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Press Release: Miscellaneous Announcements
Chomsky To Deliver The 2013 Edward W Said Lecture

Posted at 12:33PM Tuesday 11 Dec 2012

Monday 18th March, 7pm

Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ

Tickets: Available now via the Mosaic Rooms,,  £12/£5 conc. 

The A.M. Qattan Foundation are delighted to announce that next year's Edward W Said Lecture will be delivered by the linguist, political theorist and activist, Professor Noam Chomsky.  The subject of his lecture will be Violence & Dignity: Reflections on the Middle East. The lecture, which has traditionally taken place at the British Museum, will be housed in this instance at a new venue, Friends House, to accommodate a larger audience. 

Professor Noam Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today. Author of over 100 books, he is well known for his critique of US foreign Policy, State Capitalism and the mainstream news media, and his work has also been very influential in the fields of computer science, mathematics and psychology. Institute professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he has worked for over 50 years, he has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and is a major figure in the theory of analytic philosophy. 

Chomsky's father was one of the foremost scholars of the Hebrew language and taught at a religious school. Consequently, Chomsky has had a long fascination with and involvement in Zionist politics.  He is highly critical of the policies of Israel towards both the Palestinians and its Arab neighbours. His book The Fateful Triangle is considered one of the premier texts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

"In the American Jewish community, there is little willingness to face the fact that the Palestinian Arabs have suffered a monstrous historical injustice . . . Until this is recognized, discussion of the Middle East crisis cannot even begin". – Noam Chomsky 

Literary critic, writer, activist, and spokesperson for the Palestinian cause, Edward W Said (1935-2003) was one of the most influential intellectuals of his time. His 1978 work Orientalism, an extraordinary study of European ideas about the "Orient", created the field of post-colonial studies and forever changed the face of cultural studies. It sparked a revolution in Middle East studies. Outside his academic work, Said was perhaps best known as the most prominent advocate for the Palestinian people in the West. In this capacity he was independent and free-thinking, insistent on the universalist dimensions of his people's struggle. Never hesitant to criticize Arab regimes, he spoke out against America's wars in the region, while also warning against anti-Semitism among Palestinians. In 1999 he founded The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim, bringing together young musicians from Palestine, Israel and surrounding Arab countries. Projecting a possible Middle Eastern future based on coexistence, equality and shared creativity, Said considered it his most important work. 

The title 'The Edward W Said Lecture' (rather than 'memorial' lecture) is designed to emphasise the forward-looking nature of both Said's work and this venture. It gives his legacy a public platform in the very heart of cultural and intellectual life in the UK. 

Since its launch, the lecture has been sponsored by the A.M. Qattan Foundation, The British Museum and the London Review of Books. Forthcoming confirmed speakers include Naomi Klein (2014) and Daniel Barenboim (2015).  The inaugural lecture was given by Marina Warner in 2010, followed by Professor Rashid Khalidi (2011) and novelist Ahdaf Soueif (2012). 

For more information please contact Helen Barnes or Fiona McMorrough at FMcM on Tel: 0207 4057422 or email: /


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