Higher Education: The Play of Continuity and Crisis

Monday, September 24, 2012 
Neil Smelser
University Professor Emeritus of Sociology for the University of California

Neil Smelser is a University Professor Emeritus of Sociology for the University of California. His distinguished career has been entirely at the Berkeley campus except for a period in which he was Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. His research has focused on what he calls the "macroscopic social structural level" of social life, including economic sociology, social change, social movements, and the sociology of education. He is also a trained psychoanalyst. He is well recognized as an observer of higher education. His most recent book, published by the University of California Press in 2010, is “Reflections on the University of California: From the Free Speech Movement to the Global University”.

Smelser is a former president of the American Sociological Association, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the American Philosophical Society. He joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1958 and has authored eighteen books, including “Theory of Collective Behavior”.

Professor Smelser’s three lectures in the series were given January 24th and 31st, and February 7th, 2012, on the Berkeley campus, with the third lecture given February 14th on the Riverside campus. His subject was “Higher Education: The Play of Continuity and Crisis.” In the lectures he presented a general view of social change, especially in universities, and interpreted contemporary problems, controversies, and enigmas.

You can download Neil Smesler's three lectures in one place on the Project Muse website

Lecture 1

Dynamics of American Universities
January 24, 2012 4 - 5:30 PM
Berkeley Art Museum Auditorium (lower floor)
YouTube logo - Watch this lecture |  Read the paper

Lecture 2

The Dynamics Ramify: Academic Politics, Conflict and Inequalities
January 31, 2012 4 - 5:30 PM
Berkeley Art Museum Auditorium (lower floor)
YouTube logo - Watch this lecture

Lecture 3

Contemporary Trends: Diagnoses and Conditional Predictions
February 7, 2012 4 - 5:30 PM
Berkeley Art Museum Auditorium (lower floor)
YouTube logo - Watch this lecture

February 14, 2012 4-5:30pm
302 Highlander Union Building
UC Riverside
See video of Feb. 7 for context of Lecture 3