Visiting Lecturers Will Speak on Modernity, Mathematics, Prosecution, Performance Art and More

The following talks at Yale University Nov. 9-16 are free and open to the public, unless noted otherwise.

Social-political philosopher to give Law School’s Storrs Lectures

Philosopher Charles Taylor, a professor emeritus at McGill University who specializes in social philosophy and political theory, will deliver the Law School’s 1998 Storrs Lectures Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 9-11. His three-part series, titled “Modernity and Difference,” will be held each day at 4 p.m. in Rm. 127 of the Law School, 127 Wall St.

The individual lecture topics are “Multiple Modernities” on Nov. 9, “Democratic Exclusion on Nov. 10, and “Living with Difference” on Nov. 11.

Taylor is the author of a dozen books, including two on Hegel and two on multiculturalism. His other works include “Social Theory as Practice,” “Human Agency and Language,” “Source of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity” and “The Malaise of Modernity.” He has taught and written about philosophy of action, philosophy of social science, political theory, moral philosophy, the culture of Western modernity, language and politics, and the philosophy of language, among other topics. Prior to his appointment at McGill, he taught social and political theory at Oxford University for many years.

Mathematician to present Robinson Memorial Lecture

Janos Kollar, a Distinguished Professor at the University of Utah and a noted mathematician in the field of algebraic geometry, will deliver the Abraham Robinson Memorial Lecture in Mathematics on Monday, Nov. 9, at 4:30 p.m. in Davies Auditorium of Becton Center, 15 Prospect St.

Kollar has written numerous articles on such topics as polynomial equations, real algebraic surfaces and real algebraic threefolds. He is the author or coauthor of four books: “Shafarevich Maps and Automorphic Forms,” “Rational Curves on Algebraic Varieties,” “Birational Geometry of Algebraic Varieties” and “Current Topics in Complex Algebraic Geometry, Proceedings of the MSRI Special Year.”

The Robinson Lectures are supported in part by a fund established by colleagues and admirers of the late Professor Robinson, Sterling Professor of Mathematics, who died in 1974. Robinson’s research included work on the foundations of mathematics and on the application of methods from mathematical logic to problems of more traditional mathematics. He is best known as the creator of nonstandard analysis, a rigorous formalism that enables one to deal logically with the historically imprecise concept of “infinitesimals.”

Public radio host/author to be guest at master’s tea

Faith Middleton, the award-winning producer and host of Connecticut Public Radio’s “The Faith Middleton Show,” will be the guest at a tea on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at noon in the Timothy Dwight College master’s house, 63 Wall St. Middleton’s topic will be “The Goodness of Ordinary People,” which is the title of her recent book, now in its third printing. The event is sponsored by the Yale University Women’s Organization, and attendees are invited to bring lunch; dessert, coffee and tea will be provided.

Middleton is one of only 24 interviewers in the world who have twice received the George Foster Peabody Award, which is considered the “Pulitzer” of national broadcast journalism. She has interviewed more than 7,000 people on her show, including many well-known personalities.

Middleton is also a contributor to National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition with Scott Simon.” Her stories in print have appeared in national magazines and newspapers. She has taught a course on “The Art of the Interview” at Yale, where she is an associate fellow of Silliman College.

New York Times journalist to focus on Balkan tensions

“Kosovo: What Next” is the title of a talk being given on Thursday, Nov. 12, by Christopher Hedges, former Balkan bureau chief for The New York Times, who covered the conflict in Eastern Europe for the past three years. His talk will begin at 4 p.m. in Rm. 211 of Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St. The event is sponsored by the Russian and East European Council and the Yale Center for International and Area Studies.

Hedges has spent much of his career as a journalist in the world’s hot spots. He spent several years during the 1980s in Latin America, where he covered the Falklands conflict, the war in El Salvador, the conflict in Nicaragua, and political and social unrest in Mexico, Colombia and Bolivia. As a reporter for The New York Times, he covered the Gulf War, travelling with units in the desert. During the Shiite rebellion in southern Iraq, he was captured and held for eight days by the Iraqi military. Following a stint as the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, Hodges became the Balkan bureau chief in 1995. In his first weeks on the job, he drove into Sarajevo to report on the siege of the city. In February 1998, he made the first trip by a reporter with the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Former Yale historian to visit as Zucker Fellow

William Cronon, a former Yale faculty member who is now the Frederick Jackson Turner Professor of History, Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will lecture on Thursday, Nov. 12, as the Zucker Environmental Fellow for the fall term. His lecture, titled “Humanist Environmentalism: A Manifesto,” will begin at 4 p.m. in Rm. 114 of Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall, corner of Prospect and Grove streets.

