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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

After booking issues, Noam Chomsky confirmed to speak at Phillips Center on Tuesday

Chomsky is coming.

After much debate, Noam Chomsky, a prominent professor and political activist, will speak at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Tuesday at 8 p.m. at an event hosted by the Civic Media Center.

Tickets will be available at the Phillips Center today from noon to 6 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are required.

An outdoor screen with seating will be available, as well as live-streaming of the speech from the CMC website.

Robbie Czopek, coordinator for the Civic Media Center, said Chomsky holds a special meaning to the center.

“He came and dedicated our first location,” he said. “We approached him 10 years ago and brought him in for our 10th anniversary, and now we’re bringing him back a couple days before our 20th anniversary.”

On his last visit, more than 6,000 people crammed into the Stephen C. O’Connell Center to hear the renowned MIT professor speak about language and politics, he said. This year, Czopek expects the 1,700-seat Phillips Center to be full, even though the event was finalized last week.

There had been some confusion over who would host the event, but ACCENT Speaker’s Bureau chairman Daniel Landesberg, a 21-year-old UF telecommunication senior, said it would not be hosted by his organization.

“We get so many great options every year; unfortunately, we can’t bring every single option that is presented to us,” he said. “With Mr. Chomsky, the dates, times and locations just didn’t work well for us.”

Instead, the fees for the event will be shouldered by the CMC, Czopek said.

“It’s not so much even the lecture fee,” he said. “The main cost for us is the $6,000 we’re paying to rent the Phillips Center.”

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The rental fee was paid for by one of the CMC’s supporters and will be repaid through donations from other supporters and community groups, Czopek said.

But students said they’re excited about the event, regardless of who hosts it.

Natalie Amgot, a 22-year-old UF French and Chinese senior, said her interest in Chomsky began when she read a book about him her freshman year.

“I really like languages, and Noam Chomsky is a really big linguist,” she said. “I would really like to be a French linguist and a professor, so he’s been a really great inspiration for me.”

A version of this story ran on page 1 on 10/14/2013 under the headline "Noam Chomsky to talk at UF"

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