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Drake University Center for Global Citizenship

Spring 2011 Speaker and Film Series


All Drake and Des Moines community members are warmly invited to attend.



January 18-February 28, Exhibit Display: Collier Heritage Room, Cowles Library, Drake University.
In student/faculty collaboration, we explore how Chinese urban middle-class young adults solve everyday problems related to self-identity through what they buy and use.  Generation 80(the post-80s generation) grew up under the Chinese one-child policy during dizzying economic expansion.  Old identities are no longer given, making a ‘sense of self’ a modern project for each individual.  Consumption – of clothes, coffee, books, exercise classes, and the spaces that sell them – becomes an emergent vocabulary to craft a sense of self among young adults in Nanjing, China.   Register to win key artifacts/photographs, and think about your own relationships between what you buy and “who you are.”  Find more information on our Facebook Group

1/25, 7:00pm, Collier Reading Room, Cowles Library.  “Consumption and the Self in Urban China:  Middle Class Identity and the 80
Generation.”  Dr. Darcie Vandegrift, Drake University,  Department for the Study of Culture & Society.  Exhibit opening reception and talk.
How do you show you’re part of a couple?  Demonstrate political or social dissent?  Tell the world who you are?  In modern consumer capitalist societies, individuals must create and demonstrate identity.  Consumption provides one vocabulary to do this.  This brief lecture explores China’s rising urban youth generation, and how they solve key problems related to demonstrating ‘who they are’ through consumption.  Discussion and reception will follow.   Co-sponsored by Chinese Cultural Exchange Program, Department for the Study of Culture & Society, and ASIANetwork.


2/1, Noon, Des Moines Public Library Conference Room.  Iowa Council for International Understanding Dialogue Series.
Democracy in the Middle East, A Future Reality or a Mirage?  Associate Professor Mahmoud Hamad, Politics, Drake University.  The Middle East is one of the last bastions of authoritarianism in an increasingly democratic universe. While nations in Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe have changed dramatically, aging Middle Eastern dictators who seemed threatened a few years ago are utilizing more oppressive measures to control their societies and polities, with very limited pressure from the West. This raises many questions: why did the waves of democratization escape this region?  Is it in US interest to keep shoring up the authoritarian regimes in the Cairo, Riyadh, Amman, and Rabat?

2/3, 7:00pm, Bulldog Theater, Olmsted Center.  CGC International Movie Series.  Letters from Iwo Jima. Japanese (United States) 2006.
The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

2/4, 3:30pm, Medbury Honors Lounge.  Michael Chiang, Department of History.
"The Origins of the Post Designation System in Qing Field Administration." (Not a CGC event)


2/10, 7:00pm, Cowles Library Reading Room
Born in Calcutta, Mohan Sikka grew up in many cities as his family followed his father's career in the Indian Railways. After an early career as a PhD Chemical Engineer, he transitioned in the 90s to nonprofit consulting and writing. In 2006, Sikka completed an MFA at Brooklyn College, where he received the Hiram Brown Award and the CUNYarts First Prize for Graduate Short Fiction. Most recently, Sikka won a 2009 O. Henry Award for his story, "Uncle Musto Takes a Mistress," and was invited to two writing residencies, Ledig House and Blue Mountain. For more information about Sikka's work, click here.  This event is sponsored by Drake Writers & Critics.


2/15, 7:00pm, Parent’s Hall, Olmsted Center.  “The Global Rise of China in Historical and Comparative Perspectives.”  Dr. R. Bin Wong, Director of the Asia Institute and Professor of History, University of California, Los Angeles.
This presentation considers factors behind China’s recent rise and features of its contemporary situation that don’t draw headlines.  Comparisons are drawn between the historical arcs of Chinese economic development and social change with more familiar European ones and the particular challenges of governing a space and population as large as China’s are considered in light of political experiences elsewhere.  Co-sponsored by the Department of History, Center for Global Citizenship, and Humanities Iowa.

2/18, 12:30pm, Olin 206.  "Development of DNA Markers for Cellulosic Ethanol Production." Dr. Gintaras Brazauskas, Senior Scientist, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry and Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Iowa State University. 
Biofuels provide a potential route to avoiding the global political instability and environmental issues that arise from reliance on petroleum. Currently, most biofuel is in the form of ethanol generated from starch or sugar, but this can meet only a limited fraction of global fuel requirements. Conversion of cellulosic biomass (maize and other grasses), which is both abundant and renewable, is a promising alternative. However, several problems face the potential commercial production of cellulosic ethanol. First, the high costs of production of cellulases in microbial bioreactors. Second, and most important, are the costs of pretreating lignocellulosic matter to break it down into intermediates and remove the lignin to allow the access of cellulases to biomass cellulose. Plant genetic engineering and molecular breeding technologies offer great potential to reduce the costs of producing cellulosic ethanol. Recent achievements in plant cell-wall deconstruction and lignin biosynthesis enzymes’ suppression, as well as prospects to increase the level of polysaccharides or the overall plant biomass will be reviewed during the talk.Co-sponsored with Drake DUSCI Lecture Series.

