Noam Chomsky to speak at UMass Thursday

By Stefan Geller

(Collegian File Photo)

World famous linguist, author, philosopher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and political activist Noam Chomsky will speak at the University of Massachusetts this Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

The event will be held in Mullins Center and is free and open to the public, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

The talk, titled “Prospects for Survival,” is sponsored by the UMass Political Economy Research Institute. According to a UMass press release, the event is being presented as part of the celebration for the newly constructed Crotty Hall, the new home of the department of economics and the first net-zero energy building to be constructed at the University.

“We’re very, very excited. He’s world renowned. [The Political Economy Research Institute] is extremely thrilled to have him here,” said Kim Weinstein, communications director of PERI. “We’re proud to offer him to the UMass community as well as the local community. “He’s an icon.”

Chomsky is currently serving as institute professor and professor of linguistics emeritus at MIT. He has written over 100 books, essays and articles covering topics from linguistics and mass media to war and politics. His most recent volume is called “Who Rules the World?”

“I want to go see him talk because I am not familiar with a lot of his works, but I am familiar with his basic contribution,” said Jon Griffin, a senior psychology major. “I also have a couple linguist friends who have mentioned him in passing and I figured the speakers last year were really good so why not see this one.”

Chomsky was an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War and in 1967 garnered widespread public attention for his anti-war essay, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals.” He is often referred to as the “father of modern linguistics.”

“I’m just looking forward to what he has to say,” Griffin said. “I know he’s a well-established linguist.”

Stefan Geller can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @StefanGeller.