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The truth is easy. Tell me it’s raining outside, or not. But we know the truth is easy only until it’s not. When it really matters, and when matters are complex, the truth is in question, contested, open to interpretation, subject to doubt, even strategically denied. On the big questions, truth functions as a fragile, even suspect ideal. For this reason, truth has long been a central theme of the humanities. What should we believe, whom should we trust, how can we capture and face deep truths about ourselves, our social lives, the fundamental conditions of life and well-being? This year’s lecture series is an invitation to engage with scholars who demonstrate what it means to pursue vital truths in contentious domains. Their work exemplifies how deeply such pursuits, at a time of widespread cynicism and doubt about the very idea of truth, make a true difference in our lives.