Over the course of the last 30 years, John has lectured to audiences at many campuses and organizations, speaking on investigation, torture, Northern Ireland, journalism, wrongful convictions, and police misconduct.   Here’s a partial list:

American Bar Association Section of State and Government Law

Amnesty International

Bucknell College

Case Western

Chicago Urban League

Clarence Darrow Death Penalty Defense College

Columbia College

DePaul University College of Law

DePauw University

Dominican University

Duke University

Florida State University

Gettysburg College

John Jay College

Illinois Academy of Criminology

Illinois State Senate Hearing on Wrongful Convictions

Iowa Public Defender Association

Loyola University

MacArthur Foundation 2011 Journalism Funders Conference

New Mexico State University

Northwestern University School of Law

Notre Dame University

Roosevelt University

Seton Hall Law School

University of Chicago

University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Valparaiso University

Washington College of Law, American University


Endorsements of John Conroy’s Lectures


 “John Conroy was a superb guest.  His public lecture was thought-provoking and engaging; his role-playing exercises in a class helped the students better understand the pressures to torture — and to keep silent while others tortured.  Finally, in the lecture, in classes, and in informal meetings, he respectfully and deftly fielded a raft of students’ and community members’ questions.  We fondly remember his visit.”


Dr. Hugh LaFollette

Department of History

University of South Florida

St. Petersburg


“John Conroy is a writer at the top of his craft.  His work displays a keen awareness for the context of the Chicago and American story.  In the classroom, he offers astute analysis of how the city and its complex human interactions work, as well as candid assessment of the journalist’s place within that city.  Marked by experience and innovation, Conroy’s interactions with students in the writing workshop are insightful, honest, and deeply reflective.  As a writer, he recognizes that there are many more Chicago stories to tell and he gives students the means and encouragement to tell them.”


Garin Cycholl

Lecturer in Creative Writing

University of Chicago


“The last thing we want is to feel complicit in torture, but that’s precisely what John Conroy’s talk at New Mexico State University did. Conroy refuses to let anyone take the easy way out – the torturers, the tortured, or his audience. The complex questions of ethics he raises will make anyone rethink their views. The fact that torture is happening in the great Democracies of the world raises the stakes. Even my students, who read Conroy’s book in our graduate nonfiction workshop, were shaken by both the writing and the doors he was opening.”


Rus Bradburd

Assistant Professor

English Department

New Mexico State University


“Conroy mesmerized my students. They were shocked that for decades Chicago’s public officials failed to stop the torture or bring the torturers to justice.  His message needs to be heard.”


John Hagedorn

Associate Professor

Criminology, Law, and Justice

University of Illinois at Chicago

“John Conroy is an extraordinary communicator in every form. His public speaking is as dynamic and as brutally illustrative as his writing. He held an audience of students, faculty, administrators, staffers, and community members spellbound by making the reality of police acts of torture in Chicago as horror-inducing now as on the days they were committed.  Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People remains the sole comparative work of its kind, a brave statement that stands alone in a too-empty field of research.”

Dr. Bethany Barratt
Associate Professor of Political Science
Director, Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project
Roosevelt University