Campus News

U. of Chicago linguistics prof will give Snyder Lecture

Though University of Chicago professor Salikoko S. Mufwene teaches linguistics, the globalization-themed speech he plans to give at the 14th Annual Darl Snyder Lecture will have broad appeal, he says. The lecture will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

“Is globalization as recent a phenomenon as economists have led us to believe?” he asks, listing a few of the questions his speech will cover. “How many interpretations of ‘globalization’ are there? Isn’t it justified to interpret international globalization as a new form of exploitation colonization?…Is it true that only ‘indigenous’ languages and culture have been threatened by English and by the Americanization of the world?…How can sub–Saharan Africa help us address all these questions and more?

“The significance of these questions is beyond linguistics,” says Mufwene, who holds the Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professorship. “I will address them in ways that are informative to whoever is interested in the phenomenon of globalization and its impact around the world.”

The annual Snyder lecture, hosted by the African Studies Institute and co-sponsored by the Office of International Public Service and Outreach and the African-American Studies Institute, brings Africanists to interact with students earning a certificate in African studies. The lecture series was established in 1992 in honor of emeritus professor Darl Snyder, who helped establish African studies at UGA and was associate vice president for public service and outreach when he retired that same year.

The Snyder lecture also kicks off a weekend symposium. The African Studies Institute and the Department of International Affairs will host “Democracy and Culture: An African Perspective” Feb. 16-17 at the Georgia Center. 

Michael Bratton, a political science and African studies professor at Michigan State University, will be the keynote speaker at the symposium. Bratton is the founder and director of the Afrobarometer, an international survey research project that measures public opinion on democracy, markets and civil society in 18 African countries. In 2004, the Afrobarometer was honored for having the best data set by the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.

The conference is open to the public and free to students, but registration is $20 to non-students who are not registered by the morning of the conference.