Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar: Dr. Lydia Liu

In a special lecture titled “Who Owns Great Ideas?” Dr. Liu will discuss the future of moral ideas in an increasingly multipolar world.
Oct. 19, 2017
4:45 pm
Hostetter Lecture Room (209), Stratton Hall

The Wells College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa welcomes the 2017 Visiting Scholar, Dr. Lydia Liu of Columbia University. Dr. Liu will give a talk titled ""Who Owns Great Ideas?" at 4:30 pm, Thursday, October 19, in the Hostetter Lecture Room (209) of Stratton Hall. This event is free, and all are welcome.

The struggle over moral ideas has been an essential part of international politics in the modern world but, unfortunately, this process remains poorly understood. Are there universally shared moral sentiments across civilizations? Is cultural relativism trustworthy? What does cultural relativism include or exclude? Take the notion of “human rights.” Is this a Western idea? In Dr. Liu's lecture, she will open up some of these issues by revisiting the UN archives relating to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in the immediate postwar years and conclude by reflecting on the future of moral ideas in the increasingly multipolar world of the 21st century.

Dr. Lydia Liu is a theorist of media and translation, a professor of comparative literature, and a bilingual writer in Chinese and English. She is Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities, director of Columbia’s Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and founding director of the Tsinghua-Columbia Center for Translingual and Transcultural Studies at Tsinghua University, Beijing. Her publications include The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious; The Clash of Empires: The Invention of China in Modern World Making; Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity; and, more recently, The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory (co-editor/co-translator). As a creative writer in Chinese, she is the author of The Nesbit Code, a mock detective story.

Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the institution by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students. The 15 men and women participating during 2017-2018 will visit 110 colleges and universities with chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, spending two days on each campus and taking full part in the academic life of the institution. They will meet informally with students and faculty members, participate in classroom discussions and seminars, and give a lecture open to the university/college community and the general public.

Read more about Phi Beta Kappa at Wells.

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