first volume of new poems since her NAACP Image Award-winning Collected Poems: 1974-2004.

READ THE WORLD: A Kaleidoscope of Translated Literature

This is a featured event at ALTA45, the American Literary Translators Association’s 45th annual program, and is part of the Arizona Translates!


Listen in as the ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program cohorts present readings of literature translated into English from around the world! The program pairs emerging translators with an established translator to work together on a book-length literary translation over the course of nine months, providing the next generation of translators of world literature with support and community as they hone their craft. These 14 mentees translate collectively from 10 different languages in multiple genres, sharing a wealth of writers, languages, and stories with a broad readership.

SEEKING UNDERSTANDING: Global Religions in Our Community

Karen Seat (moderator), head of the Department of Religious Studies and Classics
Rae Dachille, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Scott Lucas, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies
Alex Nava, Professor of Religious Studies
Caleb Simmons, Associate Professor of Religious Studies


Robert A. Burns (1934-2022), a University of Arizona Religious Studies professor for 45 years, taught thousands of students in his popular courses on comparative religions. His scholarly approach to the world’s plurality of religions centered on seeking understanding of human diversity and the human search for meaning. The University of Arizona Religious Studies program, which he founded, carries on that legacy today, focused on the rich diversity of religions found around the globe and throughout human history. By examining cultures around the world and in our own community, how does Religious Studies help us better understand humanity, past and present?

The Robert A. Burns Endowment was created in 2011 to honor the founder of the UA Religious Studies program, and is used to recruit and hire outstanding instructors and to support the Robert A. Burns Lecture Series. The 2022 lecture is the first since Dr. Burns passed away in June, at the age of 87.

BOOK OF THE CITY: Exhibiting a Southwestern Urban Humanities

Harris Kornstein, Yvonne Montoya, Jennifer Saracino, Kenny Wong, Kiana Lynn Macayan Anderson, Stephanie Husman, Gigi Robinson, Cara Buchanan, Teagan Watkins


How might a Charles Dickens tale find a homeland in the Sonoran Borderlands? The Book of the City is a new exhibition featuring projects by a team of scholars, artists and designers who use David Copperfield (1850) to anchor a site-specific “field studio” in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. From digital installation to performance, sonic experiments to film, cartography to micro-publication, the exhibition explores questions about the relationship between arts and public-engagement, literature and everyday places, and authors and readers.