Global Voices Author Night with Bill Ayers

Lecture Series

October 9, 2013


Assembly Hall

William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), taught courses in interpretive and qualitative research, urban school change and the modern predicament. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University, Ayers has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. He is currently the vice-president of the curriculum studies division of the American Educational Research Association.


Labeled a "domestic terrorist" by the McCain campaign in 2008 and used by the radical right in an attempt to castigate Obama for "pallin' around with terrorists," Bill Ayers is in fact a dedicated teacher, father, and social justice advocate with a sharp memory and even sharper wit.  Public Enemy tells his story from the moment he and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, emerged from years on the run and rebuilt their lives as public figures, often celebrated for their community work and much hated by the radical right. In the face of defamation by conservative media, including a multi-million dollar campaign aimed solely at demonizing Ayers, and in spite of frequent death threats, Bill and Bernardine stay true to their core beliefs in the power of protest, demonstration, and deep commitment.  Ayers reveals how he has navigated the challenges and triumphs of this public life with steadfastness and a dash of good humor—from the red carpet at the Oscars, to prison vigils and airports (where he is often detained and where he finally "confesses" that he did write Dreams from My Father), and ultimately on the ground at Grant Park in 2008 and again in 2012.

About the Author: Bill Ayers is the author of the acclaimed and controversial memoir Fugitive Days and many books on education, including To Teach and A Kind and Just Parent. He is the founder of the Small Schools Workshop and was Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He lives in Hyde Park, IL.


Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident can be purchased through the Seminary Co-op Bookstore at

This event is free and open to the public.

Presented by the Global Voices Lecture Series and the Seminary Co-op Bookstores.