University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

In the Thursdays at Four series we feature an eclectic mix of scholars, artists, and practitioners from diverse disciplines who present in a variety of forms, including lecture, discussion, and performance.

We put ideas in unexpected juxtaposition with one another

We aim to put ideas in unexpected juxtaposition with one another to lure you to come hear talks or performances which might lie just a bit out of your ordinary range of interests and expertise, to be stimulated and challenged to think about new topics or to think about old topics in new ways. Join us Thursday afternoons at 4 p.m. usually in the Crosby Seminar Room in Northrop.

Fall 2014

This fall, Thursdays at Four explores the choreographic process, architecture, the World Bank, sustainability, the Bohemian Flats, environmental justice, solving grand and everyday problems, the University Symposium, and more. Every Thursday, 4:00 pm.


Public parking is available in the Fourth Street Ramp; reciprocal parking is available there for people who hold West Bank or St. Paul campus keycard parking contracts.

Faculty, staff, and students from University of Minnesota coordinate campuses can have their mileage reimbursed for travel to the Twin Cities campus for IAS events. For more information, contact us.

Seminars and Archives

Each year, an Honors Seminar is organized around our presentations and introduces new members of the University community to fresh areas of research.

You can now look for events in the Video and Audio section of our website to catch up on any talks that you’ve missed or subscribe to our Thursdays at Four podcast to receive automatic updates as the talks become available.

Upcoming Thursdays at Four:

Dancer as Driver: SOLO and the 2012 and 2013 McKnight Artist Fellows in Dance September 11, 2014, at 4:00pm Northrop – Best Buy Theater Discussion with Ashwini Ramaswamy, Stephen Schroeder, Tamara Ober, and Kari Mosel Download: audio, small video, or original. Northrop’s McKnight Artist Fellowship program funds the commission of solo works for McKnight Dance Fellows […]
The Tao of Urban Rejuvenation: Building a Livable Creative Urban Village September 18, 2014, at 4:00pm Northrop — Crosby Seminar Room A talk by internationally recognized urban planner and designer Weiming Lu. Building livable, creative, equitable, and sustainable cities is a common community goal, but drawing from several disciplines to achieve it may pose considerable […]
Strategies for a Sense of Place: Taking Advantage of Location September 25, 2014, at 4:00pm Northrop — Crosby Seminar Room Panel Discussion among University of Minnesota Faculty The U of M is a world class teaching, research, and engagement institution located on the banks of one of the great rivers of the world in a […]
The World According to the Bank: an Analysis of World Bank Reports, 1946-2010 October 2, 2014, at 4:00pm Northrop — Crosby Seminar Room Franco Moretti, English, Stanford University, gives a semantic, stylistic study of World Bank reports. Like the post-world-war-II capitalism which it contributed to reorganize and transform, the World Bank seems to have gone […]
Unnatural Disasters: How Law Hurts, How Law Can Help October 9, 2014, at 4:00pm Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop Sandra Zellmer, Robert B. Daugherty Professor of Law, University of Nebraska. It’s seductively deceptive to call floods and other catastrophes “natural.” They are anything but. Storms may well be natural phenomenon, but humans have an uncanny ability […]
Rosas danst Rosas: A Panel Discussion of Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s Dance-Theater Work October 16, 2014, at 4:00pm Crosby Seminar Room — 240 Northrop Philip Bither of the Walker Art Center discusses the Midwest Premiere of Rosas danst Rosas with the performers. Join Philip Bither, Walker Art Center’s Senior Curator of Performing Arts, and performers from […]
Postwar U.S. Homes and Suburban Development October 23, 2014, at 4:00pm Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop Dianne Harris, Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Art History, and History, University of Illinois, U-C; Director, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. Dianne Harris is a historian who specializes in studies that focus on the built environment. Her most recent scholarship […]
The Presence of the Past: Memory, Fiction, and the Contemporary Landscape October 30, 2014, at 4:00pm Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop Panel with Mary Relindes Ellis, author of The Bohemian Flats (2014), Catherine Watson, memoir and travel writer, and Scott Vreeland, Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner. Faulkner said the past is not even past. David Lowenthal among […]
Cracks in the Walls: 25 Years After Berlin Thursday, November 6, 2014, at 4:00pm Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop On November 9th, 1989 the Berlin Wall cracked open and unleashed a problematic ahistorical narrative of celebratory “re-unification”. This narrative makes less visible contradictions around the wall’s pre-Cold War history as “anti-fascist protection”. Thus, while walls can […]
To Embrace Failure? A Multi-disciplinary Re-thinking. November 13, 2014, at 4:00pm Crosby Seminar Room — 240 Northrop The Brecht’s America: Rehearsing Failure collaborative is an examination of the “ghostly presence” of America in the life and work of Bertolt Brecht. “Ghostly” because we do not look for American themes, real events or persons, but for […]
Shakespeare In Love November 20, 2014, at 4:00pm Crosby Seminar Room — 240 Northrop A talk by Anatoly Liberman, German, Scandinavian and Dutch, University of Minnesota Shakespeare’s sonnets tell us a story of his love for a “fair youth” and an adulterous woman. The characters are also entangled in a love triangle. Attempts to guess […]
Near Stars: Analytic Scale and the Literary Object December 4, 2014 at 4:00pm Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop Eric Hayot, Comparative Literature and Asian Studies, Penn State University. What happens if we describe the current situation of literary criticism as a “crisis in largeness”? For one, recent theories of “world” literature and of quantitative textual analysis […]