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Cole Lectures

Vanderbilt University Divinity School announces the 2015 Cole Lectures

to be delivered by

Nikki Finney

Nikky Finney

John H. Bennett, Jr. Endowed Professor of Creative Writing and Southern Letters, University of South Carolina

Thursday, October 8, 2015
7:00 p.m., Benton Chapel


Friday, October 9, 2015
10:00 a.m., Benton Chapel


A Young Black Woman Shimmy & Shakes a Flagpole and Finally Brings the Confederate Flag Down After One Hundred Years: Thoughts on Climbing, Not Waiting on the Calvary, Faith, and Manners, in the Contemporary South

Poet Nikky Finney helped start the Affrilachian Writers group when she was a professor at the University of Kentucky. She is now teaching at the University of South Carolina and her last book of poetry, Head Off and Split won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2011. 


Philanthropist Edmund W. Cole, president of Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad and treasurer of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust, endowed the annual Cole Lecture Series in 1892 "for the defense and advocacy of the Christian religion." Cole's gift provided for the first sustained lectureship in the history of Vanderbilt University.

The lectures have been delivered by such distinguished scholars as Harry Emerson Fosdick, George Buttrick, Rudolph Bultmann, H. Richard Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Walter Brueggemann, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, James Barr, Gustavo Gutierrez, James Cone, Edward Farley, Don Beisswenger, Gene TeSelle, David Buttrick, Jim Wallis, Lamin Sanneh, Mark Noll, Randall Balmer, James Lawson, John O'Malley, R. Scott Appleby and many others.

The Cole Lectures are free and open to the public.