Possible Worlds is a new partnership between the UCLA Division of Humanities and the Los Angeles–based Berggruen Institute. This semiannual lecture series invites some of today’s most imaginative intellectual leaders and creators to deliver talks on the future of humanity. Through the lens of their singular achievements and experiences, these trailblazers in creativity, innovation, philosophy and politics will lecture on provocative topics that explore current challenges and transformations in human progress.
UCLA faculty and students have long been at the forefront of interpreting the world’s legacy of language, literature, art and science. UCLA Humanities serves a vital role in readying future leaders to articulate their thoughts with clarity and imagination, to interpret the world of ideas, and to live as informed citizens in an increasingly complex world. We are proud to be partnering in this lecture series with the Berggruen Institute, whose work addresses the “Great Transformations” taking place in technology and culture, politics and economics, global power arrangements, and even how we perceive ourselves as humans. The Institute seeks to connect deep thought in the human sciences — philosophy and culture — to the pursuit of practical improvements in governance.
A selection committee comprising representatives of UCLA and the Berggruen Institute has been formed to make recommendations for lecturers. The committee includes:
- Ursula Heise, Professor and Chair, Department of English; Professor, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; Marcia H. Howard Term Chair in Literary Studies
- Pamela Hieronymi, Professor of Philosophy
- Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Professor of Urban Planning; Associate Provost for Academic Planning
- Todd Presner, Associate Dean, Digital Initiatives; Chair of the Digital Humanities Program; Michael and Irene Ross Endowed Chair of Yiddish Studies; Professor of Germanic Languages and Comparative Literature
- Lynn Vavreck, Professor, Department of Political Science; Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy
- David Schaberg, Senior Dean of the UCLA College; Dean of Humanities; Professor, Asian Languages & Cultures
- Nils Gilman, Vice President of Programs, the Berggruen Institute