Past Avenali Lectures

Photo of Michael Pollan.
“Cannabis, the Importance of Forgetting, and the Botany of Desire”
Tuesday, Nov 12, 2002 | 7:30 pm
Morrison Reading Room, Doe Library
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United States

Michael Pollan's work examines the intersections between science and culture, focusing most specifically on food. Pollan is the author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, winner of the James Beard Award, The Omnivore's Dilemma, which was named one of the ten best books of the year by both The New York Times and The Washington Post, and The Botany of Desire, among others.

Photo of Sebastião Salgado.
“Migrations: Humanity in Transition”
Monday, Feb 11, 2002 | 7:30 pm
Wheeler Auditorium
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United States

A member of Magnum Photos from 1979-1994, Sebastião Salgado is twice the recipient of the Infinity Award for Photojournalism from the International Center of Photography.

Photo of N. Katherine Hayles.
“How to Do Things with Codes: Rethinking Processes of Signification in Digital Media”
Tuesday, Mar 20, 2001 | 7:30 pm
Morrison Reading Room, Doe Library
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United States

Postmodern literary critic N. Katherine Hayles is known for her work concerning the relationship between literature, science and technology. Hayles holds advanced degrees in both Chemistry and English, and her early work orchestrates the play of resonances between contemporary scientific paradigms and literature.

Photo of Bruno Latour.
“The End of Nature as a Way to Organize our Polity”
Tuesday, Apr 11, 2000 | 8:00 pm
145 Dwinelle Hall
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United States

Bruno Latour is Professor at the Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation at the Ecole des Mines in Paris and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. His work is known for its unique incorporation of both philosophy and anthropology.

Photo of Seamus Heaney.
“Getting the Picture: Reflections on Art and Artists in Ireland”
Monday, Feb 8, 1999 | 8:00 pm
Wheeler Auditorium
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United States

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2006, Seamus Heaney has published more than 10 volumes of poetry, three collections of prose, one play, and numerous chapbooks, translations, and lectures.

Photo of Mike Davis.
“The Literary Destruction of L.A.”
Tuesday, Sep 30, 1997 | 3:30 pm
Alumni House
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United States

While urban theorist and social commentator Mike Davis holds degrees in History from UCLA and the University of Edinburgh, his work exceeds and expands the usual definition of historical writing. He is best known for his investigations of power and social class in his native Southern California.

Photo of Ivan Klíma.
“Eastern European Literary Scene Before and After Communism”
Wednesday, Apr 2, 1997 | 7:30 pm
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United States

Like Milan Kundera and Josef Škvorecký, novelist, essayist, and critic Ivan Klíma is considered one of the most important Czech writers of his time.

Photo of Peter Sellars.
“Getting Real: The Arts in Post-NEA America”
Thursday, Mar 13, 1997 | 8:00 pm
Wheeler Auditorium
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United States

Opera and theatre director, teacher, and activist Peter Sellars has been a creative and deeply influential voice in the world of opera and theater for the past 30 years. Noted for his unique, contemporary stagings of both classical and contemporary plays and operas, Sellars is also professor of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA.

Photo of Natalie Zemon Davis.
“Moors, Christians, and Africans in a Muslim Traveler’s Account of the Renaissance”
Wednesday, Feb 5, 1997 | 8:00 pm
2050 Valley Life Sciences Building
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United States

Natalie Zemon Davis is an important historian of the early modern period, known for her narrative writing style and her use of cross-disciplinary history, which combines history with disciplines such as anthropology, ethnography and literary theory.

Photo of Gerald Early.
“Martin Luther King and the Reinvention of Christian Leadership in the United States”
Wednesday, Mar 13, 1996 | 8:00 pm
Alumni House
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United States

Gerald Early is Professor of English and African-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. A noted essayist and American culture critic, Early is the author of several books, including The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture, which won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

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