It was no simple task for philosophy department chair Dave Boersema to schedule Noam Chomsky’s upcoming lecture at Pacific.
Boersema first started contacting Chomsky in 2003, asking if he was willing to hold a lecture at Pacific, and after that, his requests became regular. When Chomsky did finally agree, Boersema called it nothing more than a “favor.”
The renowned philosopher’s free lecture “Prospects for Peace in the Middle East” will be held in the Stoller Center on April 20 at noon.
After hearing Chomsky’s topic choice for the event, Boersema said he was pleasantly surprised. He is confident that since this topic is not strictly academic and relevant to current headlines, it will have a “broad appeal to the audience.” With a topic that affects both those on and off campus, Boersema said he sees the lecture as beneficial to not only students, but the community as a whole.
Boersema also said that Chomsky is an ideal speaker for the campus because the philosopher’s work ”ripples throughout academia.”
Not only is Chomsky considered one of the fathers of modern linguistics, but he is well known for his contributions to the world of cognitive science.
Chomsky has authored more than 150 books and received honorary degrees from universities all around the globe. Chomsky’s strengths of political and social commentary will definitely play a large role in the upcoming lecture, according to Boersema.
Apart from being an inspiration to the academic lives of Pacific students, Boersema said he hopes that the audience will take something away from Chomsky’s overall dedication and passion.
82-year-old Chomsky still chooses to tour and do lectures like the one to be held at Pacific when he has been eligible for retirement for years.
Boersema hopes that his students will see this as an example to follow of “someone impassioned about what they do.” The time will not be only be one to learn about the current and future state of the Middle East, but also a time in which Boersema is “hoping who [Chomsky] is as a person comes out.”
Chomsky’s lecture is open to the public and will begin at noon. A question and discussion period will be held afterward.