Knowledge at Risk: Managing the Contradictions of the Contemporary University

UCR will host free public lecture by Craig Calhoun

Craig Calhoun

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – The University of California, Riverside Department of Sociology will host a free public lecture by Craig Calhoun, the president of The Berggruen Foundation, and the former director of The London School of Economics and Political Science, on Thursday, Jan. 26.

The lecture is titled, “Knowledge at Risk: Managing the Contradictions of the Contemporary University.” Among other topics, Calhoun will discuss tensions between business and academic values and the costs of marginalizing important disciplines.

“Craig Calhoun is one of the most influential social thinkers,” said Steven Brint, distinguished professor of sociology and public policy and an organizer of the event. “He has been an important advocate of using social science to address issues of public concern. He has had an unparalleled career combining accomplishments as a social scientist with institutional leadership. The lecture should be of interest to all who care about the future of American universities.”

From 1999 to 2012, Calhoun was president of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), where he emphasized the importance of public contributions to social science. He explained his views in his essay “Toward a More Public Social Science,” which first appeared in the SSRC’s 2004 “President’s Report,” and has been translated, reprinted, and widely circulated since. He has written more than 100 scholarly articles and books. Among his most famous is a study of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, “Neither Gods Nor Emperors: Students and the Struggle for Democracy in China.” Calhoun’s work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He was also editor-in-chief of the Oxford Dictionary of the Social Sciences. His recent work has focused on the future of capitalism and on humanitarianism.

Calhoun received his bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and cinema from the University of Southern California. He has master’s degrees in anthropology and sociology from Columbia University, and another in social anthropology from Manchester University. He received his doctorate in sociology and modern social and economic history from Oxford University. He taught at Columbia and New York University, reaching the rank of University Professor before leaving for the London School of Economics.

The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Ideas & Society; the departments of Foreign Languages and Comparative Literature, English, History, and Political Science; the Graduate School of Education; the School of Public Policy; University Honors; the University Librarian; and the Chancellor’s Lecture Fund.

The lecture will take place at the Genomics Auditorium from 1:30-3:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Steven Brint (

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Steven Brint
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