2/18, 3:30pm, Medbury Honors Lounge.  Joan McAlister, Department for the Study of Culture and Society.
"Intimate Artifacts and Aesthetic Agents: Rhetorics of Preservation and Transformation in Two South African Prison Museums." (Not a CGC event)

2/21, 7:00pm, Bulldog Theater, Olmsted Center. “Service Encounters: Retail Work, Consumption, and Inequality in Urban China.”  Dr. Amy Hanser, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of British Colombia.
This lecture explores how social and economic changes to Chinese society create new cultural values and forms of inequality.   Dr. Hanser examines changes to a particular set of jobs—service work, in this case salesclerk work—and the nature of the social interactions involved.  She argues that marketplaces have become sites where social differences—and inequalities—are recognized and justified.  Co-sponsored by Women’s Studies and CGC.


2/24, 4:00pm, Meredith 101. “Iowa Intersections: Coal, Climate and Global Health.”  Maureen McCue and Michelle Gin, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Iowa Chapter.
This talk will explore the meaning of coal to Iowa's health and its reverberations on global health and climate challenges. Audience members will be encouraged to explore related issues of rights and responsibility, economic and environmental security in Iowa now and into the future from a global health and human rights perspective.


3/3, 7:00pm, Bulldog Theater, Olmsted Center.  CGC International Movie Series. Paradise Now, Arabic & English (Palestine) 2004.
Said (Kais Nashef) and Khaled (Ali Suliman), best friends from childhood, belong to a terrorist cell in Nablus on the West Bank that is about to undertake its first suicide mission in two years. The film was directed by Hany Abu-Assad, an Israeli-born Palestinian, from a screenplay he wrote with Bero Beyer, the film's Dutch producer, follows them over the two days leading up to the climactic deed.

3/8, 7:00pm, Bulldog Theater, Olmsted Center. "Arab Voices." Dr. James Zogby, President, Arab American Institute. (Bio here)
Whether it is his work at Zogby International or writing his column or hosting his weekly call-in news program on Abu Dhabi television, Jim has been in the middle of it all - helping Arabs better understand America and encouraging Americans to better understand the Arab world.  "Arab Voices" brings into stark relief the myths, assumptions, and biases that hold us back from understanding the people of the Arab world.  Here, Jim debuts a brand new, comprehensive poll, bringing numbers to life so that we can base policy and perception on the real world, rather than on a conjured reality. The contact for this event is Dr. Mahmoud Hamad.  The event is sponsored by CGC, the Drake Muslim Student Association (please verify this name), and the American Friends Service Committee.

"Daring to Be,” Collier Heritage Room, Cowles Library.  March 2011.  This photography exhibit focuses on thirty women from the Yucatan region in Mexico who have dared to challenge gender inequalities set against them at birth in their native Mexico.  The profiles, supplemented by photographs, describe the women’s accomplishments and motivations as well as the obstacles they have confronted. (Sponsored by Cowles Library)

In recognition of Women’s History Month, co-author and Drake alum Jann Freed will be reading from her book, “Women of Yucatan: Thirty who Dared to Change Their World” on Thursday, March 10th at 7 p.m. in the Cowles Library Reading Room. The event and exhibit is free and open to the public. (Sponsored by Cowles Library)

3/22, 7:00pm, Bulldog Theater, Olmsted Center. "Saudi Women Entrepreneurs: Are They Still Standing in the Shadows?" Dr. Mohammed Alshagawi, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at King Faisal University Hofuf, Saudi Arabia and a visiting Fulbright Scholar at Smith College in Massachusetts.
Saudi women’s economic participation remains the lowest in the world.  Can entrepreneurship offer a vehicle for them to create their own jobs?  Fulbright Scholar Mohammed Alshagawi will discuss how women entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia negotiate cultural, political and social barriers to participation. 

3/23, 7:00pm, Bulldog Theater, Olmsted Center. Dr. Paul Nihoul, "Debates over the Dinner Table: Transnational Food Regulation in the EU and the US" 
Paul Nihoul is an international legal scholar in the U.S on a Fulbright at American University, Washington DC. Later this year, he will return to his home university, the University of Louvain (Belgium), where he is a Professor of Law. His activities are focused on antitrust regulation, consumer protection and food law. Before entering academia, he was a law clerk at the European Court of justice and a counsellor to the Belgian Minister of Finance. He has a Masters degree from Harvard Law School, and practiced law for a year in New York City. Sponsored by Drake University Animal Legal Defense Fund, Agricultural Law  Association, Drake Journal of Agricultural Law, Environmental Law Society, and the International Law Society 

3/29, 7:00pm, Harmon Fine Arts Center (25th and Carpenter).  "The Troubles through the Eyes of a Troubadour: A Northern Ireland Perspective." Tommy Sands.
Sands' new 75-minute historical program about the struggles of his Northern Ireland homeland is a story-through-song. It's a story many of us have shared, the journey of troubles amidst seemingly unending conflict, and the challenge of how to seek peace within differences. This musical program showcases songs about peacemaking, Northern Ireland, and ultimately, a message of hope and healing.