Cronon, who holds M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale, studies American environmental history and the history of the American West. His research focuses on how human communities modify the landscapes in which they live, and how people, in turn, are affected by changing geological, climatological, epidemiological and ecological conditions.

He served for more than a decade as a member of the Yale history department before joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madision in 1992. His books include “Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West,” which won the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize and the Bancroft Prize, among other honors. His most recent book is a collection of essays which he edited, titled “Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature.”

The Zucker Environmental Fellowship was established in 1990 by two members of the Class of 1962 to bring a public-policy figure or author in the field of environmental studies to the campus each year.

Federal attorney to speak on being a prosecutor

Mary Jo White, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, will present “The Perspective of a Prosecutor: These Are Trying Times” on Friday, Nov. 13, noon-2 p.m. in Levinson Auditorium of the Law School, 127 Wall St. Her talk is sponsored by the Law School.

White, who has served in her current role since 1993, supervises over 200 assistant U.S. attorneys whose responsibility is to enforce the criminal and civil laws of the nation. She served as the first chair of Attorney General Janet Reno’s Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys, which is comprised of 21 U.S. attorneys from all over the country.

Under her leadership, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has successfully investigated and prosecuted numerous cases of national and international significance, including prosecutions of the terrorists responsible for bombing the World Trade Center, prosecutions of leaders and members of New York City’s largest and most violent gangs, and the largest corruption and civil rights case ever brought against officers in a single precinct of the New York City Police department. Many of these cases have been recognized with prestigious awards from the U.S. Department of Justice. White’s personal honors include the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation’s Community Leadership Award, the Law Enforcement Person of the Year Award from the Society of Professional Investigators and the National Organization of Women’s Woman of Power and Influence Award.

Child and family news service is topic of Bush Center talk

“Child and Family News Service: Bridging the Media and Academia” is the title of a talk to be given by Fred Rothbaum, professor of child development at Tufts University, on Friday, Nov. 13, at noon in Rm. 211 of the Hall of Graduate Studies, 320 York St. The event is sponsored by the Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy.

Four years ago, Rothbaum and a colleague at Tufts, Nancy Martland, developed CAMEO, an on-line non-profit news service, in an effort to help journalists improve the quality of their stories on child and family issues. CAMEO collects personal stories from its online readers, selects the most compelling examples, places them in a social policy context, augments them with comments from academic experts, and then invites journalists to use the contacts and materials to produce their own stories.

Rothbaum earned a Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology at Yale in 1977. He taught at Bryn Mawr College for three years before joining the faculty at Tufts in 1979. He has published articles on parent/child relations, sexuality, China/U.S. cultural differences and other topics, and maintains a private clinical practice in psychology.

Performance artist to present her newest work

Obie Award-winning performance artist/playwright Holly Hughes will present her new piece, “Preaching to the Perverted,” on Saturday, Nov. 14, 3-5 p.m. in the lecture hall of the Yale University Art Gallery (enter on High Street). The event is sponsored by the Fund for Lesbian & Gay Studies, and the departments of women’s and gender studies, American studies, sociology and theater studies.

Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the most insightful, funny and entertaining storytellers around,” Hughes focuses on the experience of being lesbian in America. Her performance pieces include “World Without End,” “The Well of Horniness,” “Dress Suits to Hire,” “The Lady Dick” and “Clit Notes.” She is coeditor of the recent volume “O Solo Homo: The New Queer Performance.”

Hughes was propelled into the national spotlight in 1990 when she was one of a group of four artists – collectively known as the “NEA Four” – who were awarded individual grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, then had them taken away under pressure from conservative politicians. A lawsuit against the government, filed on behalf of the artists, was eventually settled out of court in the artists’ favor.

Forest conservation to be focus of School of Forestry talk

Martin Rosen, cofounder and former president of The Trust for Public Land (TPL), will discuss environmental partnerships and sustained forest conservation in a talk titled “Environmental Partnerships: One Size Rarely Fits All” on Monday, Nov. 16. His talk, at 4:30 p.m. in Bowers Hall, 205 Prospect St., is sponsored by the Yale Forest Forum, a program of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, as part of its Leadership Forum series.

Rosen, an attorney, became president and chief executive officer of TPL in 1978. A nonprofit land conservation organization, TPL works with landowners, government agencies and community groups to finance parks and open space, promote the importance of public land and help communities establish land-protection goals. TPL’s $30-million budget has protected more than 900,000 acres of land valued at more than $1.5 billion in 45 states and Canada.

Rosen has received numerous awards, including the Lambda Alpha International Humanitarian Award, the Chevron Conservation Award and the National Park Foundation’s Horace Albright Medal.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325