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Edward Said: Public Intellectual

Program #HOVN003. Recorded in Cambridge, MA on October 27, 2010.

From Rousseau to Gramsci to Bertrand Russell and Noam Chomsky intellectuals play vital roles in society. Resisting the lure of power intellectuals question the status quo and conventional thinking. Choices are made of course. Play ball with the establishment and you'll be applauded and honored. Stand in opposition and you risk ostracism and opprobrium. It's a lot easier for some intellectuals to collaborate and support empire by providing sophomoric rationales for imperial policies. Edward Said was not one of those. He felt strongly that intellectuals, because of their privileged position, had a special responsibility to speak out against injustice, challenge power, confront hegemonic thinking and provide alternatives.

Recorded at Harvard.


Nubar Hovsepian

Nubar Hovsepian, born in Egypt, attended the American University of Beirut. He received his PhD from The City University of New York. He is professor of political science and international relations at Chapman University. He is the author of The War on Lebanon and Palestinian State Formation.

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