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A Festival of Big Ideas Returns to Berkeley This Weekend

Uncharted celebrates the mind on October 27 and 28.


Since 2013, the two-day-long bacchanal of brainpower known as Uncharted has had no problem drawing on the Bay Area's wealth of wonky and wise thinkers to fill out its program of talks, which comes to Berkeley Rep and Freight and Salvage this Friday and Saturday. “We don't have the usual suspects,” says Lance Knobel, co-curator of the event with Helena Brantley. “We really dig to find the people and ideas you should be in touch with, rather than the ones that are just on the circuit.” We asked Knobel and Brantley point out a few highlights from this year’s lineup.

With race relations once again in the national spotlight, bestselling African American writer Mychal Denzel Smith (Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching) will discuss how he learned to be a black man in America, as well as his own upbringing.

Immigration Realities
Bandak Lul spent 14 years of his life in an Ethiopian refugee camp, but the Arizona State University graduate now spends most of his time advocating for the displaced.

This Is Gospel
Spending two years in Jerry Falwell’s evangelical megachurch was difficult for screenwriter Gina Welch, but it led to great insight on what drives atheists and believers apart. Her experiences, plus a discussion on the history of sexism in Hollywood, are the focal point of a conversation on Friday. 

Don't Build That Wall
Architect Ronald Rael is is the author of the new book Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.-Mexico Boundary, and will be speaking about his work on reconsidering the boundary between the two countries.

Playing With Fire 
In 1995, journalist Daphne White founded The Lion & Lamb Project, a national nonprofit devoted to educating parents and policymakers about what children learn when they play with violent video games and toys. White will talk with George Lakoff about how to frame progressive ideas so they connect with voters in the age of Trump.


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