Acclaimed writer Amitav Ghosh will discuss his latest nonfiction work, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, as the annual Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Visiting Lecture at 7 p.m., Mon., March 27 in Colton Chapel, Lafayette College. A question-and-answer session, reception and book signing will follow. The talk is free and open to the public.
Ghosh examines our inability—at the level of literature, history, and politics—to grasp the scale and impact of climate change. The extreme nature of today’s climate events, he asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. Ghosh challenges us to address “perhaps the most important question ever to confront culture,” asking “Are we deranged? Future generations may well think so.” His book serves as a summons to writers, scholars and policy makers to confront the issues and shift the global conversation.
In anticipation of Amitav Ghosh’s visit, Prof. Neha Vora and Prof. Bill Bissell in Lafayette’s Department of Anthropology and Sociology will present a reading discussion of the “History” section of The Great Derangement at 4:10 p.m., Thurs., March 23 in the Gendebien Room of Skillman Library. The public may attend free of charge.
Ghosh is author and novelist of numerous award-winning works, including The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique Land, Dancing in Cambodia, The Calcutta Chromosome, and The Ibis Trilogy consisting of the novels Sea of Poppies (2008), River of Smoke (2011) and Flood of Fire (2015).
His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, and The New York Times, and has been translated into more than 35 languages. He has taught at Delhi University, Columbia, Queens College, and Harvard.
Ghosh is the recipient of the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest honors, bestowed by the president of India. He received the Dan David Prize in recognition of outstanding scientific, technological, cultural, or social impact on the world, and the Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix for lifetime achievement.
The Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Visiting Lecture Series was founded by Trustee Emeritus Thomas Roy Jones in 1973 to provide Lafayette students with the opportunity to hear presentations by and interact with individuals of exemplary accomplishment in the academic world or in public life. Past lecturers include Elizabeth Kolbert, Jane Goodall and Stephen Sondheim among others.
For more information, contact the Office of the President, 610-330-5200.
Photos: Courtesy of Lafayette College
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