Five Must-Attend Lectures in May

So what if school's all but out for summer? May promises plenty in the way of brainy endeavors. Drop the beer bong, resist that urge to wear a swimsuit to the grocery store, and dig a pen and some paper out of that soon-to-be book bonfire.

Here are our five lecture picks for summertime smarties:

5. Armed with Our Language, We Went to War: The Navajo Code Talkers @ Pueblo Grande Museum ASU English professor Laura Tohe will discuss the famed group of Navajo men who served as Marines in WWII and became known as Code Talkers, for their development of a mode of coded communication based on Diné language (also referred to as Navajo). The free talk takes place on Wednesday, May 2, at Pueblo Grande Museum.

4. Jason Griffiths @ SMoCA Lounge British architect and ASU associate professor Jason Griffiths will talk sprawl and his new book, Manifest Destiny: A Guide to the Essential Indifference of American Suburban Housing on Thursday, May 3, at SMoCA Lounge. Admission is free; RSVP to smocalounge@sccarts.org. The book will be available for $35 at the SMoCA store.

3. Alternate Lifestyles: Searching for Life in the Shadow Biosphere @ The Center Bistro Oh, you're unfamiliar with the shadow biosphere? Here's a little background: It's a hypothetical world of tiny, tiny particles that we humans don't know much about. (Uh, we think.) For a far more studied take on the concept, hit up Dr. Cody Youngbull's lecture. It's the final installment of ASU Biodesign Institute's One Night Stand Series, and takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, at The Center Bistro. Admission is $50 and includes food and drinks.

2. Asking the Hard Questions: Medical Ethics in the Third World @ Phoenix Public Market U of A's College of Medicine presents a medical-ethics lecture led by pediatrics professor Dr. David H. Beyda. Complimentary refreshments and snacks will be available during the free talk, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 21, at Phoenix Public Market Urban Grocery & Wine Bar.

1. W. Eugene Smith and the Photo Essay @ Phoenix Art Museum Art Historian and Director of Museum Studies at University of Florida in Gainesville Glenn Willumson will take the audience through a history of photo essays, focusing on four from photographer W. Eugene Smith's -- including "Spanish Village," which is currently on display in the Norton Photography Gallery. Willumson will speak at Phoenix Art Museum 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23. Admission is free.

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