Linguist and political thinker Noam Chomsky will be coming to Iceland next year, Vísir reports. He will be the guest of honor at the University of Iceland when they celebrate the 100th anniversary of the social sciences department.
Chomsky appeared most recently in Iceland via video link at the Reykjavík International Film Festival. There, he discussed environmental, economic and energy issues, and fielded selected questions that were submitted by Icelanders to festival organizers.
He first gained international attention in the 1950s with his controversial and challenging ideas about the way language works, and how people learn it. His notions flew in the face of conventional academic ideas on language at the time. Although his theories remain a source of controversy among linguists to this day, he was a pioneer in the field, and broadened our understanding of how children learn to speak.
But Chomsky is perhaps better known for his outspoken political liberalism, which began around the Vietnam War. He has come to be associated – both as praise and criticism – with intellectual liberalism, and the idea that highly educated people tend to be politically leftist.