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Fall 2014 Activities

The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship at Drake University
Fall 2014 Speaker and Film Series
All events are free and open to the public

September 16: Derek Wilson
Topics: The Scottish Referendum on Independence: Bravehearts or Faint Hearts?
Location: Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sponsor: PFGCGC and Drake Law School

Derek Wilson is a law professor at the University of Nantes, France and Assistant Director of the Drake Law Summer in France Program. During the fall of 2014, Wilson is serving as Global Practitioner-in-Residence in the Drake Law School. He graduated from Glasgow University with a LL.B. degree.

September 23: International Writer's Program (University of Iowa)
Sponsors: PFGCGC, Susan Glaspell Writers & Critics Reading Series, Des Moines Social Club

  • 3:30 to 5 p.m.:  "Being A Writer in the World" panel discussion with IWP poets and writers, Cowles Library Reading Room, Drake campus
  • 7 to 9 p.m.:  Literary reading at the Des Moines Social Club, reception to follow 900 Mulberry Street, Des Moines 50309

Visiting poets and writers from the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa take to the road each fall to share their work with audiences across the state.  In partnership with the Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship and the Des Moines Social Club, the Series will feature several 2014 IWP award-winning guests for an afternoon panel discussion titled "Being a Writer in the World," followed by an evening literary reading & reception at the downtown Des Moines Social Club.  Both events are free and open to the public.  Roundtrip downtown transportation is available for Drake students.

The writers who will visit Drake are as follows:
Omar Pérez López (poet, essayist, translator; Cuba) won Cuba’s Nicolás Guillén Award for Poetry in 2010 with the collection Crítica de la razón puta. His other books of poetry include Algo de lo sagrado (1996), ¿Oíste hablar del gato de pelea? (1999), Canciones y Letanías(Extramuros, 2002), and the multilingual Lingua Franca (2009). Two of these collections have appeared in bilingual formats with English translation as Something of the Sacred and Did You Hear About the Fighting Cat? An early collection of his essays, La perseverancia de un hombre oscuro (2000), received a National Critics’ Prize. He has worked as an editor at Letras Cubanas. Among López’ many literary translations are works by contemporary writers from Italy, Africa, Great Britain and the United States, as well as a rendition of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. He participates courtesy of the William B. Quarton fund through the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

 Ahmed Shafie (poet, fiction writer, translator; Egypt) is the author of the poetry collection and Other Poems (2009) and the novel THE Creator (2013). He has translated Charles Simic, Billy Collins, Lucille Clifton, and an anthology of Afro-American poems, into Arabic. Shafie writes for a poetry translation blog named Aswast men Honak, or Distant Voices, and runs another blog, Qera’at Ahmed Shafie, or Readings of Ahmed Shafie, where he publishes weekly translations of articles on philosophy, literature, politics, and economics. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. 

 Tang Siu-wa (poet, essayist; Hong Kong) is the author of the poetry collection Bottle UnmovedA Motley of Banalities, a volume of prose writing; and the collected interviews, Asking Directions from the People. She was the editor of Wait and See: Collected Works of Six New Hong Kong WritersThe Tomb of Film and The Same Darkness Befalls Dawn: Hong Kong June Fourth Poetry. Tang Siu-wa is a founding editor of the literary magazine Fleurs des Lettres and remains a member of its editorial board. She is a literary organizer and human rights activist, teaches writing at various institutions, art centres and secondary schools, and contributes regular columns, interviews and criticism to major newspapers, magazines, and radio programs. She participates courtesy of the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.

October 7: Diego Zavala

Topic: Interactive Documentary: Halfway Between Big Data and Filmic Narrative
Location: Sussman Theater
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sponsor: PFGCGC, Humanities Center

Professor Diego Zavala is  a member of the  the Department of  Communications and Digital Arts, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Guadalajara  campus,  where he  teaches courses  in film studies, screenwriting, and TV and film  production.  He has published articles and essays on documentary theory, cinematic representation of war, and analysis of Mexican cinema in academic journals, essay collections, and  media publications.  In addition, he has presented papers at national and international conferences  in the United States, Mexico, France, Spain,  and Portugal.  Professor Zavala¹s talk will be concerned with explaining the impact of informatics and computer development in non-fiction film narrative.  The talk is a proposal to work through multimodal analysis through cases and show how two traditions that grew apart,  journalism and documentary,  can be understood as complementary .

