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MillerComm announces fall lecture series

Craig Chamberlain , News Editor
(217) 333-2894;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — History, the Holocaust, religion, art, and the environment are among the topics to be discussed this fall in the Center for Advanced Study/MillerComm lecture series at the University of Illinois.

The series, begun in 1973 and supported with funds from the George A. Miller Endowment and several co-sponsoring campus units, provides a forum for discourse on topics spanning the university’s many disciplines.

CAS/MillerComm talks are free and open to the public.

The series opens Wednesday (Sept. 5) with a lecture on "How We Talk About the Holocaust," presented by Peter Novick, professor emeritus of history at the University of Chicago and the author of the book "The Holocaust in American Life." Novick’s talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.

Subsequent lectures:

o Sept. 13, "Understanding the 20th Century," by Dan Diner, the director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture, University of Leipzig, Germany, and a George A. Miller Endowment and International Council visiting professor at the UI. Diner will present his interpretation of the 20th century, centering on his distinction between ethnic and civic society and his radical reinterpretation of the Holocaust. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in Room 407 of the Levis center.

o Sept. 20, "Religion on the Global Scene: The Killer that Heals," by Martin E. Marty, the Fairfax Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago.

Marty will address the question of how religion can serve as an instrument of destruction and reconciliation, looking at movements and trends such as militant fundamentalism, interreligious cooperation, and work toward peace. The lecture, the 11th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture, begins at 4 p.m. in the Colwell Playhouse Theatre, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana.

o Sept. 23, "Picasso and Lipchitz: Cubism and Beyond," by Christopher Kenneth Green, a fellow at the British Academy and Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Green, an art historian, will discuss the significance of Jacques Lipchitz, a pioneering cubist sculptor, within the context of his time and his contemporaries – particularly Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris. The lecture, the inaugural Jerrold Ziff Lecture in Modern Art, begins at 3 p.m. in Room 62 of the Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign.

o Oct. 11, "Background to Catastrophe: King Leopold II and the Conquest of the Congo," by Adam Hochschild, a journalist and the author of "King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa." Hochschild will discuss the savagery of a Belgian king in the conquest of African territory in the early 20th century and the worldwide human rights movement that grew out of it. His talk begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis center.

o Oct. 12, "French Cultural Wars," by Lawrence Kritzman, the Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professor of Humanities at Dartmouth College. Kritzman will examine how contemporary policies for the arts and education in France have raised important issues concerning the definition of culture and its political consequences. His talk begins at 4 p.m. in Room 62 of the Krannert Art Museum.

o Nov. 7, "Reading Community: The Art Work of Suzanne Lacy," by Suzanne Lacy, the director of the Center for Art in Public Life at California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, and a George A. Miller Endowment Visiting Scholar at the UI. Lacy will discuss what she calls "new genre public art," a participatory approach to art-making that involves municipal and educational organizations, cultural institutions, and other artists and activists. Her talk begins at 5 p.m. in Room 62 of the Krannert Art Museum.

o Nov. 28, "Medical Humanitarianism and Human Rights Witnessing Action: A Field Report From a Sociological Study of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)," by Renée C. Fox, Annenberg Professor Emerita of Social Sciences and fellow of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Fox will discuss the principles and values of MSF, the practical and moral dilemmas of its efforts, and how these have been affected through its 30 years of history and changes in the world in which it works. The talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in Room 407 of the Levis center.

o Nov. 29, "Earth Odyssey II: Around the World (Again) in Search of our Environmental Future," by Mark Hertsgaard, an independent journalist, activist, and the author of "Earth Odyssey Around the World in Search of Our Environmental Future." Hertsgaard will draw on two trips he has taken around the world to describe the declining health of the world environment. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis center.

More detailed information about the speakers and their topics is available on the Web at or by calling the CAS Events Line, 333-1118.