The Witte Lectures 2017

Friday & Saturday, April 7 -8

Friday is SOLD OUT

Dr. Wade Davis
The Wayfinders: A Life of Adventure in Anthropology as a National Geographic Explorer

Dr. Wade Davis is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Between 1999 and 2013 he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society.  He continues to lead National Geographic’s worldwide expeditions.

Dr. Davis along with river advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is featured in Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk, a documentary IMAX film directed by Greg MacGillivray and narrated by Robert Redford.

In 2009 Dr. Davis was the first anthropologist invited to speak in the Massey Lectures, the annual five-part series of lectures on a political, cultural or philosophical topic given in Canada by a noted scholar. They were created in 1961 to honor Vincent Massey, Governor General of Canada. The purpose is to "enable distinguished authorities to communicate the results of original study on important subjects of contemporary interest."  Some of the most famous Massey Lecturers have included Northrop Frye, John Kenneth Galbraith, Noam Chomsky, Margaret Atwood, Ursula Franklin, and Nobel laureates Martin Luther King, Jr., George Wald, Willy Brandt and Doris Lessing.

An ethnographer, writer, photographer and filmmaker, Dr. Davis holds degrees in anthropology, biology and ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. Mostly through the Harvard Botanical Museum, he spent more than three years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among fifteen indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations while making some 6,000 botanical collections. His work has taken him most recently to East Africa, Borneo, Nepal, Peru, Polynesia, Tibet, Mali, Benin, Togo, New Guinea, Australia, Colombia, Vanuatu, Mongolia and the high Arctic of Nunuvut and Greenland.

Absolutely no refunds or exchanges on any tickets. 

Friday & Saturday, April 28-29

Isabel Wilkerson
Our Racial Moment of Truth

In this timely lecture, Isabel Wilkerson addresses the persistence of racial injustice as a national challenge and what history can teach us as we work to resolve it. Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. She has appeared on national programs such as CBS' 60 Minutes, NPR's Fresh Air and PBS' NewsHour and Charlie Rose Show.

Absolutely no refunds or exchanges on any tickets. 



  • $50 / $45* per person, per lecture
  • $20 Teachers & students
  • 6:30pm Wine & music reception
  • 7:00pm Lecture, Q&A
  • 8:15pm Book signing, dessert & coffee


  • $35 / $30* per person, per lecture
  • $20 Teachers & students
  • 2:00pm Lecture, Q&A
  • 3:15pm Book signing, dessert & coffee

* Library Foundation members at Book Worm level ($50) or higher receive a $5 discount on each ticket.

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The Witte Lectures Committee
Jason Sherr, Chair
Lisa Edwards
Connie Glenn
Janet Hadley
Diane Hafer
Gordon McAlpine
Natasha Palmaer
Ellen Shockro, Ph.D
Jene Witte
Lizanne Witte