Real World Atheism: Crommunist in Chicago

Heads up to those of you living in the greater Chicago area – I will be appearing on a panel at DePaul University, called

Real World Atheism: A Panel on Godless Activism and Cultural Relevancy

Join the DePaul Alliance for Free Thought, in association with the Secular Student Alliance, Center for Inquiry, African Americans for Humanism, and the Women’s Center at DePaul as we host a panel of some of the best minds in the secular movement to talk about the state of atheism, its current predicaments regarding discrimination, and attempt to chart a path towards greater involvement in the world at large.

This event will be held in room 103 of DePaul’s Arts and Letters Hall, located at 2315 N Kenmore, Chicago, Illinois. The building is fully handicapable accessible, and accommodation can be provided upon request.

This event is free and open to the public.

When the above blurb says “best minds in the secular movement”, they’re talking entirely about my co-panelists:

Sikivu has written extensively on the politics of atheism and secular humanism and its implications for African Americans. For black atheists, actively breaking with religious tradition is an even graver rejection than that of white intellectuals galvanized by the work of Hitchens or Dawkins. This is partly due to the fact that the history of African American civil and human rights resistance is heavily steeped in Judeo-Christian religious dogma. Sikivu’s work explores the tensions that exist in African American culture around living a moral life beyond the boundaries of organized religion

I completed my undergraduate degree (BA) at Columbia University, and I received the Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University Divinity School, as well as the MA and PhD from Harvard University in the study of religion.  I taught at Macalester College (St. Paul, MN) before becoming the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University. I am also the founding director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning – a Center meant to foster creative partnerships between Rice and the larger Houston community that impact both the work of the University and the quality of life in Houston.

Stephanie Zvan is an analyst by trade, but she’s paid not to talk about it. She also writes science fiction and fantasy, so she knows firsthand that the impact of a story is usually unrelated to its truth. As though that weren’t enough to keep her busy, Stephanie is also one of the hosts for Atheists Talk, a radio show and podcast produced by the Minnesota Atheists. She speaks on science and skepticism in a number of venues, including science fiction and fantasy conventions. Stephanie has been called a science blogger and a sex blogger, but if it means she has to choose just one thing to be or blog about, she’s decided she’s never going to grow up.

Ashley is a passionate writer and general smartass who focuses too much of her attention on atheism, feminism, gay rights, mass media, culture, the oxford comma, and the ukulele. Her speaking engagements have included spots at The Amazing Meeting, Dragon*Con, and The Unite Against the War on Women Rally.

She also worked on the “No to Prop 8” campaign and wrote extensively about the trial that followed; her coverage was published by Her personal blog is currently located at, but she’s also written for a social media news network and is currently helping to manage a social media and blog campaign for a lawfirm. She moved back to South Carolina in 2010 and is getting her PhD in Mass Communications.

It’s going to be a jam-packed event! If you’re in Chicago, you definitely want to make time in your schedule for this.

I am sure there will be some kind of meet & greet or something afterward, but if there isn’t, I’ll organize myself to go somewhere for drinks with whoever from the panel I can scoop up. If you’re following my Twitter feed, I’ll be bringing you periodic updates as I find unsecured Wi-Fi.

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  1. says

    I object to the word ‘relevancy’ (as it’s an adverbing of something that’s already itself an adverbing of an adjective–I’ve seen not a single example where ‘relevance’ would not more succintly denote ‘having the aspect of being relevant’), but congratulations on the panel all the same!

  2. freemage says

    Three FtB bloggers in one place, conveniently located AND conveniently timed? I am so going to try to make this.

  3. freemage says

    Gah, Right, four–I don’t follow many podcasts. But no, no threat, unless you’re allergic to frothing fanboys.

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