29 October 2009

Chomsky at SOAS

Prof Noam Chomksy came to give a talk at SOAS on 27 October 2009 about "Crises and the Unipolar Moment", hosted by the SOAS CISD (Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy):

"It is widely felt that the fall of the Soviet Union left a unipolar world, dominated by the remaining superpower, and that the "moment" is coming to a close with the collapse of the Anglo-Saxon "free market" economic model. Investigation of this two-decade "moment" can provide considerable insight into what came before, and possibilities for shaping the future."

To see the video, you'll have to go to the SOAS events page (they don't let you copy its HTML).

The whole event was rather sneakily expanded, I believe for the first time I saw it was in mid-September when I happened to pass by a poster in the renovated new CISD wing on the 4th floor (where the SOAS Language Centre used to be) I was exploring. I believe it even said sth like, "exclusively for CISD students, please don't tell all your friends at SOAS!" Then suddenly, two weeks before the event, there's a mass email announcing it to all SOAS people, telling them to register - first come, first serve basis, saying "the registration link above is only for SOAS students, please don't tell anyone else!". They also moved the venue from SOAS to IoE, so I suppose they only decided later to invite other SOAS students - as of course, the enormous interest was not to be anticipated. Since I did not expect that invitation and since it was still the beginning of term with 20 emails a day ("toilet on floor x will be closed due to renovation", "fire alarm will be tested at 11am today", "don't forget to hand in your course sign up sheet" "last tutorial changes allowed THIS friday" and the notorious "SOAS Student Union email"), some departments sending their stuff thrice (in case anybody ignored/filtered it the first time around), I only read the email several hours after registration opened! Rather futile to sign up then. And then they kept sending emails about it which is why I overlooked that there was a separate though related event, namely a Q&A session exclusively for all Development Studies students BEFORE the official lecture for everyone else!!! The subject line was a rather understating "Wednesday DS Seminar with Prof Chomsky". I would definitely have opened the email and read it properly if it would have had a more catchy subject line such as, "Exclusive Q&A session for all Development Studies students with Prof Chomsky". I was so mad, I sent a reply to the person who forwarded the email for the organisers. Seriously, what the hell?!

Prof Chomsky also gave a talk at LSE about "Human Rights in the 21st century"

"Professor Noam Chomsky launched the Centre's autumn events programme with a hugely popular lecture. He spoke to a packed Old Theatre, to a video links in two other theatres and to countless others who watched the lecture being broadcast live on the LSE website."

To see the video, follow the link to LSE Live on this event page and scroll to 29 October 2009.

Finally, for those of you interested in Palestine, he gave a lecture on "Palestine and the region in the Obama era" in the Institute of Education organised by the SOAS (and UCL?) Palestine Society

Couldn't find a vodcast of it but the London Student did an interview with him about the issue which you can read here.

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