The Illinois State University Fall Speaker Series offers historians, authors, educators, and a civil rights attorney speaking about race, gender and sexuality issues, social reform movements, health disparities by race and class, the use of technology to enhance learning, and racial justice in America.

Historian Elaine Tyler May presenting “America and the Pill: 50 Years of Controversy”

7 p.m., Monday, October 3, Bone Student Center Old Main

May’s work centers on the intersections of gender, sexuality, domestic culture, and politics. Her books and articles examine changing expectations for marriage in the early 20th century, family and sexuality in the Cold War era, the history of women, and the history of childlessness and reproduction in America.

Illinois State English Professor Roberta Seelinger Trites presenting “Behind Louisa’s Mask: Discovering the Real Louisa May Alcott”

7 p.m., Tuesday, October 11, Milner Library

Trites teaches children’s and adolescent literature and is the author of Twain, Alcott, and the Birth of the Adolescent Reform Novel. Her research interests include Louisa May Alcott’s role in various social reform movements and her literary influence on literature for youth in the United States.

An Evening with Dean E. Robinson

7 p.m., Thursday, October 20, Bone Student Center Prairie Room

Robinson is an associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research focuses on the political and policy determinants of health disparities by race and class. He authored Black Nationalism in American Politics and Thought.

Actor LeVar Burton presenting “The Power of the Written and Spoken Word: An Evening with LeVar Burton”

7 p.m., Monday, November 14, Bone Student Center Braden Auditorium

Burton is a literacy advocate and producer/star of the long-running PBS show Reading Rainbow. He first came to prominence as an actor portraying Kunta Kinte in the award-winning television miniseries Roots, based on the novel by Alex Haley.

Dave Edyburn presenting “The Use of Technology to Enhance Academic Performance”

7 p.m., Wednesday, November 16, Bone Student Center Old Main Room

A professor in the Department of Exceptional Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Edyburn focuses on the use of technology to enhance teaching, learning, and performance. He authored What Every Teacher Should Know About Assistive Technology and the Handbook of Special Education Technology Research and Practice.

Michelle Alexander keynote address at the Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner

5 p.m., Friday, January 20, Bone Student Center Brown Ballroom

The series culminates with acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar Michelle Alexander. She holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. She authored The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The work, considered one of the top African American books of 2010, challenges the civil rights community to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.