Loyola University Maryland

Humanities Symposium

The Left Hand of Darkness

bearded man in tee shirt and jacket in parkThe 2022 Humanities Symposium text will be Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness.

The Left Hand of Darkness, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, follows a human ambassador’s visit to Winter, an icy planet on which the gender of its inhabitants is inherently fluid. The book speaks to issues of gender, nationalism, and climate change, and allows for conversations that defy easy disciplinary categorizations.

The speaker for the March 17, 2022 keynote lecture will be the science fiction writer, Jeff VanderMeer, who frequently writes about environmental themes. 

Jeff VanderMeer is the author of Dead Astronauts, Borne, and The Southern Reach Trilogy, the first volume of which, Annihilation, won the Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award and was adapted into a movie by Alex Garland. VanderMeer’s latest novel is the eco-thriller Hummingbird Salamander and his short story "Secret Life" will be released this year as a graphic novel by Theo Ellsworth. He speaks and writes frequently about issues relating to climate change and has written nonfiction for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Atlantic.com, among others. VanderMeer lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, Ann VanderMeer, and their cats, plants, and bird feeders. 

Check back later for more details and registration information.

Student-Faculty Colloquia

Mark your calendar: Loyola faculty are encouraged to invite their classes to the student-faculty colloquia to discuss The Left Hand of Darkness on Wednesday, March 16 and Thursday, March 17.

Faculty Teaching Seminars

Faculty seminars will be scheduled for professors who will be teaching the text and participating in the colloquia.


For more information about the 2022 Humanities Symposium events, please email Marian Crotty, professor of writing, at mgcrotty@loyola.edu