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Eviatar Zerubavel, professor of sociology at Rutgers University, will speak on “The Elephant in the Room: The Anatomy of Conspiracies of Silence” 8 p.m. today in the Kirby Hall of Civil Rightsauditorium.

Free and open to the public, the talk will be followed by a reception. It is sponsored by the Department of Government and Law, the Department of Religious Studies, the Ethics Project, the International Affairs program, and the Office of the Dean of Studies.

Zerubavel’s main areas of interest are cognitive sociology and the sociology of time. His latest book, The Elephant in the Room: Silence and Denial in Everyday Life, will be published in February by Oxford University Press.

At 4 p.m., Zerubavel will present a faculty research workshop in the Gendebien Room, Skillman Library, based on his book The Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations, and Books published in 1999 by Harvard University Press.

Zerubavel teaches graduate courses in cognitive sociology, time and memory, and sociological theory. He served from 1992 to 2001 as the director of the Rutgers sociology graduate program. In 2000-01 he served as chair of the Culture Section of the American Sociological Association. In 2003 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

His other books include Patterns of Time in Hospital Life: A Sociological Perspective (University of Chicago Press, 1979), Hidden Rhythms: Schedules and Calendars in Social Life (University of Chicago Press, 1981), The Seven-Day Circle: The History and Meaning of the Week (Free Press, 1985), The Fine Line: Making Distinctions in Everyday Life (Free Press, 1991), Terra Cognita: The Mental Discovery of America (Rutgers University Press, 1992), Social Mindscapes: An Invitation to Cognitive Sociology (Harvard University Press, 1997), and Time Maps: Collective Memory and the Social Shape of the Past (University of Chicago Press, 2003).

Before coming to Rutgers in 1988 he served on the faculties of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Queens College, Columbia University, and University of Pittsburgh. He holds and M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in sociology, anthropology, and political science from Tel-Aviv University.

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