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Published September 21, 2023
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hua Hsu is the featured speaker for the sixth annual Bruce Richardson Lecture in the Humanities at the University of Wyoming and Casper College.
Hsu will speak in Laramie at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, in Room 506 of UW’s Coe Library. He will discuss his Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, “Stay True,” which turned him into a “literary phenomenon,” according to The New York Times. His memoir was named one of The Times’ Top 10 Books of the Year and won the 2022 National Book Critics Circle Award.
In Casper, Hsu will give his presentation at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, in the Goodstein Library on the Casper College campus. He will discuss “The Question of Taste and the Importance of Cherishing Things,” examining how people figure out who they are and define themselves in comparison to others or the prevailing culture.
In both talks, Hsu will reflect on the things people like as a way to discover their own identities -- not only as individuals, but also as communities. In short, he will examine how the things that people love and find interesting tell a story about themselves and where they fit into the wider culture and history.
“Your sense of selfhood needs to be complicated as much as it needs to be complete,” Hsu writes.
As a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2017 and a contributor since 2014, Hsu has covered a range of topics from immigrant culture and student debt to hip-hop and affirmative action. In addition to “Stay True,” he wrote “A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure Across the Pacific.”
He currently teaches at Bard College and previously taught at Harvard University and Vassar College. Hsu serves on the executive board of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Critical Minded, an initiative to create opportunities for cultural critics of color. He was formerly a Fellow at the New America Foundation and the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at the New York Public Library.
Arielle Zibrak, a UW associate professor, started the Richardson lecture series while working at UW-Casper on the Casper College campus in 2015 as a way to create opportunities for statewide outreach. The selected speakers give two talks and participate in workshops and meetings geared toward their respective expertise and communities’ interests, Zibrak adds.
About the Bruce Richardson Lecture in the Humanities
The Richardson Fund was established to bring innovative scholars and thinkers in the humanities to deliver public talks and engage in community outreach across the state. Richardson, a senior lecturer emeritus in the UW Department of English, served with distinction to promote the arts and humanities in his community and around Wyoming during his university teaching career. He taught at UW-Casper.