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Edward Said Memorial Lecture: The Palestinian Future after Gaza

Richard Falk (Princeton); Co-sponsor: Heyman Center

Professor Richard Falk, in the 10th annual Said Lecture, focuses on the present reality and future direction of the Palestinian struggle, taking account of the continuing relevance of Edward Said's views of the grounds of a sustainable peace and proceeding from his prophetic premise that the two-state approach should no longer becloud our judgment.

Richard Falk is Albert G. Professor of International Law and Practice Emeritus at Princeton where he was a member of the faculty for 40 years. Since 2002 he has been associated with Global & International Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara as a research professor. He is currently directing “Global Climate Change, Human Security, and Democracy,” a grant-funded research project under the auspices of the Orfalea Center. He has also been associated with two projects that are jointly sponsored by the United Nations University in Tokyo and the Orfalea Center. The first is devoted to “Legality and Legitimacy in Global Politics,” which has resulted in a book to be published by Oxford University Press in 2011. The second is entitled “The World in 2030,” has held two workshops in Delhi, India, and will lead to an edited book publication.

Falk has been Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine for the UN Human Rights Council since 2008, and served on a panel of experts appointed by the President of the UN General Assembly, 2008-2009. He is Chair of the Board of Directors, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, an NGO located in Santa Barbara. He is also a member of the editorial board of several journals and magazines, including the American Journal of International Law, Third World Quarterly, Globalizations, The Nation, and The Progressive. Formerly, he was for many years North American Director of the World Order Models Project.

The Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture, co-sponsored by Columbia's Heyman Center for the Humanities, is given once a year in honor of the public intellectual and literary critic, Edward W. Said, who taught in the English & Comparative Literature Department at Columbia from 1963 until 2003. Professor Said was perhaps best known for his books Orientalism, published in 1978, and Cultural Imperialism, published in 1993, both of which made major contributions to the field of cultural and postcolonial studies. Over the course of his intellectual career, Professor Said became one of the most influential voices on the Arab-Israeli conflict as a spokesperson for the Palestinian people in the West. Along with Daniel Barenboim in 1999, he founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings together musicians from Palestine and Israel and surrounding Arab countries. Professor Said was awarded the Bowdoin Prize by Harvard University, the Lannan Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, among other awards. He was the first person to be awarded the Lionel Trilling Book Award two times.The Annual Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture pays tribute to Professor Said by bringing to Columbia speakers who embody his beliefs and the legacy of his work.