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Gandhi-King Lecture Series on International Relations and Peace Studies

Visions of Justice: Gandhi at 150

2019 marks 150 years since the birth of Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi. Known worldwide for his approach to resisting British colonialism with nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi’s philosophy has also had a profound influence on figures like Martin Luther King, Jr. It is important that, 150 years after his birth, we celebrate and contemplate Gandhi the teacher, the activist, the scholar and the humanitarian in a way that provides a rich, full perspective on his life, work and legacy. This year, the Eberly College's Gandhi-King Lecture Series, "Visions of Justice: Gandhi at 150," will include several speakers with expertise on Gandhi: 

Gandhi and Dalits: An Unresolved Dialogue

Thursday, Sept. 26  |  4 p.m.  |  118 Oglebay Hall
Gandhi is known both as the leader of anti-colonial nationalism and also as champion of oppressed and marginalized people like Dalits in India. However, Gandhi’s engagement with Dalits, or former untouchables, is very complicated. He was challenged by Dalits like B.R. Ambedkar and continues to be seen as a controversial figure in relation to Dalit emancipatory politics. This talk by Chinnaiah Jangam, associate professor of history at Carleton University, critically engages with Gandhi’s ideas on caste and untouchability and attempts to bring out the Dalit perspective in the context of Indian national movement.

Gandhi...Saint or Sinner?

Tuesday, Oct. 1  |  5 p.m.  |  103 Oglebay Hall
Society subjects public figures to scrutiny, usually contemporaneously. Mahatma Gandhi is an exception. Now, more than 70 years after his death, pointed criticisms of his work and his person are arising. They disturb the picture we have of Gandhi. Charles DiSalvo, a Gandhi biographer, faces these new criticisms and asks:
  • Does the historical record support these criticisms?
  • By what standards should public figures like Gandhi be judged?
  • Is Gandhi a hero or a villain? A saint or a sinner?

2019 Gandhi-King Lecture on International Relations and Peace Studies: Gandhi on Truth and Minorities

Thursday, Oct. 3  |  5 p.m.  |  103 Oglebay Hall
Barry Gan, world-renowned scholar and lecturer on nonviolence, will deliver this year's Gandhi-King Lecture. Gandhi is often criticized for his position against Zionism, the belief that Jews should have a homeland. But his position with respect to Jews is not unique in his philosophy. He had the same views with respect to other minorities, Muslims and Dalits (untouchables) in particular. He held these views because of his views about human nature, truth and nonviolent action. At a time when so much discussion focuses on the rights of minorities, Gandhi’s views should be examined to understand whether they are cogent, relevant and useful today

We Who Believe in Justice: A Conversation with Deborah and Barry Gan

Thursday, Oct. 3  |  8 p.m.  |  103 Oglebay Hall
Following individual lectures about social justice, Barry Gan and Deborah Miranda will come together for an in-depth discussion about the past, present and future of social change movements in the U.S. and worldwide. Gan is visiting campus to deliver the 2019 Gandhi-King Lecture in International Relations and Peace Studies, "Gandhi on Truth and Minorities," and Miranda will speak on "The Making of Bad Indians: From Fragments to Story."

About the Gandhi-King Lecture Series on International Relations and Peace Studies

This lecture series at WVU’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences celebrates the work and wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The annual lecture for the WVU and Morgantown communities discusses the ongoing significance of a peaceful, nonviolent approach to dealing with national and international problems, issues and conflicts. Whenever possible, the lecture will make connections between contemporary India and the United States. The donors' goal is for the WVU community to learn about and consider the continuing legacy of Gandhi and King.