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News from the Hilltop

March 20, 2014

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and Harvard professor to lecture at BSC

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern has invited Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Dr. John Comaroff to address the campus community on Thursday, April 10.Dr. John Comaroff

His lecture "Ethnicity, Inc." will be held at 11 a.m. in the Norton Campus Center Theatre. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

Comaroff is the Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American Studies, and of anthropology, and an Oppenheimer Fellow in African Studies. Before joining the Harvard faculty in 2012, he was Swift Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, where he received a Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Comaroff was Honorary Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cape Town. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In his address "Ethnicity, Inc.," Comaroff will address the politics of cultural identity along with the subtle shift in the nature of ethnicity that has ethnic groups acting like corporations who own a "natural" copyright to their cultural products.

Comaroff has authored and edited several books, including Ethnicity, Inc.; Ethnography and the Historical Imagination; and Of Revelation and Revolution.

He is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and the London School of Economics.

In addition to the public lecture, Comaroff will visit select BSC classes and have informal meals and gatherings with faculty and students on April 10 and 11.

Founded in 1956, the Visiting Scholars Program makes possible the exchange of ideas between some of the nation's most distinguished scholars and resident faculty and students. Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 and is the nation's oldest academic honor society. BSC's Phi Beta Kappa chapter, Beta of Alabama, has been in place at the college since 1937.

For more information regarding the event, call 205/226-4927.

About Birmingham-Southern College:

Birmingham-Southern College is a four-year, private liberal arts institution in Birmingham, Ala., founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It enrolls about 1,200 students from more than 30 states and 16 foreign countries. Learn more online at www.bsc.edu.