October 8: Khalil al-Anani
Topic: Upended Path: The Rise and Fall of the Muslim Brotherhood

Location: Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sponsor: PFGCGC

Dr. Khalil al-Anani is a leading academic expert on Islamist movements, Egyptian politics, and democratization in the Middle East. He was a Resident Senior Fellow at The Middle East Institute, and also served as a scholar of Middle East politics at the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University, UK, as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and as a senior scholar at Al-Ahram Foundation in Cairo. He is the author of many books in both Arabic and English, including “Unpacking the Muslim Brotherhood: Religion, Identity, and Politics” (forthcoming), “Elections and Democratization in the Middle East” (co-editor, Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming), “The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: Gerontocracy Fighting against Time” (Cairo: Shorouk Press, 2007), and “Political Islam in the Middle East: Past, Present, and Future” (Cairo, International Center for Strategic and Future Studies, 2007). He writes a bi-monthly column in the pan Arab newspaper Al-Hayat and in the Cairo-based Al-Ahram Weekly and is a frequent commentator on Arab and international television channels, including Al Jazeera, BBC, Al Arabiya, and Alhurra.

October 15: Heartland Global Health Conference
Topic: Climate, Nutrition and Health

Location: Parents Hall, Olmsted Center
Time: 8:30 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Sponsors: Heartland Global Health Consortium, PFGCGC

The conference will featuring two distinguished keynote speakers (see bios at link below): Dr. James Hansen and Dr. Carlos Dora.  In addition to presenting a keynote address at the conference, Dr. Hansen will be doing a public lecture that evening (free and open to the public; registration for the evening talk is not required).  Also, students are invited to submit proposals for posters related to issues in global and public health.  More information about posters can be found at the conference web site (see below)

Please register to attend the conference (lunch provided) at:

October 15: James Hansen
Topic: Tenant Farming to White House Arrests: A Scientist's Perspective on the Unfolding Climate Crisis and Opportunity
Location: Sheslow Auditorium 
Time: 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Sponsors: Heartland Global Health Consortium, Iowa Renewable Energy Association, and PFGCGC

James E. Hansen is an American physicist known for his research in the field of climatology and his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the climate change issue. Hansen formerly headed the NASA Institute for Space Studies in New York City, which is a division of Goddard Space Flight Center's (Greenbelt, MD), Earth Sciences Directorate. He is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.

Hansen was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1996 and he received the Heinz Environment Award for his research on global warming in 2001. He was listed as one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the Time 100 (2006) list and, in 2007, he was awarded the Dan David Prize. On April 5, 2008, Hansen received the PNC Bank Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service for his outstanding achievements in science. Dr. Hansen is a graduate of the University of Iowa.

October 21: Jim McCaughan, Indraneel Karlekar and Robert Blecker

Topic: Negotiating Regional Trade Accords: The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Location: Sussman Theater
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sponsors: PFGCGC and Principal Financial Group

Jim McCaughan is chief executive officer of Principal Global Investors. He also serves as president of global asset management for the Principal Financial Group. Jim graduated with a degree in mathematics from the University of Cambridge (Pembroke College) and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. His career began in 1974 as an actuary with Lane Clark & Peacock, London.  Currently, Jim oversees investment activities across asset classes and market regions, with primary responsibility for the strategic development of Principal’s asset management business globally.

Indraneel Karlekar is head of Global Research for Principal Real Estate Investors. Karlekar has held senior research positions at a number of real estate investment management firms, including Cole Real Estate Investments, ING-Clarion and AIG Global Real Estate. Prior to AIG, he worked as an economic analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit. After graduating from St. Stephens College in India, he received his Masters of Business Administration at Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, and later earned his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in England.

