Nerd Nite at UMD: Reading Without Walls Edition (Spring 2018)

Mar 12, 2018

Nerd Nite Duluth is coming to campus on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. The program features UMD student presentations related to books and reading.

Nerd Nite @ UMD: Reading Without Walls Edition

The Kathryn A. Martin Library and Kirby Student Center are thrilled to partner with Nerd Nite Duluth to bring Nerd Nite @ UMD to the Kirby Rafters on Tuesday, March 13, at 6 p.m. Join us for a night of learning and laughter as four student scholars discuss unexpected, esoteric, and fascinating topics related to books and reading.

What Is Nerd Nite?

Nerd Nite Duluth is a monthly stage show featuring local personalities offering academic presentations on non-academic topics. The stage is set for speakers to share history, theories, and trivia about any topic. Prior presentations included space telescopes, zombification, ground squirrels, a Michael Bay filmography, board games, and rock tumbling. We are happy to welcome Nerd Nite to the UMD campus.

What Topics Will Be Presented?

Nerd Nite @ UMD will feature four student presentations:

“The Elemental Guide to the Universe” by Dylan Brenner

Water, earth, fire, and air are historically the world's first elements. These elements through antiquity, the Middle Ages, and in contemporary times have been the explanation for medicine, human sexuality, the order of the universe, the cycle of life, and have even found their way into art and literature. This presentation will review some of the topics listed above and how they still affect our culture today.

“War of the Wizards” by Nicholas Vittorio

As we consider arguably the two most famous and powerful wizards in fantasy history, who do you think would win this battle of wits, spells, and magical power? Will it be the wizard hailing from “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit,” Gandalf, who's been defending the world from evil since the very origins of Middle Earth and still has time to hang out with some hobbits? Or will it be the master sorcerer Dumbledore, the ever-so-clever, elder wand wielding, dark arts deterring, phoenix feeding headmaster of Hogwarts from Harry Potter? I'll lay out the facts, you decide the victor!

“Resistance Is Inevitable: On the Ubiquity of Politics in Science Fiction” by Lee Cygan

Since the birth of the novel, literature has been a tool used to engage with political ideologies in complex and interesting ways, but to also escape the realities of our day-to-day lives. Can authors or readers ever really escape politics when media is created and consumed in a political environment? Using science fiction, a genre meant to take place worlds away from our own, we can look at how escapism can affect the literature we read for better or for worse.

“An Itch for Quidditch" by members of the UMD Quidditch Club

Quidditch, from the Harry Potter series, has a real world counterpart. The UMD Quidditch Club will demonstrate the ins and outs of this fast-paced & competitive game (minus the flying brooms and sentient blodgers).

This event is part of the Reading Without Walls program, which is designed to create a community of readers at UMD and in Duluth and encourage participants to encounter, discuss, and share diverse ideas, characters, genres, and perspectives through reading. For more information about the Reading Without Walls program, see or contact Kayleen Jones at [email protected]

More information about Nerd Nite Duluth can be found on the group’s Facebook page at

Other inquiries can be directed to Adam Brisk, Outreach Librarian, at [email protected] or 218-726-6603.


Cost: Free and open to all Twin Ports and UMD community members.
Coffee, tea, and bars will be served.

Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 6-8 p.m.

Location: Kirby Rafters (3rd Floor)
Kirby Student Center
1120 Kirby Dr, Duluth, MN 55812

Parking: Free in Lot E after 5 p.m., adjacent to the library