Annual Staenberg Lecture to Feature Award-Winning Author Dara Horn

Three-time National Jewish Book Award recipient will headline the third Annual Staenberg Lecture on April 15, in partnership with the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum.

The Annual Staenberg Lecture, presented by Maryville University in partnership with the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum, will take place Monday, April 15, 2024, at The Factory in Chesterfield, Missouri.

The event will feature noted author and podcaster Dara Horn. Named one of the “Best Young American Novelists” by Granta Magazine (2007), she has published five novels along with her highly acclaimed book, People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present (Norton 2021). This collection of essays takes on the crisis of antisemitism with clarity and insight, along with Horn’s trademark humor; setting the table for critical conversations among Jews and non-Jews alike. She also hosts a companion podcast series for the book.

Horn’s nonfiction pieces have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Smithsonian, and numerous other publications. Her books have been translated into twelve languages, and named to lists that included: Notable Books (New York Times); 25 Best Books of the Decade (Booklist), and Best Books of the Year (San Francisco Chronicle). In addition to receiving three National Jewish Book Awards, she has been a finalist for honors including the Kirkus Prize; the Wingate Prize; the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and more.

This will be the third in a series of lectures made possible through a generous commitment to Maryville University from philanthropist Michael Staenberg, and the Staenberg Family Foundation. The five-year series focuses on contemporary social issues through the lens of the Holocaust, its lessons, and its historical significance.

“I am immensely proud of the Annual Staenberg Lecture, a beacon of knowledge and enlightenment in our community,” Staenberg said. “It’s an honor to support the critical conversations led by remarkable minds like Dara Horn, as we strive to combat hate and prejudice, and foster a more inclusive and understanding society.”

Previous lectures featured Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of ADL (Anti-Defamation League) in 2022; and Isabel Wilkerson, author of the New York Times bestseller, Caste: The Origins of our Discontent, in 2023.

“The need for these conversations is vital to stem the tide of all forms of hate and antisemitism in America today. We stand with Michael Staenberg, the Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum, and all those committed to a civil, tolerant, and diverse society,” said Maryville President Mark Lombardi, PhD.

The St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum continues to partner with Maryville for the Series, which aligns closely with its own mission. In its recently expanded facility, the Museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust, educating about its causes and illustrating how these events of history relate to our lives today.

“Dara Horn’s work opens a door to crucial conversations about how we teach and discuss the Holocaust, and how we combat contemporary antisemitism,” said Myron Freedman, executive director of the Museum. “We are grateful that this year’s Staenberg Lecture Series will feature her insights—especially during a time of rising antisemitism and hate. We thank Michael Staenberg and the Staenberg Family Foundation for once again making this important lecture series possible.”

Horn earned a doctorate in comparative literature from Harvard University, and studied Yiddish and Hebrew. She has taught at Yeshiva University and Sarah Lawrence College, and held the Gerald Weinstock Visiting professorship in Jewish studies at Harvard. Her lectures have taken her across North America, as well as Israel and Australia.

The annual lecture also provides educational opportunities for students from Maryville, as well as students from area high schools and youth organizations, to attend the event. Sponsorship opportunities at a variety of levels are available for organizations and individuals to help expand the reach and impact of the Series.

The lecture is open to the public. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

Media Contact:
Gabrielle Young
Executive Director, Strategic Marketing & Communications
Maryville University
913.529.9380
gyoung@office-moon.net

About Maryville University
Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a comprehensive and nationally ranked private institution with an enrollment of 10,000 students. Maryville offers over 90 degrees at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels, as well as several certificates that align with the undergraduate and graduate education levels. Maryville is recognized as the third fastest-growing private university in the United States by The Chronicle of Higher


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