Dr. Harry Girvetz, Professor of Philosophy, was a major force in shaping the history of the Santa Barbara campus of the University of California. He was a leader in university affairs, a notably successful and influential teacher and an important figure in liberal causes and in Democratic party politics in the West. After taking his A.B. and M.A. degrees at Stanford University, Professor Girvetz received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from UC Berkeley in 1937, and was appointed that same year to the faculty of the then Santa Barbara State College. From the outset, Professor Girvetz won a reputation as one of the most eloquent and effective teachers on campus. As a scholar, Professor Girvetz was an authoritative and widely known exponent of the philosophy of liberalism. Inspired by pragmatism, his ideas were first systematically expounded in From Wealth to Welfare (1950), followed later by The Evolution of Liberalism. In 1973 he published the fruits of his matured reflections on ethical theory, Beyond Right and Wrong. He contributed major entries to the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences and to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Many of Professor Girvetz's most deeply held views about the history and significance of philosophy were embodied in the book, Science, Folklore, and Philosophy, which he edited, and in substantial part wrote. Harry Girvetz's horizons, however, were far broader than the field of philosophy. In his early years at Santa Barbara, Professor Girvetz taught political science, sociology, and history as well as philosophy; and in his later years he was prominent in the tutorial program, offering interdisciplinary colloquia with faculty members from other departments. This breadth of intellectual interests also found expression in three anthologies: Democracy and Elitism; Literature and the Arts: The Moral Issues; and the widely-read Contemporary Moral Issues (1963). Harry Girvetz was a long-time leader in liberal Democratic party circles; he was a member of the California State Democratic Central Committee and a delegate to the party's 1956 National Convention. He served as a research secretary and as a major speech writer for Governor Edmund Brown during 1959-60. He was a leader in forming the local chapter of the Americans for Democratic Action, one of the largest chapters in the state, and he was a key participant in local community planning and in organizations seeking social reform.
2012 - 2013
Dexter Filkins (The New Yorker, author of The Forever War)
Wednesday, January 16 / 8:00 PM
Campbell Hall – FREE
Dexter Filkins is one of the most respected combat journalists of his generation. His 2008 book, The Forever War, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book and was named a best book of the year by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time and the Boston Globe. As part of a team of New York Times reporters, Filkins won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for dispatches from Pakistan and Afghanistan. In this lecture, he will retrace the seven years he spent covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, using vivid images by some of the best photojournalists working today. Filkins’ intimate knowledge of many of the main actors – American, Iraqi and Afghan – in two of the most polarizing wars in American history gives him a unique perspective on these contemporary conflicts.
Filkins has been a member of the staff of The New Yorker since January of 2011. Before coming to The New Yorker, he was a reporter for the New York Times since 2000, reporting from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. He has also worked for the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times, where he was chief of the paper’s New Delhi bureau. Filkins was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2006-07 and a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2007-08.
Copies of The Forever War will be available for purchase and signing at the event, courtesy of Chaucer’s Books.
Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War and the IHC Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment.
2011 - 2012
Edward Soja (Urban Planning, UCLA)
Thursday, January 19 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Center, 6020 HSSB
In his 2010 book Seeking Spatial Justice, from which this lecture will be drawn, Soja argues that justice has a geography and that the equitable distribution of resources, services, and access is a basic human right. Building on current concerns in critical geography and the new spatial consciousness, Soja interweaves theory and practice, offering new ways of understanding and changing the unjust geographies in which we live. After tracing the evolution of spatial justice and the closely related notion of the right to the city in the influential work of Henri Lefebvre, David Harvey, and others, he demonstrates how these ideas are now being applied through a series of case studies in Los Angeles, the city at the forefront of this movement. Edward Soja is the Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and for many years was Centennial Visiting Professor in the Cities Programme, London School of Economics. He is the author of Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Theory, Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places, and Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment as part of its Public Goods series.
2009 - 2010
Christopher Newfield (English, UCSB)
Wednesday, May 12 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB
History is replete with nations that declined because their leaders gradually undermined their own best institutions. The U.S. now appears to be doing this to its exemplary higher education system, with the University of California serving as Exhibit A. This lecture will look at the contradictions within the American funding model for higher education, and discuss three major symptoms: reduced affordability for students, the loss of US educational preeminence in 20 years, and underdeveloped social and cultural disciplines. It will also suggest two major steps through which the decline of public higher education could be reversed. Professor Newfield has offered an authoritative view of UC Budget issues and the funding shortfall crisis on his blog: http://utotherescue.blogspot.com
Sponsored by the Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment and the IHC’s Future of the University Series.