Not only is St. Louis a great hot bed of interesting lectures, it’s a great source of lecture series chock full of diverse and thought-provoking speakers. There is something of interest for everyone, from subject matter to price range. Come on out and expand your point of view by attending a lecture or speaker series.

Photo Credit: YWCA

YWCA Metro St. Louis Speaker’s Series – So Reel
YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center (PWHC)
2711 Locust St
St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 531-1115

Date: Click here for a list of dates.

The YWCA, while it provides a number of services and programs for women and the community, has a series of lectures targeted specifically toward the elimination of racism through education. And these speakers are not afraid to address the subject head on by attacking emotionally-charged issues such as race and cultural intolerance. The series, which began in February, runs through mid November and you can hear speakers address topics from race and cultures within schools to experiences of hispanic and Latina women in America. Lectures take place at two different locations, The St. Louis County Library Headquarters and the YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center, and are free and open to the public. Reservations are required as space may be limited.

Photo Credit: St. Louis Speakers Series

St. Louis Speaker Series
Maryville University
718 N Grand Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 534-1700

Date: Click here for a list of dates.

For nearly 15 years, Maryville University has been bringing you the St. Louis Speaker Series complete with lineups of engaging and legendary figures who have shared their experiences of influencing the world and culture from their unique perspectives. History, international affairs, politics and current events have been discussed by the famous personalities that have influenced such. Some speakers of this year’s series include Jon Huntsman, Jeannette Wallis and Condoleeza Rice. The series begins in October and runs through April of 2013. The events are sold as a series and held at Powell Hall. Prices range from $285 to $420 per person. Click here for ticket information.

Photo Credit: Washington University

Washington University Assembly Series
1 Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
(314) 935-4620

Date: Click here for a list of dates.

Washington University, one of St. Louis’ most prestigious learning institutions, has been bringing important and contemporary voices to its campus. These voices, while complementing the curriculum of the university, also offer an opportunity for the community at large to absorb the offerings of its series contributors. Past speakers have included Margaret Mead, Phyllis Schlafly, Ed Bradley, Maya Angelou, George Plimpton, Jimmy Carter, Spike Lee, Ted Kennedy, Jr., Andrew Cuomo, Ann Coulter and David Horowitz, but the complete list is much more comprehensive. Podcasts are available for some past speakers. While offerings are provided in the spring and fall of each year, the current fall schedule will be posted later this summer. The series is free and open to the public.

Photo Credit: Academy of Science

Perspectives on Science and History Lecture Series
Academy of Science – St. Louis
Missouri History Museum – Lee Auditorium
5700 Lindell Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63112
(314) 533-8083

Date: August 22

The Academy of Science – St. Louis is all about promoting the love of science and education, and works tirelessly throughout the year among  academic, public, corporate, private and scientific sectors to do just that. Its Perspectives on Science and History Lecture Series is just one way it spreads that love. The last presentation in the 2012 series is on August 22 and features Barbara Baumgartner, Ph.D. She will speak on “Anatomy Lessons: Reading the Body in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry.” This presentation is held at the Missouri History Museum and is in partnership with its “Underneath It All” exhibit, which runs through January 27, 2013. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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Photo Credit: The Discussion Club

The Discussion Club
Hilton Frontenac
1335 S Lindbergh Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63131
(314) 416-7722

Date: Click here for a list of dates.

The Discussion Club, a St. Louis institution since 1960, has been bringing lively and interesting speakers of topics and debate to its members for decades. This is not just a lecture series. It’s a lecture series with a social twist. While subject matter is always lively and engaging, the social aspect of gathering for such a stimulating event is not overlooked. The club meets at the Hilton Frontenac for cocktails and dinner before the lecture, and a good time is always had by all. Dinner and lecture will cost non-members $39 although you can attend without dinner for just $10. Please reserve your spot at least 48 hours in advance if you intend to dine and no advance registration is required for only attending the lecture. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. and the lectures start at 8 p.m. Past speakers have recently included Bill Hennessy, David Horowitz, Fred Barnes, Dinesh D’Souza, Charles Brennan and Bill McClellan. The club updates its speaker list on a progressing basis, so check back frequently.

Photo Credit: Webster University

Global Leaders in Residence
Webster University
470 E Lockwood Ave
St. Louis, MO 63119
(314) 246-6957

Date: September 24 and 25

This year marks the inaugural launch of the Global Leaders in Residence program at Webster University, and the university is happy to welcome distinguished author and educator Jonathon Kozol. Author of “Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Chldren in the Boston Public Schools,” Kozol speaks to faculty, students and the general public on real-world experiences and shares his thoughts as a leader in his field. Kozol gives his keynote address on September 24 at 5:30 p.m. and will sign books at 6:30 p.m. On the following day at 1:30 p.m., Kozol will host an informal conversation with the community, faculty and students. Both events are free and open to the public.

Photo Credit: YWCA

The Civil War Round Table of St. Louis
Two Hearts Banquet Center
4532 S Lindbergh Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63126
(314) 843-8858

Date: September 26 and October 24

Members of The Civil War Round Table have a passion for the rich and vibrant history that surrounds the Civil War. Monthly, they meet to share that passion, listen to speakers and grow in their knowledge and passion of the era. The September 26th meeting features Dale Phillips and the topic is The Capture of New Orleans. On October 24th, historian Jim Morgan will speak on the Barrle Ball’s Bluff. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and a buffet dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. Presentations start at 7:30 p.m. Admission starts at $10 for non-members who only wish to attend the presentation and $20 if you wish to enjoy dinner. Click here for a calendar of events.

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Lisa Payne-Naeger, a native of the St. Louis area, is a freelance writer, blogger, political activist and a homeschooling mother of two children. Her work can be found at