History Professor Haas to interview MIT Professor Chomsky

Abraham Venegas, Staff Writer

The name Noam Chomsky might bring a different reaction to different people. Some consider him a champion of social justice, while others consider him a mere agitator with misplaced views, but few have had the opportunity to sit down with him and talk about the world.

History professor Dr. John Haas, along with his daughter, will be one of those few as he traveled to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston for an interview with Chomsky in his office on Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 11 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.

The interview will be broadcast live online and can be accessed from any computer.

For those who do not know who Chomsky is, he is a linguistics professor at MIT and a prominent political dissident known for his views on society, U.S. foreign policy, international affairs, philosophy, politics and economy.

History professor Walter Fernandez shared his thoughts on his colleague interviewing Chomsky.

“I am glad that Dr. Haas is interviewing Dr. Chomsky. It puts our campus and program on the map, and more importantly, his interview will hopefully expand awareness and improve understanding of Dr. Chomsky’s ideas on numerous subjects.”

Professor Haas did a video conference with Chomsky back in 2008 at Cerritos College, and after visiting the Israeli occupied territories in the West Bank of Gaza in June, he thought it would be great to reach out to him.

Haas said, “I really didn’t think I would be lucky and arrange an interview, but he granted me 50 minutes, which is unbelievable because he usually grants segments of 30 minutes.”

Haas has in mind a wide range of issues that he wants to discuss with Chomsky.

“I’ll be trying to pick his mind and ask him about Israeli-Palestine Conflict, John Dewy and education … I’m exhausted just trying to think of 15 questions to ask him, let alone the kind of work he does at 85.”

With all these issues in mind, Haas explains why students should know about Chomsky and his work.

“I think he truly is looking for the truth, and when you search for the truth you are going to anger a lot of people. And if students are interested in doing their own work, Chomsky would tell you don’t be my disciple,” Haas said.

He added, “but there’s a lot of things that Chomsky tells people that probably changes their attitude about the United States and I hope in the process that there is positive change.”