We work longer hours, commute longer hours, are continually barraged with information and interuptions.… The human brain wasn’t meant to multi-task so constantly. The humanities give us an opportunity for quiet moments of reflection. They offer us perspective.

Carol Cassella
Anesthesiologist and best-selling author of Oxygen and Healer
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Think & Drink

Hosted Conversation Series Takes the Humanities Out for a Nightcap

Think & Drink











Our Think & Drink program brings hosted conversations to pubs and tasting rooms on provocative topics and new ideas around the state. Past events tackled topics from Prohibition to consumerism, and sparked lively conversation about morality, religion, history, and politics. Our Think & Drink events center around a common theme: Race, Place, and Culture. Events are held each year in Seattle, Tacoma, Yakima, and Spokane.

The next season of Think & Drink events will begin this fall in Seattle, Yakima, and Tacoma. To get updates, watch this space or subscribe to our mailing list.


o    September 16 in Yakima

Topic: ISIS and the Fight for Islam

From beheadings to slavery, the brutality of ISIS has shocked the world—with Islamic law often cited by the group as justification. How faithful is ISIS to Islam? Is ISIS manipulating the Koran for its own purposes, or is it an honest interpretation of Islamic law? In short, how Islamic is the Islamic State? 

Speakers: David Fenner, Islamic Specialist and former assistant vice provost for international education at the University of Washington; and Sarah Eltantawi, professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Comparative Religion at The Evergreen State College. Moderated by Zaki Barak Hamidprogram director at Humanities Washington and Middle Eastern film instructor at Edmonds Community College.

When: 7 p.m., Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Where: Gilbert Cellars, 5 N. Front Street, Yakima, WA 98901


o    September 29 in Seattle

Topic: America Behind Bars: Mass Incarceration and Civil Rights

Mass incarceration is one of the biggest problems facing our country today, with President Obama, members of Congress, and even the Koch brothers urging action on this issue. This event will address the history behind the mass incarceration epidemic, the drug war, racial disparities, and the private prison system.

Speakers: Alison Holcomb, national director of the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice; and Katherine Beckett, professor in the Department of Sociology and the Law, Societies, and Justice Program at the University of Washington. Moderated by Phyllis Fletcher, managing editor of Northwest News Network.

When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Where: Naked City, 8564 Greenwood Ave. N. Seattle, WA  98103


o    October 21 in Yakima

Topic: Who Writes History? Perspectives on the Confederate Flag

The confederate flag debate is as much about forgetting aspects of the Civil War as it is about the civil rights movement. This event will explore how the public memories of the confederate flag and its associated history are constructed, and the collective role we play in its construction.

Speakers: David Schulz, professor and Chair of Communication at Trinity Lutheran College in Everett, Washington where he teaches courses on rhetorical theory, persuasive messages, and research methods; and Mike Faulk, journalist with the Yakima Herald Republic. Moderated by Zaki Barak Hamidprogram director at Humanities Washington

When: 7 p.m., Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Where: Gilbert Cellars, 5 N. Front Street, Yakima, WA 98901


 o     October 27 in Seattle

Topic: Black and Blue: A Conversation on Policing and Race

In the wake of tragedies that happened in Ferguson, NYC, and Baltimore, this event will spark a conversation about the alarming frequency with which such tragedies happen, the sociological reasons behind them, and what effective policing and community relationships should look like.

Speakers: Megan Ming Francis, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington and author of the award winning book, Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State. Moderated by Phyllis Fletcher, managing editor of Northwest News Network.

When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Where: Naked City, 8564 Greenwood Ave. N. Seattle, WA  98103


o    October 28 in Tacoma

Topic: Last Rights: The Ethics of the Death Penalty

From Governor Jay Inslee’s moratorium on executions, to a recent bill that would have abolished capital punishment, the people of Washington State are increasingly questioning the use of the death penalty. Yet deep philosophical questions linger that aren’t often addressed in the usual arguments for and against—and that can’t be solely answered with data. “Last Rights: The Ethics of the Death Penalty” will delve into the philosophical and cultural underpinnings of capital punishment.

Speakers: Dorothy Van Soest, writer, professor emeritus, and former dean at the University of Washington; and David E. Smith, philosopher at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Washington. Moderated by KUOW's Ross Reynolds.

When: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Where: Engine House No. 9 Banquet Room, 611 North Pine St., Tacoma, WA 98406



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