What: James Pennebaker, chair of the psychology department, and John Daly, communications studies professor, will discuss the language of sustainability in an inaugural lecture titled “Sustainability: What Does it Mean? What Does it Matter?” The lecture fulfills the spring 2012 Signature Course University Lecture Series requirement, and it is free and open to the public.
Who: The pursuit of sustainability is evident on college campuses as students’ expectations and optimism fuel the need for change. Pennebaker and Daly will address the word “sustainability” as it has become both ubiquitous and often meaningless in our culture. “Sustainability” has been used to create identity and purpose, rally support for and against global causes, and affect national policy and personal behavior. Pennebaker and Daly will launch a conversation about how we use language around sustainability to get us moving past the word itself and exploring its intersection with advocacy. The lecture emphasizes how we approach understanding and solving problems through our speaking and writing as well as how to better listen and read to understand our own attitudes on sustainability.
The session will be moderated by Jim Walker, director of sustainability, in an engaging format in which students and audience members will be encouraged to think critically about the topic, share their insights and ask questions.
When: Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m.
Background: John Daly is the Liddell Centennial Professor of Communication, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, TCB Professor of Management, and an adjunct professor of pharmacy. Daly’s interests focus on practical ways of improving the communication skills of individuals. In recent years, he has worked with the White House on issues related to customer service and communication. Professionally, he has served on the board of directors of ICA, the International Customer Service Association and the Administrative Council of the National Communication Association. He has served as president of the National Communication Association and chairman of the Council of Communication Societies.
James W. Pennebaker is the Regents Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts and the departmental chair in the Psychology Department at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his Ph.D. in 1977. He has been on the faculty at the University of Virginia, Southern Methodist University, and, since 1997, The University of Texas. His most recent research focuses on the nature of language and emotion in the real world. Author or editor of nine books and more than 250 articles, Pennebaker has received numerous awards and honors.