UCA News

UCA To Host Best-selling Author Michael Eric Dyson For Speakers Forum And Lecture

CONWAY — The University of Central Arkansas will host Dr. Michael Eric Dyson for a speakers forum and keynote address on Monday, April 15, in McCastlain Ballroom on the UCA campus.

Dyson’s appearance at UCA will begin at 2:15 p.m. in McCastlain Ballroom with the Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology Honors Society (AKD) Speakers Forum. The forum’s topic, “Fake News, Public Discourse, and Seeking Truth in America,” will feature Dyson in conversation with Dr. Heather Yates, UCA assistant professor of political science. A Q&A session will follow.

Michael Eric Dyson
Michael Eric Dyson

Later, starting at 7 p.m., Dyson will deliver a keynote address to the public in McCastlain Ballroom, expanding on the forum topic of seeking truth in the current political and cultural climate. Both the afternoon forum and the evening address are free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to RSVP at uca.edu/sociology/news/.

Dyson is a Georgetown University sociology professor, but his influence has spread far beyond the academy. For the last quarter of a century, Dyson has enlivened public debate across the media landscape as an acclaimed author of 19 books, highly sought after lecturer, and national media fixture. As for Dyson’s latest book, “What Truth Sounds Like,” The Washington Post states that it is passionately written and that “Dyson’s larger purpose is to reflect on the relevance of the dynamic it represented ― speaking truth to power ― in the current racial and political climate.” Dyson’s remarkable ascent ― from a factory worker who didn’t start college until he was 21 to a Princeton Ph.D. ― may help explain why writer Naomi Wolf terms him “the ideal public intellectual of our time.”

“Having an engaging speaker and scholar like Dr. Dyson come to UCA is an extraordinary opportunity for all of us at UCA and the surrounding community,” said Dr. Douglas George, UCA associate professor of sociology and AKD faculty adviser. “Everyone needs to come hear him speak. I promise you he is going to challenge us to do better but at the same time offer us hope.”

The speaker’s forum is part of a research and service project on the spread of deceptive information online and what can be done about it, initiated by a UCA AKD research team. “The project serves to not only showcase the educational achievements of UCA students,” said George, “but a real desire of UCA students to help engage the community on a pressing issue of the day. I am constantly impressed with what our students can accomplish.”

Co-sponsors of the event are the UCA Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Anthropology, UCA NAACP, UCA Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the UCA College of Liberal Arts and the UCA Office of the Provost.

The event is funded in part by the UCA Student Government Association, a grant from the UCA Foundation and a Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

For more information about Dyson’s visit, contact George at dougg@uca.edu or Dr. Ed Powers at epowers@uca.edu, or call (501) 450-3178. RSVP for both events at uca.edu/sociology/news/.

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