American University of Beirut

Lecture Highlights

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Through our lecture series, CASAR creates regular opportunities for intellectual exchange between members of the AUB community and visiting lecturers from all over the world. We host approximately twenty lectures and events per year that range widely in subject matter, encompassing traditional scholarship, the arts, and journalism. The events that occur as part of our lecture series also vary in format and medium, with some speakers presenting as individuals and others taking part in roundtables or panels. Some speakers simply deliver an academic paper, while others, such as​ pianist Marcel Worms in "New Blues for Piano," and author Patricia Sarrafian Ward in "Artist's Book Workshop," offer performative or interactive elements. ​In addition to the highlights provided below, a few notable lectures that have been given over the years include "The Great Soul of Power," by Noam Chomsky; "Translating Islam," by Joseph Massad; and "Bricktops Paris: African American Women Expatriates In Jazz Age Paris,​" by Tracy Sharpley-Whiting. The videos below have been selected to give you a sense of the range of speakers that CASAR has invited to AUB over the years. To peruse a more extensive compilation of CASAR lectures visit our youtube playlist​. For information on upcoming lectures and other events at CASAR please click here​.

Benjamin Franklin: Media Entrepreneur in the Republic of Letters—Martin Puchner, February 5, 2018

Esteemed scholar of English and Comparative literature at Harvard University, Puchner's work focuses on modernism, drama, literary theory, and world literature. He is perhaps most notable for his sweeping insight into shifting literary aesthetic forms from the invention of writing to the internet, as evidenced in his most recent book, The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization.

​​​​​Uncivil Rights: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom—Steven Salaita, September 14, 2015.

An American scholar and former Edward Said Chair of American studies at AUB, Salaita is best​ known for his work in indigenous and Arab-American literary studies, drawing parallels between American and Israeli settler-colonialism, and for his criticism of academic censorship in the United States. To see part two of this lecture, please click here​.

​Everyone's a Target: NSA's Mass Surveillance and Cyber Warfare in the Middle East—James Bamford, March 2, 2015

Bamford is an American author and journalist best known for his work on U.S. intelligence agencies. In addition to several books and articles for The New York TimesThe AtlanticHarpers and other publications, Bamford famously conducted the lengthiest in-person interview to date with NSA whistle-blower, Edward Snowden, for Wired Magazine. 

Hip Hop and Global Culture—Chuck D, May 15, 2014

Chuck D is an American rapper, author, and producer, best known as leader of influential rap group Public Enemy. 

​​​Sensing Distance: The Time and Space of Air Power—Caren Kaplan, April 16, 2013

Professor of American studies, at the University of California, Davis, Kaplan's theoretical work has been influential in the fields of  women's studies, cultural studies, and science and technology studies because of her insight into how the technologies of (post-)modern globalization, communication, and movement have changed the nature of identity and power in the contemporary moment.

United States Spring: the Self-Emancipation of Slaves and the Spread of Jubilee after the Civil Wa​r—David Roediger, May 24, 2012

American scholar of History and African American Studies at the University of Kansas​, David Roediger is best known for his work on the interplay of racial identity with the history of labor and radicalism in the American South.

​​U.S. Media Regimes, Democracy and the New Information Environment—Michael Delli Carpini, March 6, 2012

Miachel Delli Carpini​ is the dean of Annenberg school of communication​​ at the University of Pennsylvania and a celebrated scholar of political science and communications. His work focuses on the relationship between media, public opinion, political knowledge, and democratic engagement. 

Poems and Comments on Arab American Literature—Lisa Suhair Majaj, February 16, 2011

A Palestinian-American poet and scholar, Majaj is best known for her award-winning book of poetry, Geographies of Light, and for her critical writing on Arab and Arab-American women writers.

Ghetto Celebrity in the Global Village—Henry Chalfant​, November 30, 2010

An American photographer and videographer, Henry Chalfant is best known for his work documenting graffiti, breakdancing, and hip hop culture. His book Graffiti Archive, a work of visual anthropology, has been lauded as a “one of the seminal documents of American popular culture in the late twentieth century." 

​Imperial Remains: Langston Hughes and the Spanish Trace in the Black American Imaginary—Robert Reid-Pharr, March 29, 2010

Professor of gender and women's studies at Harvard University, Reid-Pharr is best known for his theoretical insights into race, gender, sexuality, transnationalism, postcolonialism, and the global in his readings of early to contemporary American literature, film, and visual art. 

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