Robert Blecker is a professor in the Department of Economics at American University. Blecker’s research interests include international trade, open economy macroeconomics, the value of the dollar and the US trade deficit, economic integration in North America, the Mexican economy, the limits to export-led growth strategies in developing countries, and U.S. trade policy. His teaching fields include international economics, macroeconomics, history of economic thought, and political economy.

October 28: API Community Roundtable and Youth Workshop
Topic: White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Location: Parents Hall, Olmsted Center
Time: Roundtable 1-4:30 p.m., Youth Workshop 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Sponsor: PFGCGC, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Region 7 Interagency Working Group, Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs
at the Iowa Department of Human Rights

RSVP is required due to limited space.  Please RSVP to
The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) is hosting a youth workshop on the new E3! Ambassadors Program. Launched in July 2014 at the White House AAPI Youth Forum, this new youth engagement program seeks to “Educate, Engage, and Empower” young leaders to increase awareness and outreach around four issues: education, mental health, pathways to public service, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). During the workshop, WHIAAPI staff will lead informational presentations on the four issue areas and students will have the opportunity to brainstorm and create unique plans to help improve the quality of life and opportunity for young AAPIs.

October 28: Anna-Britt Coe

Topic: Swedish Youth Activists and Public Health Advocacy
Location: Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sponsor: PFGCGC and Department for the Study of Culture and Society

Anna Britt-Coe is a principal research engineer at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umea University, Sweden. 

Swedish youth have among the highest rates of unemployment in all of Europe. Teenagers face increased pressure at earlier ages to prepare for and invest in their future employability without the social support that existed in previous generations.  In this context, deteriorating youth health – especially mental health – has raised concern among policymakers and researchers alike. Gender differences in youths’ mental health have been particularly highlighted. Young women are more likely to report perceived stress and anxiety, as well as psychosomatic health problems, and their experiences of this are directly linked to gender demands and societal discourses of individualism and healthism (individualized health-focus). To examine what youth think about these problems, Coe and colleagues interviewed Swedish youth activists.  They identified gender injustices and organized around these issues.  They were less likely to see health as a target for activism, despite seeing youth health as a serious problem.  Coe will explore this paradox and its implication for public health practices.

October 30: Tang Sui-Wa
Topic: Hope from Hopelessness: The Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong Now
Location: Reading Room, Cowles Library
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sponsor: PFGCGC

After completing her secondary education at Queen Elizabeth School, Tang Siu-wa attended the Chinese University of Hong Kong where she graduated from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature with a final-year dissertation on the local writer Yau Ching. She later received an MA from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s Division of Humanities where she completed her master’s thesis on the Mainland Chinese writer Wang Xiaobo. A multiple-award winner, including a first prize (prose) and a second prize (new poetry) at the Awards for Creative Writing in Chinese; and a first prize (new poetry) at the Intervarsity Creative Writing Competition. She is a founding editor of the literary magazine, Fleurs des Lettres and remains a member of its editorial board.

November 5: Saidu Yusuf Yakubu
Topic: Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria
Location: Meredith 101
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sponsor: PFGCGC and IRIS

Dr. Saidu Yusuf Yakubu is a peacemaker and a Medical Doctor by profession. He was born in Kano, Nigeria and attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria where he obtained an MBBS Degree in 1997. He served as the Coordinator of Education Program of National Gamji Club, as House Officer, ABU Teaching Hospital (Ahmadu Bello Univ, ABUTH), as Medical Officer at Multi-Clinic Nigeria Ltd. and Medical Officer General in the Out Patient Department, ABUTH. Currently, he is a Registrar and a Resident Doctor in the Department of Anaesthesia ABUTH, Kaduna, National Deputy Chancellor of the International Association of Educators for World Peace Nigeria Chapter, Member Conflict Resolution Stake Holders Network of Nigeria and the Coordinator of a peace NGO named Action for Religious Tolerance & peace (ART & PEACE Kaduna).

