John Sanford, News Service: (650) 736-2151, firstname.lastname@example.org
Critic of Buckminster Fuller to be in conversation April 30
Jeffrey Schnapp, the Rosina Pierotti Professor of Italian Literature and director of the Stanford Humanities Laboratory, will interview author and social critic Theodore Roszak on the subject of polymath R. Buckminster Fuller.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, in the Bender Room of Green Library.
Possibly the most critical account of Fuller's influence can be found in Roszak's treatise on the hippie counterculture's turbulent embrace of technology, From Satori to Silicon Valley: San Francisco and the American Counterculture. Roszak claims that while the counterculture rejected America's postwar technocracy and the antidemocratic institutions inherent to it, it simultaneously looked to technological solutions to social problems.
He cites the appeal of the Whole Earth Catalog -- dedicated to Fuller -- and LSD as examples of alternative technological solutions. Ultimately, he concludes that Fuller's utopian message appealed to the same "quick fix" generation that placed so much faith in alternative technologies.
Roszak is a professor of history at California State University-Hayward. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of California-Los Angeles and a doctorate in history from Princeton University. He has taught at Stanford, the University of British Columbia, San Francisco State University and Schumacher College in the United Kingdom.
His books include Longevity Revolution: As Boomers Become Elders and The Making of a Counter Culture, a much-discussed, best-selling interpretation of the turbulent sixties (now available in a new edition from the University of California Press).
The conversation is part of an ongoing series of interviews with Fuller's collaborators, interlocutors and contemporaries sponsored by the University Libraries, Humanities Laboratory and Cantor Center for Visual Arts. The University Libraries acquired Fuller's vast archive in 1999.