2014-2015 Chancellor’s Colloquium Distinguished Speaker Series Preview

In 2014-2015, the Chancellor’s Colloquium Distinguished Speaker series will feature five prominent scholars and leaders who will address important topics facing society in general and the university in particular. On Monday, October 27th at 4 p.m., Hamid Dabashi, the Hagop Kervorkian Professor of Iranian studies and comparative literature at Columbia University, will speak on “Why Persian Humanism Matters Today,” followed by a public forum moderated by Ali Anooshahr, associate professor of history at UC Davis.

Dabashi is the author of many books, articles, and essays on subjects ranging from Iranian Studies, medieval and modern Islam, comparative literature, world cinema, and the philosophy of art. His most recent books include The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism (Zed, 2012), Corpus Anarchicum: Political Protest, Suicidal Violence, and the Making of the Posthuman Body (Palgrave, 2012), The World of Persian Literary Humanism (Harvard University Press, 2012), and Being a Muslim in the World (Palgrave, 2013).

Anooshahr is a scholar of comparative Islamic Empires and the author of a book and several articles focusing on the transmissions of texts and individuals along networks connecting India, Iran, Central Asia, and the Ottoman Empire.

The Chancellor’s series is intended to spark conversations among the UC Davis academic and broader community on a variety of engaging issues drawn from each speaker’s distinguished work.

The second event in 2014-2015 season will feature Russell Berman on Tuesday, December 2nd at 4 p.m. Berman is the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, chair of the Comparative Literature Department with an appointment in German Studies. His lecture is titled “Rethinking the PhD in the Humanities.” Berman is the author of many publications on the historical-political dimensions of German culture, and on cultural relations between Europe and the United States; his most recently publications are Anti-Americanism in Europe: a Cultural Problem (Hoover, 2004), Fiction Sets You Free: Literature, Liberty, and Western Culture (University of Iowa Press, 2007), and Freedom or Terror: Europe Faces Jihad (Hoover Press, 2010).

In winter and spring 2015, the Chancellor’s Colloquium will feature three notable university administrators and scholars beginning with Shirley Tilghman on Tuesday, January 27th at 4 p.m. Tilghman is a celebrated professor, scholar, and renowned molecular biologist. In 2001, she was the first woman elected to serve as president of Princeton University and was only the second woman president at an Ivy League institution. Tilghman was among the architects of the national effort to map the human genome, and her decades of research in genetics focuses on the regulation of genes during development, particularly in the field of genomic imprinting.

The fourth speaker in the Chancellor’s series is Nigel Thrift, vice-chancellor of the University of Warwick, who will speak at UC Davis on Monday, February 23rd at 4 p.m. Thrift is the previous Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and head of the Division of Life and Environmental Sciences at Oxford University, and is currently an Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences, and a Fellow of the British Academy. Thrift is the author and co-author of dozens of publications spanning a broad range of interests, including international finance, cities and political life, non-representational theory, affective politics, and the history of time.

The final event of the Chancellor’s Colloquium series occurs on Monday, May 4th at 4 p.m. with distinguished guest Teresa Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia. Sullivan is the first female president of U.V.a., elected to the position in 2010 after years of service in administration at the University of Texas and the University of Michigan. Sullivan is the George M. Kaufman Presidential Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, a respected scholar in labor force demography, and the co-author of the influential books As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America (Oxford University Press, 1989) and The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt (Yale University Press, 2000). Her most recent research focuses on measuring productivity in higher education.

Stephanie Maroney, DHI Graduate Student Researcher and doctoral candidate in Cultural Studies