EVENT: Having recently joined Scholars at Risk, UCI is hosting a celebration dedicated to Turkish and Syrian academics and their students. Renowned Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, UCI Distinguished Professor of comparative literature and English, will deliver a keynote address after a themed luncheon and Middle Eastern music.

WHEN/WHERE: Noon-4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, Humanities Gateway 1030 (bldg. 611, grid E7 on campus map)

INFORMATION: The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available for $10 in the Mesa Parking Structure (grid C7 on campus map). Lunch is by RSVP only http://illuminations.uci.edu/events/2017_10_20_Scholars_at_Risk.html. Media planning to attend should contact Annabel Adams at 949-824-8925 or amadams@uci.edu. Parking is complimentary for media who RSVP in advance. 

HIGHIGHTS:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Noon:           Welcome from Jane O. Newman, UCI professor of comparative literature and European languages & studies and the campus’s primary SAR representative, and UCI Dali Lama Dalai Lama Scholar Iman Siddiqi; lunch, by chef Jessica VanRoo and “Conversation Kitchen,” featuring the foods of Syria and Turkey

12:45 p.m.  Middle Eastern musical entertainment by Gabriel Lavin & Friends

1:30 p.m.   “Hunted Scholarship: How Fugitive Ideas Change the World,” by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, introduced by David Lloyd, Distinguished Professor of English at UC Riverside

3 p.m.         Remarks from Amal Alachkar, UCI associate adjunct professor of pharmacology, and Ashley Barton, a student at Wake Forest University’s School of Law

3:30 p.m.   Closing musical interlude

BACKGROUND: Scholars at Risk is a network of more than 400 higher education institutions in 39 countries working to protect persecuted scholars by offering temporary research and teaching positions; monitoring and advocating against attacks on higher education; and conducting learning initiatives to promote academic freedom.

“By joining SAR, we stand in solidarity with educators, researchers and students around the world who are threatened for peacefully expressing ideas and asking questions,” Newman said. “Academic freedom is a fundamental necessity for democracy, so I am thrilled that UCI is committed to ensuring its survival both globally and at home.”

The event is sponsored by UCI’s Office of the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor, Illuminations initiative, Department of Comparative Literature, School of Social Sciences, School of Humanities, and Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture & Inclusion.