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Past Lectures 2013-2014


Thomas Harriot Lecture

Dr. James Shapiro
Shakespeare in America

Dr. James S. Shapiro is the Larry Miller Professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University in the City of New York. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Shapiro received his B.A. from Columbia and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. In 1985, after teaching at Dartmouth and Goucher Colleges, he joined the faculty at Columbia University. Shapiro has also served as a Fulbright Lecturer at Bar Ilan and Tel Aviv Universities and as the Wanamaker Fellow at the Globe Theatre in London.

Shapiro has published widely on Shakespeare and Elizabethan culture. He is author of Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Jonson, Shakespeare (1991); Shakespeare and the Jews (1995); Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play (2000); 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), winner of the Theatre Book Prize as well as the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize; and Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (2010), winner of the Lionel Trilling Award.

Shapiro co-edited the Columbia Anthology of British Poetry and served as the associate editor of the Columbia History of British Poetry. He co-authored and presented a 3-hour BBC documentary, The King and the Playwright (2012). Shapiro has been awarded fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for Humanities, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, the Huntington Library, and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. Shapiro has co-directed two National Endowment for the Humanities Institutes on Shakespeare. He has been awarded the Hoffman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship on Marlowe and the Roland H. Bainton Prize for best book on 16th-century literature.

Shapiro is currently working on a new book, The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606, as well as a Library of America volume entitled, Shakespeare in America. He is a Governor of the Folger Shakespeare Library and on the Board of Directors of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2011, Shapiro was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


The Lawrence F. Brewster Lecture in History

Julian Bond
Civil Rights, Then and Now

GREENVILLE (1/27/2014) — East Carolina University will reschedule the Jan. 28 campus visit by civil rights leader Julian Bond due to expected hazardous weather conditions Tuesday evening. Bond, distinguished professor in the school of government, American University, and emeritus professor of history at the University of Virginia, was set to give a lecture in Wright Auditorium at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The university is working to reschedule the lecture in fall of 2014 and will announce a date as soon as it is confirmed. Ticket holders seeking refunds can call the central ticket office at 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU ARTS. No further schedule changes have been announced at this time.

Julian Bond currently serves as Distinguished Professor in Residence in the Department of Government at American University, Washington, D.C., and as Professor Emeritus, Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia. Bond has been an activist in the civil rights, economic justice, and peace movements since his college years. In 1960, he helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and soon became its communications director. Earlier that year, he helped organize the Atlanta University Center Committee on Appeal for Human Rights which directed several years of nonviolent protests and won, by 1962, integration of Atlanta’s movie theatres, lunch counters, and parks.

Bond served for two decades in the Georgia House and Georgia Senate, drafting more than sixty bills that became law. He served as president of the Atlanta branch of the NAACP for eleven years and in 1998, was elected chair of the NAACP national board and served for eleven terms before stepping down in 2010. He was the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 1968, Bond became the first black person to be nominated for the vice presidency of the United States.

Bond has received the American Civil Liberties Union Bill of Rights Awards from Massachusetts and Georgia, and holds twenty-five honorary degrees. Time magazine has named Bond one of America’s top 200 leaders. Bond has hosted America’s Black Forum, the oldest black-owned show in television syndication, NBC's Saturday Night Live and has narrated numerous documentaries, including the award-winning Eyes on the Prize series. Bond has been a commentator on NBC’s Today show and was the author of Viewpoint, a nationally syndicated newspaper column. A collection of Bond’s essays is published under the title A Time to Speak, A Time to Act. Other poems and articles have appeared in several publications, including the Nation, Life, and the New York Times.


The Jarvis Lecture on Christianity & Culture

Dr. José Casanova
Transformations in American Civil Religion and American Christianity

Lecture Transcript

José Casanova is one of the world's top scholars in the sociology of religion. He is a professor in the Department of Sociology at Georgetown University, and heads the Berkley Center's Program on Globalization, Religion and the Secular. He studied philosophy in Saragossa, Spain, received an M.A. in theology from the University of Innsbruck, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the New School for Social Research. He moved to Georgetown from the New School, where he served as a professor of sociology from 1987-2007. Casanova has published works on a broad range of subjects, including religion and globalization, migration and religious pluralism, transnational religions, and sociological theory. His critically acclaimed work, Public Religions in the Modern World (1994), has become a modern classic in the field and has been translated into five languages, including Arabic and Indonesian.

In that work, Casanova examines how religious traditions around the world, from Islamic fundamentalism to Catholic liberation theology, have made their way, often forcefully, out of the private sphere and into public life, resulting in the de-privatization of religion in the contemporary world. According to Casanova’s analyses, religious institutions no longer simply administer pastoral care to individual souls, but instead are increasingly challenging established social and political frameworks. In this respect, Casanova challenges post-Enlightenment assumptions regarding the relationship between modernity and secularization in religious movements throughout the world.

Casanova’s other publications include “Rethinking Secularization: A Global Comparative Perspective,” The Hedgehog Review (2006) and “The Long Journey of Turkey into Europe and the Dilemmas of European Civilization,” Constellations (2006). In 2012, Casanova was awarded the Theology Prize from the Salzburger Hochschulwochen in recognition of life-long achievement in the field of theology.


The Premiere Lecture

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE
Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute
UN Messenger of Peace
Sowing the Seeds of Hope

Watch the Jane Goodall Lecture On-Demand

Cosponsored by ECU's Office of Research and Graduate Studies, Division of Health Sciences and Academic Affairs.

In July 1960, Jane Goodall began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania. Her work at Gombe Stream would become the foundation of future primatological research and redefine the relationship between humans and animals.

In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. The Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program.

Dr. Goodall founded Roots & Shoots with a group of Tanzanian students in 1991. Today, Roots & Shoots connects hundreds of thousands of youth in more than 120 countries who take action to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment.

Dr. Goodall travels an average of 300 days per year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that humankind will solve the problems it has imposed on the earth.

Dr. Goodall's honors include the French Legion of Honor, the Medal of Tanzania, and Japan's prestigious Kyoto Prize. In 2002, Dr. Goodall was appointed to serve as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and in 2003, she was named a Dame of the British Empire. For more information about Dr. Goodall and the work of the Jane Goodall Institute, please visit

Photo: © Stuart Clarke

Wright Auditorium


Jeffrey S. Johnson,
Ph.D., Director
Harriot Voyages of
Discovery Lecture Series
2147 Bate Building
East Carolina University