Sidhartha Maitra Memorial Lectures

2020 - "Unmuting the Brutes: Human and Non-human After the Collapse of Civilization" by Amitav Ghosh, an award-winning writer.

2019  - A conversation with Janet Yellen, distinguished fellow of Brookings Institution and former chair of the Federal Reserve. Presented in partnership with the UC Santa Cruz Foundation Medal.


2018 - "Diplomacy & the Feminist Voice" by Nirupama Menon Rao, Ambassador, Foreign Secretary, Scholar, and Poet on Diplomacy & the Feminist Voice.


2016 - “Wicked Problems: The Humanities in the Time of STEM” by William “Bro” Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


2014 - "The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in a Modern World"
 by Wade Davis, author, explorer, filmmaker, and professor.


2013 - "Peter Sellars on Creativity, Innovation and the Arts" by Peter Sellars, acclaimed director and visionary artist.


2012 - Modern Genesis and the Limits of Cosmic Knowledge” by Sandra Faber, UCSC Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics and Interim Director of the UC Observatories.


2011 - “The Art of Medicine in the Era of ‘Homo Technologicus’” by Abraham Verghese, Senior Associate Chair and Professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and author of the NY Times bestseller, Cutting for Stone.


2010 - “The Dharma of Capitalism”, by Gurcharan Das, former CEO, Proctor & Gamble, India, columnist, and author of several books including the highly acclaimed India Unbound. 


2009 - “Mystic India in the Age of Global Warming” by Edward Luce, Washington Bureau Chief for the Financial Times and author of In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India.


2008 - "Soaring, Nuclear Weapons, and World Peace" by Martin Hellman, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University.


2007 - "Globalism, Terrorism, and the Human Imagination" by author Shashi Tharoor, global affairs expert, and award-winning author.


2006 - “The Tyranny of Identity” by Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize Laureate, Lamont Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University, with a screening of The Home and the World. 


2005 - The Poetic Reality of Satyajit Ray” by Indian art historian Dr. Partha Mitter and film actress Ms. Sharmila Tagore, with a screening of Panther Panchali.


2004 - "From Music Room To Talk Room" by  UCLA Professor Emeritus Nazir Jairazbhoy with a vocal performance by Purnima Chaudhuri and a screening of The Music Room.


2003 - "Islam and California: A Cultural Romance" by Pico Iyer with a screening of Devi.


2002 - "Twenty Years of Reality Shows" by Wlad Godzich, Dean of Humanities at UCSC, with a screening of Charulata (The Lonely Wife).


2001 - Inaugural Sidhartha Maitra Memorial Lecture: “Friendship and Poetry” by author Vikram Seth.