Time: 10:00 – 11:30, January 17, 2013
Location: Moonlight Hall, Ying Jie Exchange Center, Peking University
Guests: Prof. Tu Weiming, Vice-president Li Yansong, Secretary-General of Beijing Forum Yan Jun
Organizers: Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies; World Ethics Institute Beijing; Office of International Relations at Peking University; Beijing Forum
About the speaker:
Michael S. Roth ’78 became the 16th president of Wesleyan University on July 1, 2007. Formerly president of California College of the Arts, Roth is known as a historian, curator and author.
A professor in history and the humanities since 1983, Roth was the founding director of the Scripps College Humanities Institute in Claremont, CA, a center for intellectual exchange across disciplines. He developed a reputation as a leader in the arts community through his accomplishments as associate director of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and his success as President of the California College of the Arts in enhancing that institution’s academic quality, national reputation and financial strength.
Roth describes his scholarly interests as centered on “how people make sense of the past.” He has authored four books: Psycho-Analysis as History: Negation and Freedom in Freud (Cornell University Press, 1987, 1995); Knowing and History: Appropriations of Hegel in Twentieth Century France (Cornell, 1988); The Ironist’s Cage: Trauma, Memory and the Construction of History (Columbia University Press, 1995), and Irresistible Decay: Ruins Reclaimed, with Clare Lyons and Charles Merewether (Getty Research Institute, 1997). This last publication stemmed from the exhibition of the same name that he co-curated for the opening of the Getty Museum. He also curated the blockbuster exhibition Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture, which opened at the Library of Congress in 1998 and garnered praise for its balanced and wide-ranging view of Freud’s intellectual and cultural heritage. The exhibition traveled internationally in subsequent years. Roth has edited and co-edited numerous journal issues and books, including Looking for Los Angeles: Architecture, Film, Photography and the Urban Landscape and Disturbing Remains: Memory, History, and Crisis in the Twentieth Century (both Getty Research Institute, 2001); and in recent years, he has published essays and book reviews in such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, Book Forum, Rethinking History, and Wesleyan’s History and Theory.