Ioan Davies Memorial Lecture to take place at Congress

In a change from its usual appearance each fall at York’s Keele campus, the 2006 Ioan Davies Memorial Lecture will be presented instead this spring to coincide with the annual meeting of the Canadian Communications Association during the 75th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences being held at York May 27 to June 3.

World-renowned novelist, essayist, activist Terry Eagleton (right), professor of literary and cultural theory at the University of Manchester, will present the lecture on June 2 at 4pm, in the Computer Science & Engineering Bldg., Lecture Hall A, on York’s Keele campus.

Eagleton began his distinguished academic career with an interest in 19th- and 20th- century literature, but is best known as one of the leading voices in cultural theory of our time. His lecture, titled “From Celts to Catastrophe”, promises to inspire with his prolific and eclectic thought, which ranges from his early explorations of the relationship between politics and theology, to the Marxist tradition in critical theory, to Irish literature and social history.

The author of numerous scholarly and creative works, including Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), The Illusions of the Postmodern (1996), The Idea of Culture (2000) and After Theory (2003), Eagleton is also a regular contributor to The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom and the political and cultural affairs magazines, The New Statesman and Red Pepper. His most recent book, Holy Terror (Oxford University Press 2005), explores the idea of terror as it extends from the events of Sept. 11, 2001, to the French Revolution and beyond to the rites and rituals of the ancient world.

The Ioan Davies Memorial Lecture series brings prominent international thinkers to York University each year to present their views on culture, democracy and society in changing global contexts. The lecture series and annual graduate scholarship in Communication and Culture are named for the late Ioan Davies.

About Ioan Davies

A prolific thinker in his own right, Ioan Davies taught at York University from 1972 until his sudden death on Feb. 15, 2000. He helped establish the African Studies Program, the Graduate Program in Social & Political Thought, and the Joint Graduate Program in Communications & Culture.

Right: Ioan Davies

Davies, whose memory is honoured by the annual lecture, taught graduate courses on aesthetics and contemporary critical theory in the Department of Social & Political Thought in York’s Faculty of Arts. Davies explored art and popular culture in terms of what kinds of opportunities they offer for common political action.

Along with his distinguished academic career, Davies was also a journalist, managing editor and founder of the journal border/lines, and author of several works of fiction. He explored links between cultural expression, everyday life and political practice in his books, Cultural Studies and Beyond: Fragments of Empire (Routledge, 1995), Writers in Prison (Blackwell, 1990) and Social Mobility and Political Change (Pall Mall, 1970).