Lecture Series

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 4:30 pm 

Scheller Business School at Georgia Tech 

further details to follow

Emory University Rose Library hosted our last Lecture Series

"What do history and poetry tell us about ourselves and our times?"

For an audience of standing room only in the Jones Room of the Emory Library, Professors Trethewey, Crespino, and Young engaged in a captivating conversation in answering the question of what history and poetry tell us about ourselves and our times.

With quotes and lively stories about their research and their memories, they reminded us that history is not just what happens to other people.  It happens to everyone, and we help shape it.

Professor Trethewey's statement that poetry is a branch of history drew on an earlier statement from Robert Penn Warren that poems are the little myths we make, and history is the big myth that we live and in our lives constantly remake.

The historian, Professor Crespino, countered that historians can slow down and try to get at the people and the facts behind the myths while the poet, Natasha Trethewey, offered that poetry can more readily get at the emotional truth.

Photos Courtesy of Emory


NeilAsks.org extends the legacy of L. Neil Williams Jr., an Atlanta-based leader in the fields of law, education and the arts. We seek to honor his example of asking important questions, listening to disparate views, and inspiring others to ask the questions that would guide us toward greater understanding, innovation, service, and hope.


The Shepherd Spinal Center (404-350--7325) has an excellent service for a driver evaluation if one is needed.

   – from Nancy Purdon

For help with having a difficult conversation with older relatives, you can check out The Conversation Project begun by Ellen Goodman. (theconversationproject.com).

   – from Lyle Ross

“He did change the world for the better in so many arenas and served as a role model and mentor for many of us.”

– William Barnet II 
Trustee, The Duke Endowment 
Former Mayor, Spartanburg, S. C. 

“Daddy loved moments that couldn’t be better and he challenged us all to think about how to improve those that could. We know we are better because of him. And so, because of his example, we reaffirm our commitment to making ourselves and the relationships and institutions around us the very best we can.”

– Daughter Susan S. Williams

Professor and Dean 

​Ohio State University

“Throughout his career Neil Williams enthusiastically demonstrated the curiosity and intellect necessary to address important issues and solve important problems. NeilAsks pays continuing tribute to that same enthusiasm by asking important questions in forums where such curiosity and intellect can join. The result is not only intellectually nourishing, it is great fun of the highest caliber.”

– Michael T. Petrik
Chair, Vasser Woolley Foundation

“NeilAsks allows me to think creatively about important civic/artistic conversations with the best minds across many disciplines in Atlanta and the SouthEast. It is an honor to be a part of the planning committee. “

– Celise Kalke
Director of New Projects, Alliance Theatre

“This was a remarkable presentation.” “I learned so much.” “Jeremy Begbie is amazing.” “He captures and holds the attention of the audience.” “I couldn’t believe how unifying it felt when everyone sang the same note.”

– Attendees at the program at Trinity Presbyterian Church

“The Duke Endowment deserves great credit for organizing and staging a great discussion.”

– Richard Riddell
Vice President and University Secretary, Duke University

“I thoroughly enjoyed the session, meeting all of the amazing “friends” of the Duke Endowment, and learning about your father’s passions and philosophies. Your family has established an amazing legacy for Mr. Williams that we’ll enjoy remembering and supporting for years to come.”

– LaTonya King
Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Duke Energy