Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series
I am pleased to invite you to the 44th Hofstra University Distinguished Faculty Lecture, which will be presented by Robert A. Leonard of the Department of Comparative Literature and Languages. His lecture, titled “Language as Evidence: Scientific Linguistic Analysis in Criminal, Civil and Intelligence Cases,” will be delivered on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 11:15 a.m.-12:40 p.m., at the Leo A. Guthart Cultural Center Theater, located on the first floor of the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library, South Campus.
Robert Leonard earned a B.A. with honors from Columbia College and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. At Columbia Graduate School he was a Faculty Fellow and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research for his dissertation. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, where he also taught.
Dr. Leonard came to Hofstra University in 1988 as an adjunct associate professor, became a full-time associate professor in 1990, received tenure in 1994 and was promoted to full professor in 1996. He is professor of linguistics; founding director of the Graduate Program in Forensic Linguistics; founding director of the Institute for Forensic Linguistics, Threat Assessment and Strategic Analysis; and professor
Dr. Leonard’s forensic linguistic consulting clients have included the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, the FBI, Apple Inc., Federal Public Defender offices, and the prime minister of Canada. He was recruited by the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI to train its agents in forensic linguistic analysis at Quantico, and he has trained special British law enforcement units in London. He is a member of the editorial board of the Oxford University Press series Language and the Law. He is also one of a very few people who have worked with both the FBI and the Grateful Dead; and he was apparently the only Fulbright Fellow to have performed at the original Woodstock Festival — while in college he co-founded and led the rock group Sha Na Na.
Dr. Leonard also researches and publishes on linguistic and anthropological theoretical semantics and other conceptual meaning systems such as identity, food behavior, and architectural and public space. His research on the anthropology of food was presented at the Oxford Food Symposium, St. Anthony’s College, and Oxford University, and was published by Prospect Books of London. He co-edited and contributed articles for The Asian-Pacific American Heritage: A Companion to Literature and Arts (Routledge, 1998), which was chosen by the American Library Association as “one of the outstanding academic books of the year.”
In this lecture, Dr. Leonard will discuss theoretical approaches to language and how the application of these theories helps serve the cause of justice by allowing a more objective analysis of linguistic evidence such as death threats, purported confessions, wire taps, suicide notes and contracts.
President Rabinowitz and I look forward to joining you at this lecture.
Herman A. Berliner, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs