The UCI Department of Anthropology, Department of History and UC World History MRU present

"Scholars as Public Intellectuals: An Interdisciplinary Roundtable"
featuring Claudio Lomnitz, Columbia University and Ernesto Bassi, Julia Elyachar, Mark LeVine, Michael Montoya, and Jeff Wasserstrom, and (Moderator) Laura Mitchell, UCI

May 11, 2011
3:00-4:30 p.m.
Humanities Gateway, Room 1030

How do academics combine specialized scholarly work with communicating with broader audiences and engaging with contemporary issues, through writing for magazines, speaking at public events, blogging, or simply trying to make classroom lectures speak to topics in the news?  What are the challenges of mixing these kinds of intellectual work--and how do they vary at different career stages?  Why is it routine in some places (like parts of Latin America and Asia) and not in others (like the United States) for someone to wear the hat of both a university professor and a newspaper columnist--two hats that Claudio Lomnitz (visiting UCI from Columbia University) has worn with panache in recent years?  These are among the issues that participants in this roundtable will discuss, in an informal give and take session that brings together faculty members from UCI's departments of Anthropology (Elyachar and Montoya) and History (LeVine, Mitchell, and Wasserstrom) as well as a UCI History graduate student (Bassi).  The panelists work on different parts of the world (from China to Egypt, South Africa to Latin America) and have or aspire to engage with broad publics in different ways.  What they share with each other and with Lomnitz, who has made his mark in both history and anthropology and is a past editor of the pioneering journal Public Culture, is an interest in the way that scholars can contribute to debates that extend beyond the academy.

Please note: Professor Lomnitz will also be presenting a talk sponsored by the Spanish and Portuguese Department earlier that day, 12-1:30: for details see:

For further information, please contact Julia Elyachar,

connect with us


© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766