November 6, Gerard Gallucci

Topic: Keeping the Peace in the 21st Century: The US and the United Nations
Location:  Sussman Theater, lower level of Olmsted Center
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sponsor: PFGCGC 

Gerard M. Gallucci is a retired US diplomat and UN peacekeeper. He worked as part of US efforts to resolve the conflicts in Angola, South Africa and Sudan and as Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council. He served as UN Regional Representative in Mitrovica, Kosovo from July 2005 until October 2008 and as Chief of Staff for the UN mission in East Timor from November 2008 until June 2010. He was Diplomat-in-Residence at Drake University for the 2013-14 school year and now works as an independent consultant in Washington DC.

November 12: Ronald McMullen

Topic: The Pivot Deferred: How Middle East Turmoil Undermines Asian Rebalancing in US Foreign Policy
Location: Meredith 101
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sponsor: PFGCGC

Ronald McMullen, currently Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, served as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Eritrea.  Ron has over 30 years of diplomatic experience and has lived, worked, or traveled in 91 countries.  In Burma he worked closely with Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and pro-democracy groups. While posted in Fiji he helped prevent civil conflict after an armed takeover of parliament.  He was shot at during a riot in Sri Lanka and helped train mongooses to detect heroin.  He survived a voodoo curse in the Dominican Republic and took Hillary Clinton on a tour of South Africa’s Robben Island with Nelson Mandela.  Between foreign assignments, Ron served for three years as Visiting Professor at the Military Academy at West Point, where he taught International Relations and Comparative Politics.  He was Diplomat-In-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin 2010-2012.  He has authored many scholarly works and is a three-time recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award.  A native of Northwood, Iowa, he earned his B.A. from Drake University and his doctorate in political science from the University of Iowa.

November 18: Zachary Nunn

Topic: Cyber Power as State Power: The Role of Cyber as an Instrument of National Influence
Location: Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sponsor: PFGCGC

Zachary Nunn served as the Director of Cybersecurity Policy on the National Security Council, White House, where he helped author two Presidential Policy Directives on cyber response options for the US Government.  A career intelligence officer, Nunn stood-up the Director on National Intelligence's Counter-Intelligence Office for Cyber - prioritizing US resources against
hostile foreign state actors. Formerly, as Chief of Operations for Embassy Security, Zach supervised $25 billion in new embassy construction in Beijing, London, Moscow and Guangzhou. Awarded the Director's Exceptional Service Medallion and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal in 2014, Nunn's experience prior to working with the nation's secrets, includes flying 700 combat hours with the USAF over Iraq and Afghanistan, and teaching US Government to America's high school students. Nunn is now a cyber entrepreneur - helping 500 public-private partners find creative solutions to security challenges 'on the internet.' Zach's hometown is right up the road in Altoona, Iowa. After graduating Drake University in 2002, he earned a master's with distinction at the University of Cambridge.


The Comparison Project

Saturday, September 6, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Meditation Fair
First Christian Church, 2500 University Ave, Des Moines

Thursday, September 18, 7:00 p.m.
When Expression Is Expressed, Non-expression Is Not-expressed: a Zen Buddhist Approach to Talking About the Ineffable
Lecture by Gereon Kopf, Professor of Religion, Luther College
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center

Thursday, October 9, 7:00 p.m.
That From Which All Words Return: The Distinctive Methods of Language Utilization in Advaita Vedanta
Lecture by Anantanand Rambachan, Professor of Religion, Philosophy and Asian Studies at Saint Olaf College
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center

Thursday, November 6, 6:00 p.m.
Using a Net to Catch the Air: Poetry, Ineffability, and Small Stones in a Shoe.
Reading by Christopher Janke, Independent poet and artist
Cowles Library Reading Room

Friday, November 7, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Opening Event for the Ineffability Exhibition
Anderson Gallery, Weeks Gallery, Sheslow Auditorium

All events are free and open to the public.
The Comparison Project is supported by the following donors: