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CAS/MillerComm series launches Sept. 5 with lecture by food policy expert

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


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Food security, climate change, urban sprawl and alternatives to prisons – as well as the physics of dance and the social history of the bagel.

These and other topics will be the subjects of discussion this fall in the Center for Advanced Study/MillerComm lecture series at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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 Sept. 5 with a lecture on "Food Security and Poverty Eradication as a National Security Goal for the United States," presented by Per Pinstrup-Andersen, director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute. Pinstrup-Andersen will explore links between economic inequalities, international instability, terrorism and other issues common in developing countries, such as poverty, hunger and hopelessness. His talk begins at 4 p.m. in Room 149 of the National Soybean Research Laboratory, 1101 W. Peabody Drive, Urbana.

Subsequent lectures:

orange dot Sept. 9, "Is Climate Change Too Uncertain for Policy?" by Stephen Schneider, a professor of environmental biology and global change at Stanford University. Schneider will discuss what is well-established and what is uncertain about global climate change, as well as "win-win" opportunities for energy planning. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in Room 190 of the Engineering Sciences Building, 1101 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana.

Schneider also will participate in a free, communitywide workshop, "Meeting Energy Requirements and Demands While Responding to Concerns About Climate Change," at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in the auditorium of the Beckman Institute, 405 N. Mathews, Urbana.

orange dotSept. 20, "The Physics of Dance," by Kenneth Laws, a professor emeritus of physics at Dickinson College, an amateur dancer, and the author of several books on the subject. Laws will explore the interplay between natural law and the art and illusions of dance. His talk begins at 7 p.m. in the Colwell Playhouse Theatre, in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana.

orange dotOct. 2, "The Bagel: A Social History of an Edible Icon," by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, a professor of performance studies, and of Hebrew and Judaic studies, at New York University. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, considered one of America’s
pre-eminent folklorists, will uncover the cultural and culinary secrets of this popular food item. Her talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.

orange dotOct. 10, "Parking Lot Nation," by James Howard Kunstler, an outspoken critic on the state of America’s suburbs and cities, and the author of "The Geography of Nowhere" and, more recently, "The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition." Kunstler will discuss remedies related to the "new urbanism," which advocates more-compact and walkable cities, like those before the rise of what he terms the "automobile slum." His talk will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Plym Auditorium in Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, 611 Taft Drive, Champaign.

orange dotOct. 10, "Facing Atrocity: Revenge, Justice and Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina," by Svetlana Broz, director of the Sarajevo office of Gardens of the Righteous Worldwide and author of "Good People in an Evil Time." Broz, a cardiologist and granddaughter of the late Josip Tito, long-time ruler of Yugoslavia, volunteered for service in the war zone during Bosnia’s ethnic conflicts.

Broz will recount stories she brought back of "enemies" crossing ethnic borders to help each other, and share her views on the potential for understanding and reconciliation, even in the midst of atrocity. Her talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dotOct. 17, "Scenes From the Pacific Rim: Gender, Globalization and the Asian Diaspora," by Evelyn Hu-DeHart, a professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, at Brown University. Hu-DeHart will discuss the movement of people from Asia to the Americas, the difficulties they have endured in the process, and how the migrants shape the societies and cultures of their new countries. Her talk will begin at 4 p.m. in Room 314 of the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana.

orange dotOct. 31, "Architectures of Intelligence: The Technologies of Mind From the Alphabet to the Internet," by Derrick de Kerckhove, director of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto, and a George A. Miller Visiting Professor at Illinois. De Kerckhove, considered a pioneer and futurist in digital technology and virtual reality, will discuss the future of cyberspace and explore whether human cognition might allow for a mental space distinct from physical space and mediated by virtual space. His talk will begin at 4 p.m. in the auditorium of the Beckman Institute.

orange dot Nov. 14, "Punishment and Democracy: Prison Abolitionism in the 21st Century," by Angela Davis, a professor in the History of Consciousness program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Davis will discuss the history of prisons and how they came to be viewed as inevitable and permanent, and how advocates for radical democracy are urging the elimination of prisons in favor of other alternatives. Her talk will begin at
7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Smith Memorial Hall, 805 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

orange dot Nov. 15, "Creating Health Care in the 19th Century, Saving Health Care in the 21st Century," by journalist Suzanne Gordon, author of "Life Support: Three Nurses on the Front Lines," and Sioban Nelson, historian of nursing at the School of Postgraduate Nursing, University of Melbourne. Gordon and Nelson will discuss the critical role that nursing has played, and continues to play, in the development of the American health-care system – especially in light of a national and global crisis in nursing. Their talk will begin at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

More detailed information about the speakers and their topics is available on the Center for Advanced Study Web site ( or by calling the CAS Events Line, 333-1118.