The Grimshaw Lecture was created in 2001 from a generous endowment from Allen and Polly Grimshaw. For over four decades, Allen and Polly were an important presence on the IU campus. Allen’s primary interests included social conflict and social violence and the use of language in social contexts. After Allen’s retirement in 1994 until he passed away in 2011, he remained especially active in publishing and promoting teaching about the horrors of genocide.
As the Liaison Librarian for Anthropology, Folklore, Gender Studies, and Sociology, Polly Grimshaw also played a formative role in the department and campus. One of her many legacies is an outstanding social science library collection. Polly passed away in 2006 but her, and Allen’s, many contributions to the department and IU continue through this annual event.