Each year, in association with the Common Seminar Colloquium, CLST invites Distinguished Guest Lecturers who have demonstrated expertise in areas related to the common seminar theme or topic. The lecturers' duties are twofold: to give a major lecture open to the public which advances the visibility of the Seminar topic among the campus community, and to comment on the graduate student papers presented in the colloquium. Lecturers also occasionally meets with individual students and other faculty members.
The roster of past Distinguished Guest Lecturers includes:
- Roberto Esposito (Italian Institute for the Human Sciences, Naples), "Time for Biopolitics" (2009)
- Ruth Y.Y. Hung (University of Hong Kong, School of English), "'Dwelling Narrowness': The Censor, the Market, and Chinese TV Drama" (2010)
- Wlad Godzich (University of California at Santa Cruz, General and Comparative Literature and Critical Studies), "Imagination Beyond the Matrix of Modernity" (2011)
- Kathi Weeks (Duke University, Women's Studies), "The Problem with Work" (2013)
Maria Todorova (University of Illinois, History), "Weak Nationalism: Is It a Useful Category?" (2014).
B. Venkat Mani (University of Wisconsin, German), "A Pact with Books: Measuring the World with Literature" (2014).
Rajani Sudan (Southern Methodist University), "Mud, Mortar, and Empire" (2014).
Aihwa Ong (University of California at Berkeley, Anthropology and Southeast Asian Studies), "Constellation and Flow: How Citizenship Captures Capital Flight" (2015).
Toby Miller (University of California, Riverside, Universidad del Norte, Monash University, Cardiff University/Prifysgol Caerdydd, Cultural Studies), “After Cultural Citizenship” (2015).
Sujatha Fernandes (Queen’s College and Graduate Center, City University of New York, Sociology), "Citizenship as a Class Project: Good Immigrant Subjects and their Others" (2015).