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UIC News Tips
University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456, www.uic.edu/depts/paff

November 20, 2001 Contact: Anne Dybek, (312) 996-8279, adybek@uic.edu


What role should intellectuals play in public life?

Beginning this spring, undergraduates at the University of Illinois at Chicago will search for answers as they study the perceived gap between the disciplines of academia and the non-academic public.

Three leading intellectuals will serve as guest instructors for a new course titled "The University and the Public Sphere: Public Intellectuals and Their Social Influence." Each will give one public lecture at UIC and another elsewhere in Chicago.

"One of the course's primary goals will be to raise such questions as who counts as a public intellectual and what public intellectuals can or can't do to influence society and bring about social change," said Stanley Fish, course instructor and dean of the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "The course will attend to the theory and the practice of doing intellectual work in the non-academic public sphere and explore the possibilities and limits of such work."

UIC will host a nationwide conference on public intellectuals in conjunction with this course.

Guest instructors for the new course will be:

  • Barbara Ehrenreich - author of numerous books and articles on a wide variety of social policy issues including war, feminism and economic policy.

  • Phillip Brian Harper - professor of English and American studies at New York University and a leading figure in contemporary American cultural criticism, with emphases in African-American and queer studies.

  • Richard Rorty - widely known author and philosopher and professor of comparative literature at Stanford University.

"This course will also feature visits from other distinguished faculty and community members actively engaged in designing and redesigning their society," said Fish. "The hope is to open a dialogue between intellectuals, activists and students."

For further information, contact (312) 413-2518. This course is made possible by the Center for Public Intellectuals in Evanston, Ill.

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