SBS Lecture Series presents: Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky: at the University of Arizona, February 8, 2012

SBS Lecture Series: Noam Chomsky

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona, in collaboration with the Confluence Center for Creative Inquiry (website) and the Department of Linguistics, is pleased to present “An Evening with Noam Chomsky: Education for Whom and for What?"” 

Join Noam Chomsky — a world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist — as he discusses the current state of higher education and answers questions from the audience.

Date:   Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Time:  7:00 pm, doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Location: Centennial Hall, The University of Arizona
Cost:  this event is free and open to the public
Parking:  Parking is available on a pay-per-use basis in the Tyndall Avenue Garage, 880 E. Fourth St.
Map: for a map of the area, please click here
Information:  For additional information, please call 520.626.3846
Security: Backpacks, cameras or signs will not be allowed into the Centennial hall.
Special Simulcast: this lecture will be shown on screen in Chandler (scroll down to bottom of this page for  more info)


About The Lecture

How do we characterize the contemporary state of the American education system? What happens to the quality of education when public universities become more privatized? Are public universities in danger of being converted into facilities that produce graduates-as-commodities for the job market? What is the role of activism in education?  These are questions that Chomsky has been concerned with in recent years. With unprecedented tuition increases and budget struggles occurring across American campuses, these are questions that are more relevant than ever.

The Chomsky lecture kicks off an annual lecture series by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences — “The People College.”

“In addition to our ‘SBS week,’ which includes a weeklong program on a topic, SBS is now offering an annual lecture by a prominent speaker,” said John Paul Jones III, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “Noam Chomsky is not only a giant in the fields of linguistics and cognitive science, but is also a provocative and influential public figure.”

“The Confluence community is really excited about this event,” said director Javier D. Durán. “Noam Chomsky’s life-long trajectory as a scholar of language and as a committed public intellectual resonates highly with Confluence’s core values which emphasize creativity, innovation, collaboration and public engagement. We are delighted to co-sponsor his visit to Tucson.”

Academic Lecture: Noam Chomsky will also be giving an academic lecture titled “What is Special About Language?” on Feb. 7 at 4 p.m. in the Student Union Memorial Center, North Ballroom. Although the lecture is oriented to students and faculty, it is open to the public. Doors open at 3 p.m.

 To read more about Noam Chomsky's connection to the UA linguistics department, click here.

 NOTE:  You do not need tickets or reservations to attend the lectures on the 7th or 8th. It is first-come, first-seated.

About the Speaker


Noam Chomsky
Photo by Donna Coveney


Noam Chomsky is an Institute Professor and a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), where he worked for more than 50 years. Chomsky, who according to The New York Times is “arguably the most important intellectual alive,” is credited with revolutionizing the field of linguistics by introducing the Chomsky hierarchy, generative grammar, and the concept of a universal grammar, which underlies all human speech and is based in the innate structure of the mind/brain. Beyond linguistics, his work has influenced fields such as cognitive science, philosophy, computer science, mathematics, and psychology.

Noam Chomsky has received numerous awards, including the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences, the Helmholtz Medal, the Dorothy Eldridge Peacemaker Award, and the Ben Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science.

Over the years, Chomsky has been a profoundly influential voice, lecturing widely and publishing numerous books on U.S. foreign policy, Mideast politics, and related subjects. In fact, he’s been ranked with Marx, Shakespeare and Aristotle as one of the ten most quoted sources in the humanities, and is the only writer among them still alive.



This special event is supported by: The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Confluence: Center for Creative Inquiry.

In addition to the financial and organizational support provided by the Department of Linguistics, Chomsky’s visit is also underwritten by contributions from the College of Education, Elise Collins Shields and Creston Shields, and the Arizona Daily Star. Additional support comes from the School of Anthropology, the Department of Computer Science, the Cognitive Science Program, the Department of Communication, the School of Geography and Development, the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, the School of Government and Public Policy, the Department of History, the College of Humanities, the School of Journalism, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, the Department of Psychology, the Department of Sociology, and UA BookStores.


Video is now available here for the Feb. 7 lecture "What is Special About Language?"
Video is now available here for the Feb. 8 lecture "Education for Whom and for What?"

Lori Harwood, director of external relations, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 520-626-3846
Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, professor of linguistics and cognitive science, 520-626-6913,
Media interested in interviewing Professor Chomsky should email


Chandler, AZ

If you live in the Phoenix area, you can also view this lecture on a large screen by coming to Chandler City Hall:
Date:   Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Time:  7:00 pm
Location: Chandler City Hall, 175 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler AZ  (NEC Arizona Avenue & Frye Road)
Cost:  this event is free and open to the public
Parking:  Parking is free in the City Hall parking structure just to the south of the building, and surrounding areas
Map: for a map of the area, please click here
Information:  For additional information, please call Christine Mackay, City of Chandler, Economic Development Director at (480) 782-3035


Press (free downloads)

color flyer, public (download Noam Chomsky, University of Arizonapdf file)
color flyer ,academic  (download pdf file) 
black-and-white flyer, public  (download pdf file) 
black-and-white flyer, academic  (download pdf file) 
web graphic, banner  (download jpg, large, small)
web graphic, vertical  (download jpg, large, small)