Pitzer Spotlights

2003-2004 Spotlight Archives

Ivan Illich Lecture Series Features Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown

Former California governor will deliver keynote address on community activism

"Among the serious thinkers I have had the privilege to meet, Ivan Illich alone embodied in his personal life as well as in his work, a radical distancing from the imperatives of modern society… He bore witness to the destructive power of modern institutions that 'create needs faster than they can create satisfaction, and in the process of trying to meet the needs they generate, they consume the earth.'"
-- Jerry Brown

Ivan IllichCLAREMONT, Calif. (March 9, 2004) - Ivan Illich, a great friend of Pitzer College since 1973, passed away in December 2002. "Conversations: The Legacies of Ivan Illich," is a celebration of his life by colleagues and friends. Everyone is invited to attend. The sessions will run March 26-28 on the Pitzer College campus. The Honorable Jerry Brown, mayor of Oakland and former governor of California, will deliver the keynote address at 7:30 p.m. March 26 in Avery Auditorium.

Ivan Illich was born in Vienna and traveled and taught throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States. Illich was the co-founder of the widely known and controversial Center for Intercultural Documentation in Cuernavaca, Mexico, which in the 1960s became a magnet for independent thinkers -- students and teachers from all over North and South America.

Illich was a critic of modern institutions and wrote books on such disparate topics as education, gender, technology, transportation, hospitality, medicine, ecology, literacy and needs.

Illich was a frequent collaborator with Jerry Brown's participatory gatherings of thinkers known as The Oakland Table. The organization is dedicated to strengthening democracy and the ability of people to shape the places where they live.