Chancellor's Colloquium Distinguished Speaker Series

Great universities are characterized by the many contributions they make to the societies they serve. At UC Davis, those include a regular influx of outstanding thinkers and leaders from a variety of disciplines who will challenge us to see the world in new and creative ways.

We started the Chancellor's Colloquium Distinguished Speaker Series in 2009-2010 to stimulate and engage our campus in constructive conversations about how best to serve a rapidly changing world searching for solutions to complex problems. Sometimes uncomfortable, always thought-provoking, our Colloquium events have been a tremendous source of enrichment to the intellectual life of our campus.  

Now, as we continue to reshape UC Davis as the University of the 21st Century, please join me in welcoming another outstanding and diverse group of scholars to our campus.  As in past Colloquium seasons, these innovative leaders are sure to inspire us to dig more deeply into who we are and find new ways to take advantage of the many opportunities that exist to elevate both our campus community and the world.

These events are free and open to the public.

Upcoming series:


Katherine Butler Schofield and Davesh Soneji (3.7.17)

"Indian Music Between Past and Present: Conversations on Ethics, Archives, and Mortality"

Katherine Butler Schofield is a historian of music in the Mughal empire and the colonial Indian Ocean. Through stories about ill-fated courtesans, overweening ustads, and captivated patrons, she writes on Mughal sovereignty and selfhood, friendship and desire, sympathy and loss, and power, worldly and strange. She has recently finished a €1.2M European Research Council grant, “Musical transitions to European colonialism in the eastern Indian Ocean,” on the ways in which music and dance were transformed c.1750-1900 in the transition to colonial rule in India and the Malay world. Her first book, an edited volume with Francesca Orsini, is Tellings and texts: music, literature, and performance in North India (Open Book, 2015).


Davesh Soneji is Associate Professor of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. For the past two decades, he has produced research that focuses primarily on the performing arts in South India. He is best known for his work on the social history of professional female artists in Tamil and Telugu-speaking South India and is author of Unfinished Gestures: Devadāsīs, Memory, and Modernity in South India (University of Chicago Press, 2012), which was awarded the 2013 Bernard S. Cohn Book Prize from The Association for Asian Studies (AAS). He is also editor of Bharatanatyam: A Reader (Oxford University Press, 2010; 2012) and co-editor, with Indira Viswanathan Peterson, of Performing Pasts: Reinventing the Arts in Modern South India (Oxford, 2008).

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 4 p.m. Larry and Rosalie Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Mondavi Center

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Ken Caldeira (4.19.17)

"Coral Reefs, Ocean Acidification, and Transformation of Global Energy Systems"

Ken Caldeira is a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, where his job is “to make important scientific discoveries.” He also serves as a Professor (by courtesy) in the Stanford University Department of Earth System Science. Among Caldeira’s key contributions to science are his relatively early recognition of the threats posed by ocean acidification, his pioneering investigations into the environmental consequences of intentional intervention in the climate system (“geoengineering”), and the first peer-reviewed study to estimate near-zero-emission energy needs consistent with a 2°C climate stabilization target. He has also played a central role in helping to elucidate what our understanding of long-term geochemical cycles implies for the fate of today’s carbon dioxide emissions. Caldeira co-authored the 2015 U.S. National Academy of Sciences reports on climate geoengineering. In 2010, he was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Caldeira was coordinating lead author of the oceans chapter for the 2005 IPCC report on Carbon Capture and Storage. For the past decade, he has been meeting with Bill Gates a few times each year for learning sessions about climate change and energy. Bill Gates, in his 2016 end-of-year blog post, referred to Ken Caldeira as “my amazing teacher”. Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 4 p.m. Larry and Rosalie Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Mondavi Center.

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