Professor Chomsky coming to Taiwan: Exclusive mini-interview!

Prof. Noam Chomsky, Ross and Trista di Genova

By Trista di Genova
Wild East news desk

Taipei MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, celebrated linguist, philosopher and cognitive scientist, is visiting Taiwan next month to deliver a special lecture, “Contours of World Order: Continuities and Changes” at Academia Sinica, the nation’s premiere research institution, on Monday, August 9, and “Poverty of Stimulus: The Unfinished Business” at National Tsing Hua University on Aug. 10th.

The three-day visit is the cultural icon’s first to the island, he said by email (7/21), and his first to China. He wrote that originally he planned a trip to China to attend an international conference on linguistics and other events there, and put Taiwan in his itinerary for “lectures on the way.”

Professor Chomsky said he experienced “No visa problems” for his Taiwan/China trip. “Can’t comment usefully on cross-strait relations,” he added, although this may be a positive reflection on the state of cross-strait relations, especially in light of the fact in May he was barred from entering Israel from Jordan to speak at a university in the occupied West Bank.

What would he like to learn from this trip to our beautiful island of Formosa? “Probably won’t have much time to learn much,” he wrote, “maybe preparation for longer visit.”

Chomsky one of the most respected intellectuals in the world and author of a gazillion books and essays (!) ranging from linguistics to foreign policy analysis, including The Responsibility of Intellectuals (1969), which made him one of the leading opponents of the Vietnam War, and Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), co-written with Edward S. Herman, which articulated the propaganda model theory for examining the media.

Arts and Humanities Citation Index found Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar during the 1980–92 period, and is the eighth most-cited source.

According to the International Affairs Office, Professor Chomsky was invited by the Academy’s President Chi-huey Wong (PhD, Chemistry, MIT 1982), upon the recommendation of Professor of Linguistics C.-T. James Huang of Harvard University, a colleague of Prof. Chomsky’s in Massachusetts.

While in Taiwan, Prof. Chomsky will attend a reception co-hosted by Academia Sinica and the MIT Club in Taipei and visit the National Palace Museum to meet with scholars at the museum’s restaurant. Then our venerable guest heads to China, to speak at Beijing University and other academic institutions, with plans to visit cultural landmarks in Xian and other cities.

Registration online is limited, but Wild East readers who are unable to attend are invited to send us your questions to be posed to the Professor, in the comment section below.

“Contours of World Order: Continuities and Changes”
with Dr. Noam Chomsky

Venue: International Conference Hall (3F),
Building for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica -中央研究院人文社會科學館3樓國際會議廳
Time: 15:30-17:00, August 9, 2010 (Monday)
Time: August 9, 2010 (Monday) 15:30-17:00
Online registration

Lecture (B)
Time: August 10, 2010 (Tuesday) 10:30-12:00
Topic: Poverty of Stimulus: The Unfinished Business
Venue: Sun Yun-suan Lecture Hall, TSMC Building, National Tsing Hua University
Online registration

Organizer: Academia Sinica
Co-organizer: National Tsing Hua University Tel: (03) 571-8615
Sponsor: Yu, Chi-Chung Cultural & Educational Foundation
Contact: International Affairs Office, Academia Sinica Tel: (02) 2789-9895
Release Unit : International Affairs Office

See the next article in this series: Chomsky’s Appeal: Speaking Scientifically to the Power of Truth

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