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THE CHANCELLOR’S COLLOQUIUM SERIES


In partnership with the Office of Ceremonies and Special Events, the Humanities Institute continued to stage the Chancellor’s Colloquium Series. The distinguished speakers’ series, in its fifth season, continued to provide a forum for discussion around critical topics and engaging issues across higher education, the sciences, engineering, the arts and humanities. The season kicked off in fall 2013 with the dynamic and long-serving former chancellor of UCLA Charles E. Young, also professor emeritus of Political Science and Public Policy at UCLA. In his talk entitled “The University of California: Past, Present and Future,” Young described the disinvestment in education by the state of California and urged attention to expanding access to higher education. Serving for the first time as moderator in an extended Q&A following his brief talk, Chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi had her own opportunity to ask Young about his vision for the future of the public research university. The result was an engaging discussion about the high stakes of shoring up a public education system that has helped make California what it is today.


In partnership with the Mondavi Center’s Artists in Residence program, the colloquium in February 2014 welcomed choreographer and dancer Stephen Petronio, who talked with Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Ralph J. Hexter about his provocative memoir called Confessions of a Motion Addict. The conversation took Petronio from his first days as a college student at Hampshire College and his introduction to dance, through his many successes and accolades, through alcohol addiction and recovery, up to today’s challenges of


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sustaining a productive dance company in the midst of shrinking resources and funding for the arts. All in all, Petronio confessed to enjoying his wild and unpredictable ride and encouraged aspiring performers in the audience to follow their own calling no matter how steep the odds. He was so grateful to continue to have the opportunity to do what he loves.


The season closed in spring 2014 with Henry Jenkins, Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education at the University of Southern California. Over the course of his career, Jenkins has established himself as a preeminent voice in the effort to redefine the role of journalism, scholarship, and consumerism in the digital age. Jenkins has been at the forefront of investigating the concept of “participatory culture,” a system that blurs the line between content providers and consumers. His talk and subsequent conversation with moderator Colin Milburn, professor of English and co-director of the Mellon Research Initiative in Digital Cultures, considered the ways in which social media and other Internet tools have provided today’s youth with new forms of political participation. Jenkins’ survey of these new modes of participatory democracy proved a refreshing counterpoint to recent suggestions by political pundits that low voter turnout has signaled a disaffected and disengaged electorate.


To view the exciting line-up of speakers for the 2014-2015 season, please visit the Chancellor’s Colloquium Series website: chancellor.ucdavis.edu/initiatives/colloquium


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