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Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture in the Sciences and Humanities focuses on Afghanistan, Vietnam wars

September 08, 2010

Judy Holmes
(315) 443-8085

George Packer, critically acclaimed author and staff writer for The New Yorker, will present “An American Dilemma: Obama, Afghanistan and Vietnam” at 4 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 16, in the Watson Theater, Watson Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available for $4 in the Booth Garage.

Packer’s lecture is presented by the Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture in the Sciences and Humanities, the Department of Physics in The College of Arts and Sciences, the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism in the College of Law and Syracuse Symposium 2010, “Conflict: Peace and War.”

An intellectual journalist who combines narrative writing with political thought, Packer has covered the Iraq War for The New Yorker for most of the decade. He wrote “Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009) and “The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006),covering his travels and research in the Middle East and Africa. In an era of sound bites and Twitter feeds, Packer relies on the long-form narrative journalism model to help his readers understand what happened to America and how America has responded, for good or ill. He has also written about the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone, civil unrest in the Ivory Coast, the megacity of Lagos and global counterinsurgency.

His awards include the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award, an Overseas Press Club Book award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Packer served in the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa, and he has taught writing at Harvard, Bennington and Columbia universities.

Wali, distinguished research professor emeritus in the Department of Physics, is internationally recognized for his scholarship in the symmetry properties of fundamental particles and their interactions, and for his work on the physics of music.

The endowed Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture in the Sciences and Humanities was established by Wali’s daughters, Alaka, Achala and Monona, as an expression of their admiration and gratitude for his vision, leadership and dedication to SU and the community.

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