2017 Yusko Ward-Phillips Lecture: Amitav Ghosh


Location: Jordan Auditorium, Mendoza College of Business

Amitav Ghosh

The English Department is pleased to announce the 2017 Yusko Ward-Phillips Lecture, "War, Race, and Empire in the Anthropocene: Some Occluded Aspects of Climate Change," by acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh. Amitav Ghosh will speak at 4:00 pm Tuesday, April 4, in the Jordan Auditorium of the Mendoza College of Business. The 2017 Yusko Ward-Phillips Lecture is presented jointly as the 23rd Hesburgh Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy for the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. This event is free and open to the public.

While the discussion of climate change has largely been centered in Western universities, Amitav Ghosh addresses how this thinking has skewed the dialogue in certain directions and how dominant frameworks tend to exclude many of the overarching cultural, political, geographical, and historical contexts of global warming.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and by the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters. 

About Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh was born in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and grew up in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. He studied in Delhi, Oxford, and Alexandria and is the author most recently, of The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, a work of nonfiction. His novels include The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique Land, Dancing in Cambodia, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, and The Ibis Trilogy: Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire.

The Circle of Reason was awarded France’s Prix Médicis in 1990, and The Shadow Lines won two prestigious Indian prizes the same year, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Ananda Puraskar. The Calcutta Chromosome won the Arthur C. Clarke award for 1997 and The Glass Palace won the International e-Book Award at the Frankfurt book fair in 2001. In January 2005 The Hungry Tide was awarded the Crossword Book Prize, a major Indian award. His novel, Sea of Poppies (2008) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2008 and was awarded the Crossword Book Prize and the India Plaza Golden Quill Award.

Ghosh’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and he has served on the Jury of the Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland) and the Venice Film Festival (2001). Ghosh's essays have been published in The New Yorker, The New Republic, and The New York Times, and collections of his essays have been published by Penguin India (The Imam and the Indian) and Houghton Mifflin USA (Incendiary Circumstances). He has taught in many universities in India and the USA, including Delhi University, Columbia, Queens College and Harvard. In January 2007 he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest honours, by the President of India. In 2010, Amitav Ghosh was awarded honorary doctorates by Queens College, New York, and the Sorbonne, Paris. Along with Margaret Atwood, he was also a joint winner of a Dan David Award for 2010. In 2011 he was awarded the International Grand Prix of the Blue Metropolis Festival in Montreal.

About the Yusko Ward-Phillips Lecture Series

The Yusko Ward-Phillips Lecture, organized and sponsored each year by the Department of English, honors two devoted and distinguished former professor of English at the University of Notre Dame: Leo L. Ward, C.S.C., and Charles Phillips. Rev. Ward taught at the university and received many honors as a writer of short fiction. A poet, critic, and playwright, Charles Phillips was a faculty member who was instrumental in developing the university’s theater program. The Ward-Phillips Lectures were inaugurated as a lecture series in 1966, and are generously funded by the Yusko Endowment for the Department of English. Past Yusko Ward-Phillips lecturers include Elie Wiesel, Cornel West, Terry Eagleton, Edward Said, Seamus Heaney, Margaret Atwood, Judith Butler, and Bruno Latour.

About the Hesburgh Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy

The annual Hesburgh Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy, established by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies in 1995, honors the late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of Notre Dame, a global champion of peace and justice, and the founder of the Kroc Institute. Each year a distinguished scholar, policymaker, and/or peace advocate is invited by the Kroc Institute director to deliver a major lecture on an issue related to ethics and public policy in the context of peace and justice.