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Early spring lectures in Center for Advanced Study series announced

Craig Chamberlain, News Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — “Think globally” could be the theme for a series of six
early-spring lectures and one panel presentation at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, all sponsored by the university’s Center for Advanced Study.

Among the topics – two of which will be addressed by officials from the United Nations – will be global food security; global capitalism and race relations; changes in the Islamic faith over recent centuries; and democracy in India. Also covered will be the history of the Internet and the networked world, as well as the influence of American-born art on a group of European surrealists.

The lectures are part of the CAS/MillerComm series, begun in 1973 and supported with funds from the George A. Miller Endowment and several co-sponsoring campus units. The CAS/MillerComm lectures provide a forum for discourse on topics spanning the university’s many disciplines.

All CAS events are free and open to the public.

The first lecture of the spring semester will come on Jan. 31, with “Other-Worldly and This-Worldly Piety and the Islamic Revival,” presented by Francis Robinson, professor of the history of South Asia at Royal Holloway, University of London. Robinson will discuss the shift in Islamic thinking that began four centuries ago, bringing it from an other-worldly faith associated with mysticism to a this-worldly faith that emphasized God’s transcendence and the need to create a righteous society on Earth. His talk begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.

Subsequent CAS lectures and presentations through the end of March:

• Feb. 3, “Progress Toward Global Food Security: U.N. Development Goals for the Millennium,” by Catherine Bertini, United Nations under-secretary-general for management and past executive director of its World Food Programme.

Bertini, who has helped administer aid to hundreds of millions of victims of wars and natural disasters, will talk about the progress made toward global nutrition goals set forth by the United Nations in its 2000 Millennium Summit. Her lecture begins at 4 p.m. in the Knight Auditorium at the Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana.

• Feb. 17, “Origins of a Networked World: From World War II to the Internet,” a CAS panel presentation featuring four Illinois professors.

The panel is designed to stimulate discussion about significant changes in organization and thinking about information and communications that led to the development of the present-day networked world. Participating will be Fernando Elichirigoity, Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS); Mark Leff, history; Boyd Rayward, GSLIS; and Christian Sandvig, speech communication, with GSLIS Dean John Unsworth as the moderator. The discussion will be held from 3- 5 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

• Feb. 23, “Global Capitalism and the Changing Color Line: A Pan-African Perspective,” by David Graham DuBois, founding president and CEO of the W.E.B. DeBois Foundation Inc. This is the eighth annual W.E.B. DuBois Lecture.

DuBois will discuss the global landscape of capitalism and its implications for race relations, from a Pan-African perspective. His talk begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

• Feb. 28, “The Past and the Internet,” by Geoffrey Bowker, the Regis and Dianne McKenna Chair and executive director, Center for Science, Technology and Society, Santa Clara University.

Bowker will discuss how – as with the advent of writing and the printing press – we are constructing new personal, intellectual and social pasts through the Internet and its associated technologies. His lecture begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

• March 14, “From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond: Democracy and Identity in Today’s India,” by Shashi Tharoor, author of “Nehru: A Biography” and United Nations under-secretary-general for communications and public information. This is the third India Studies Distinguished Lecture.

Tharoor will discuss how issues of regional, social and religious identity in India raise questions about the future of the world’s largest democracy. His talk begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

• March 31, “The Real Meets the Imagined: Northwest Coast Art, Claude
Lévi-Strauss and the Surrealists,” by Marie Mauzé, senior researcher in the Laboratory of Social Anthropology, French National Center for Scientific Research, Paris, and a George A. Miller Endowment Visiting Professor at Illinois.

Mauzé will talk about how a group of prominent European artists and intellectuals, exiled to the United States during World War II, were drawn to art from the Northwest coast, which expressed their poetic vision of the world. Her lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Knight Auditorium at the Spurlock Museum.