Leading thinker Noam Chomsky to give lecture in Durham

Political theorist Noam Chomsky will address the question of global significance at Durham Castle later this month

Political theorist Noam Chomsky
Political theorist Noam Chomsky

One of the world’s most respected intellectuals and controversial thinkers will give his sought-after views to a sold out North East audience later this month.

Political theorist Noam Chomsky, who for years was among the top 10 most quoted academics on the planet, will address the question of global significance at Durham Castle next Thursday.

The popular event is already oversubscribed and will take place across two different venues. The first 200 tickets have been allocated for the castle’s Great Hall where Professor Chomsky will be speaking live. A second 250 seats have been sold for the Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre, where Chomsky’s lecture will be live streamed.

An unrelenting critic of US foreign policy since the 1960s, much of Chomsky’s intellectual life has been spent stripping away what he calls America’s “flattering self-image” and the layers of propaganda he says it uses to mask its pursuit of power and profit around the world.

Now aged 85, Chomsky is still in demand across the world as a public speaker.

He maintains a punishing work schedule that requires him to write, lecture and personally answer thousands of emails that flood into his account every week. He is professor emeritus of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, where he has been based for nearly 60 years.

Chomsky has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, contemporary issues, international affairs and US foreign policy. He recently and controversially revealed his support for a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence.

In an interview with Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Chomsky said he had “been following the debate with interest”, adding that he was continuing to look into the details and consequences of a Yes vote.

The academic will speak as part of Durham University’s University College lecture series.

Patrick Knaap, deputy governor of Durham Castle Lecture Series, said: “One of the most exciting developments at University College over the past few years has been the Durham Castle Lecture Series.

“Using the spectacular 14th Century Great Hall as a venue, speakers from a range of fields have delivered a series of lectures which have been incisive, outspoken, informative, and at times, electrifying.

“Obviously we’re delighted to have Professor Chomsky at the castle. He’s one of the most important academics of his time, not only as a linguist but also as a philosopher.

“The brilliant thing about Professor Chomsky is he speaks to everyone and is very involved with the students and with the younger generation. He wouldn’t think twice about going up to a student and sharing his views, which is fantastic for us as an educational institution.”

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