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Professorial Lecture Series to link town and gown

Professorial Lecture Series a new initiative to link town and gown

The 2005 Professorial Lecture Series gets under way next week at the University of Canterbury.

The inaugural lecture series was initiated as a way to make the expertise of new professors at the University accessible to a wide audience.

The seven fortnightly lectures in the 2005 series are tailored to the general public rather than to a specific academic audience and each professor has chosen a theme from their most significant area of study. It is intended that the Professorial Lecture Series will be an annual event.

“We see this as an important town-gown initiative bringing people out to campus and making the expertise and knowledge of our professorial staff available,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Sharp.

“It is not just an interface between the University of Canterbury and the wider Christchurch community but a chance for those in other disciplines and colleges in the University to learn about the work of their fellow staff. For engineers to be listening to the artists, classicists listening to scientists, and vice versa.”

Following each 45-minute Wednesday evening talk there will be opportunity for questions and the chance to chat informally with University staff over refreshments.

The first free public lecture will be delivered on 17 August at 6pm in Lecture Theatre 108 in the School of Law, on University Drive. It will be delivered by Professor Desmond Rochfort (Fine Arts) on the topic of “The politics of painting – the painting of politics!”.

Professor Rochfort took up his position as Head of the School of Fine Arts in February this year. He is acknowledged as one of the leading international scholars on the history of Mexican mural paintings and his books and articles on the mural movement have been widely published. He is also an accomplished muralist and has executed a number of Britain's most important and well-known mural commissions.

In his lecture Professor Rochfort will examine one of the great political murals of the 20th century, The History of Mexico, created by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera at the National Palace in Mexico City from 1929 to 1934.

The other speakers in the series who will speak in coming months are: Professor Graham Zanker (Classics) The Greek Island of Cos, its literature and art: cycles in a scholar's life (7 September); Professor David Schiel (Biological Sciences) Coastal marine ecology: of seaweeds, scales and fish tales (21 September); Professor Howard McNaughton (Cultural Studies) Local Drama, Global Production: Possibilities and Paradoxes (5 October); Professor Dave Kelly (Biological Sciences) Serendipity and competitive advantage: how New Zealand snow tussocks taught the world a lesson (19 October) Professor John Gibson (Economics) To eradicate poverty first we have to measure it (2 November); and Professor Simon Kemp (Psychology) How valuable to us are Government services (16 November).

More information on these lectures, including maps and details of times and venues, will be available leading up to each and will be posted on the UC website.


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