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“What Would Gandhi Globalize?’ is Oct. 6 URI Honors Colloquium topic

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 25, 2009 – The University of Rhode Island’s Honors Colloquium on Oct. 6 will address the impact of Mahatma Gandhi on India and the world.

Michael Nagler, professor emeritus and founder of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley, will discuss “What Would Gandhi Globalize? India’s Greatest Gift to the 21st Century” at 7:30 p.m. in Room 271 of the Chafee Social Science Center, 10 Chafee Road, Kingston. The lecture, like all programs of the “Demystifying India” series, is free and open to the public.

For the first time, the Honors Colloquium is offering the lectures through live streaming video and podcasts to those who can’t get to the Kingston Campus. You can access the podcasts and streaming video by going to www.uri.edu, and clicking on “Demystifying India”. As a public health precaution, the University asks those with influenza-like symptoms on the day of the event not to attend, but rather watch online.

Nagler, who was also a professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at Berkeley, has become one of the world’s most widely respected peace scholars and activists. He has had a lifelong interest in Gandhi, who was the leader of the Indian nationalist movement against British rule and considered to be the father of his country. His protests began in 1915 and he assumed control of the Indian National Conference in 1921. He was assassinated in 1948. Gandhi remains the central figure in nonviolent protest to achieve political and social progress. Gandhi’s image adorns India’s currency, the rupee. Of course, Gandhi’s ideas of nonviolent protest guided the Civil Rights Movement of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“For the first time in history, Gandhi taught the world how to fight political injustice – on a massive scale – without recourse to violence,” said Nikhilesh Dholakia, URI marketing professor and one of the colloquium coordinators. “Gandhi also foresaw many of the ecological challenges of today, and advocated a system of simple, eco-friendly lifestyles. Professor Michael Nagler would bring to us a contemporary interpretation of Gandhi’s ideas, and suggest new approaches to our persistent problems of global conflict and ecological destruction.”

Nagler is the author of several books, including America Without Violence and The Upanishads. Nagler's most recent book, Is There No Other Way: The Search for a Nonviolent Future, received an American Book Award in 2002. He sits on the editorial board of The Acorn: Journal of the Gandhi-King Society. He also serves on the advisory board of Tikkun magazine.

Nagler has taught various subjects at the university level for the past 40 years, including ancient Greek, comparative literature, religious studies, and peace studies, and continues to teach highly popular courses on nonviolence and meditation at U.C. Berkeley. He is proficient in ancient Greek, Latin and Sanskrit, and speaks French, German, Spanish and Italian. Nagler received his master’s degree and doctorate in Comparative Literature at U.C. Berkeley.

For further details about the colloquium, including an updated schedule and information on parking, go to www.uri.edu/hc or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or debg@uri.edu.

Major colloquium sponsors are: The Honors Program, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, College of Business Administration, College of Arts & Sciences, College of Engineering, Division of University Advancement, The Anthony J. Risica Lecture Series on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and The Village Inn - Narragansett.

Additional sponsors include: College of Human Science and Services, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, Office of the Vice President for Administration, Office of the Vice Provost for Information Technology Services, University College, URI Diversity Week-Multicultural Center, URI Women’s Studies Program, The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment, Kabob N Curry - Providence, and Professor G.S. Verma and Mrs. R. Verma.