Loyola University Maryland

Humanities Symposium

woman sitting on a park benchAward-winning novelist, Julie Otsuka, will deliver the 2023 Humanities Symposium keynote address on Thursday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. in McGuire Hall. Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California and is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her first novel, When the Emperor Was Divine (Knopf) is this year's Humanities Symposium text. This novel, set during World War II, follows a Japanese-American family from their home in Berkeley, California to internment camps in the Utah desert. Otsuka draws on historical research as well as her own family's history to create a spare and imagistic novel told in an inventive style. The novel won the 2003 Asian American Literary Award and the 2003 American Library Association Alex Award. Her second novel, The Buddha in the Attic (Knopf) was a finalist for the National Book Award 2011, won the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the 2011 Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction. The Buddha in the Attic was an international bestseller and the winner of the prestigious Prix Femina étranger 2012, and the Albatros Literaturpreis 2013. Otsuka's third novel, The Swimmers, was published by Knopf in 2022. Photo credit: Jean-Luc Bertini.

Loyola will host additional events leading up to the Keynote Address. These in-person and virtual events are free and open to the public. 

Event Information

Keynote Address

Thursday March 16, 2023 at 6:30 p.m., McGuire Hall. Book signing to follow.

Student-Faculty Colloquia

Loyola faculty are encouraged to invite their classes to the student-faculty colloquia to discuss When the Emperor was Divine on Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16.

Faculty Teaching Seminar

Faculty seminars for professors who will be teaching the text and participating in the colloquia will be scheduled for the fall 22 semester. Details to follow!


For more information about the 2023 Humanities Symposium events, please email Marian Crotty, professor of writing, at mgcrotty@loyola.edu.

This event will be captioned. If you require additional accommodations, please contact Disability Support Services at dss@loyola.edu.