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Center for Advanced Study/MillerComm lecture series opens

Craig Chamberlain, Education Editor
(217) 333-2894; cdchambe@illinois.edu


1/21/2003

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Afghanistan, Africa, anti-Semitism and animal rights – as well as an evening with a novelist, and a look at how culture shapes personal choices.

They're all on the program – along with other topics – for this spring's 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 numerous 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 this week with a talk Wednesday (Jan. 22) by Aaron McGruder, the author and illustrator of the comic strip "The Boondocks." McGruder will discuss how he uses his work to provoke thought and help improve the state of racial discourse, in a talk titled "What's the Color of Funny? Race, Society and Comic Strips," beginning at 5 p.m. in Foellinger Auditorium, 709 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

Subsequent lectures:

orange dot Feb. 11, "The Role of the African Diaspora and African States in the Struggle Against White Minority Rule in South Africa," by Bernard Makhosezwe Magubane, a professor emeritus of anthropology and sociology at the University of Connecticut and the director of the South African Democracy Education Trust. Magubane will discuss the linkages between the history and political aspirations of African-Americans and their "kith and kin" in South Africa. His talk begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.

orange dot Feb. 26, "Pictures From an Occupation: The Legacy of the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan," by David B. Edwards, a professor of anthropology at Williams College. Edwards will use a unique set of videos and photographs shot by Afghan nationals in illustrating the history of the Soviet occupation and the subsequent rise of the Taliban. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana.

orange dot March 5, "Mice, Monkeys and Man: The Ethical and Practical Problems of Animal Use in Biomedical Research," by Colin Blakemore, the director of the Medical Research Council Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Oxford University. Blakemore, a proponent for public understanding of science, will examine the moral basis for biomedical research and argue for a utilitarian approach to the use of animals, human subjects and embryos in research. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Smith Memorial Hall, 805 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

orange dot March 6, "Our Cultures, Our Selves: How the Ways We Live Shape Our Hearts and Minds," by Hazel Rose Markus, co-director of the Research Institute of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University. Markus will discuss how ethnicity, social class and other social distinctions affect each person’s patterns of ideas and practices, and influence even what they think is free choice. Her talk begins at 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the Beckman Institute, 405 N. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

orange dot March 13, "Too Many Notes: Computers, Complexity and Culture," by George Lewis, a professor of music and critical studies at the University of California at San Diego, recent winner of a MacArthur Fellowship "Genius Award," and George A. Miller Endowment Visiting Professor at Illinois. Lewis will discuss his creative work as a composer, trombonist and improviser, as well as the work he does in computer music and interactive systems. His talk begins at 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Music Building, 1114 W. Nevada St., Urbana.

orange dot March 13, "Habits of a Colonial Heart: The Affective Grid of Racial Politics," by Ann Laura Stoler, a professor of anthropology, history and women’s studies at the University of Michigan. Stoler will argue for a reassessment of the principles and attitudes that lay at the heart of colonial regimes in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Her talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dot March 17, "An Evening with John Edgar Wideman," featuring the author, a two-time Pen/Faulkner Award winner, MacArthur Fellow and Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Wideman has written 11 novels, most recently "Hoop Roots: Basketball, Race and Love," as well as numerous essays on American culture featured in publications such as The New Yorker, Vogue, Esquire and The New York Times Magazine. Wideman’s talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dot April 1, "The Historical Construction of Racism: A Comparison of White Supremacy and Anti-Semitism," by George Fredrickson, Robinson Professor of History at Stanford University. A leading writer of comparative history, Fredrickson will bring together the trajectories of anti-Semitism and white supremacy over the last 500 years, laying the groundwork for a reinterpretation of the context for the intensified racism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in Room 407 of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dot April 24, "Anthropomorphism, Anecdotes and Animal Behavior," by Bernard E. Rollin, a professor of philosophy at Colorado State University and George A. Miller Endowment Visiting Professor at Illinois. Rollin will discuss the use of anecdotal information and anthropomorphic attributions to interpret and understand animal behavior. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in Room 149 of the National Soybean Research Center, 1101 W. Peabody Drive, Urbana.

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