4/5, Noon, Des Moines Public Library Conference Room.  Iowa Council for International Understanding Dialogue Series.
European Street Theater:  Alternative Political Expression.” Dr. Susan Haedicke, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre Studies, University of Warwick, UK.

4/5, 6:00-8:30pm, 101 Meredith Hall.  Dr. Amahia Mallea, Environmental Historian, Drake University. Domestic, but Not Domesticated?: Three Mile Island, the China Syndrome and Fukushima: A Brief History and Domestic Nuclear Power & Film Showing.
Professor Mallea will provide a brief lecture on the history of domestic nuclear power and the Three Mile Island incident in New York in 1979.  Public opinion turned against nuclear power and no plants have been constructed in the U.S. since that accident. 
Recent discussions to expand nuclear power as a response to the pending energy crisis may be curtailed by the events unfolding in Japan, as well as the challenges of waste storage.  Following the introductory lecture will be a viewing of the fictional film The China Syndrome, which depicted a domestic nuclear accident and was showing in theaters in 1979.  In the story, reporters (played by Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas) observe a nuclear accident that is covered up by the plant (Jack Lemmon plays the plant supervisor).  
The Film is free and open to the public.

4/7, 7:00pm, Harvey Ingham 104.  CGC International Movie Series.  The Official Story.  Spanish (Argentina).  1986.
A married couple struggles after their country, Argentina, has been torn apart by the campaign of killings and torture.  The Dirty War period sent thousands of accused political leftists to unmarked graves in the mid 1970s.  The film begins five years after Alicia (Norma Aleandro), a History high school teacher and, Roberto (Héctor Alterio), a wealthy businessman and lawyer with close ties to the military junta, had adopted a baby girl named Gaby (Analia Castro).  Alicia starts wondering about the real parents of Gaby, a topic her husband has told her to forget as it was a condition of the adoption. Yet, he knows the story of his daughter's adoption. While hard to believe, Alicia, as other members of the Argentine middle class, are not aware of how much killing and suffering has gone on in the country, until her students begin to complain that the "government approved"  history books given to them were written by the regime's "assassins". 

4/8, 3:30pm, Medbury Honors Lounge. Michael Haedicke, Department for the Study of Culture and Society.
"Shopping for Social Change: Understanding Political Consumerism in a Cross-National Perspective." (Not a CGC event)


4/11, 7:00pm, Bulldog Theater, Olmsted Center. Igor Dubina, Visiting Fulbright Scholar at George Washington University School of Business, Washington, DC. “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Across Cultures.” 
What is the impact of national culture on innovative and entrepreneurial activity? The lecturer will demonstrate why, when and how culture does bring influence on entrepreneurship. Many issues concerning how entrepreneurial ideas and practices are generated and nurtured across different cultures are to be considered, discussed and practically illustrated during the lecture. The lecture is based on a review of over 200 cross-cultural studies on inventiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship published during the last 25 years.

4/13, 7:00pm, Meredith 101. Judge Mohamed Samir Ahmed Helmy.  “The Constitutional History of Egypt.” 
In 1882, Egypt was the first nation in the Middle East and Africa to acquire a constitution.  This first constitution was short-lived and abandoned after the British occupation. The national liberation movement produced the liberal constitution of 1923 which started the an era of vibrant multi-party polity that lasted until the Revolution of 1952.  Under the republic, Egypt witnessed many constitutional experiments with meaningful or lasting implications until the drafting of the 1971 permanent constitution. This Constitution was amended in 1980, 2005, and 2007.  What are the major provisions of the current constitution? What is the political future of Egypt  under the current constitutional provisions?

4/16, 2:00pm, 101 Meredith Hall. 442-Live with Honor, Die with Dignity: A feature documentary film.
This award-winning documentary film explores the Japanese-American experience during WWII. Soldiers of the 442nd Infantry Regiment, composed mainly of Japanese Americans, fought not only the enemy, but fought prejudice, facing severe racial discrimination in their homeland. In these harsh times however, the 442nd became one of the most decorated regiments for its size and length of service in the history of the United States military.  Facilitated by Drake Assistant Professor of International Relations Mary McCarthy.  Please contact Dr. McCarthy ( with questions