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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

World Issues Forum: Fall 2012

The World Issues Forums occur weekly on Wednesdays from 12:00-1:20pm each quarter.

All events are free and everyone is welcome. See our college calendar to view this schedule by date, where the World Issues Forum events are listed in red.


video - Subscribe to our World Issues Forum Channel to see videos as they become available.


Co-sponsors include list coming soon..., Mark Lehman, Community members.


Fall 2012 Schedule
Date & Time Lecture

Wed 10/3

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



"Beyond The Zionist Paradigm - New Hope for Israel/Palestine"


Miko Peled, author, activist and son of Matti Peled, famous Israeli general


In 1997, a tragedy struck the family of Israeli-American Miko Peled: His beloved niece, Smadar, was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. That tragedy propelled Peled onto a journey of discovery. It pushed him to re-examine many of the beliefs he had grown up with, as the son and grandson of leading figures in Israel's political-military elite, and transformed him into a courageous and visionary activist in the struggle for human rights, equality for all the residents of the Holy Land and a hopeful and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Co-sponsors: Voices for Middle East Peace, Whatcom Peace & Justice Center.


Wed 10/10

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



"Tourism, Development and Sacred Peaks in the Himalaya"

Julie Tate-Libby, PhD, Instructor of Anthropology and Sociology, Wenatchee Valley College &

James Loucky, Professor of Anthropology at WWU will offer a comparative response


The Himalaya range has long been a site for mountaineering and exploration as well as pilgrimage, mountain worship and high altitude farming and pastoral life. Kawa Karpo (Meili Snow Mountain) in Southwestern China is a prominent site for pilgrims from across the Tibetan plateau, and increasingly popular with Han Chinese tourists as well. Government plans for roads to facilitate tourism are likely to have major effects on remote villages. Similar tourism promotion is slated for small mountain communities in Zanskar, in northern India. The fate of community development and mountain worship in these villages provide lessons for tourism, politics and development issues across Southwest China and the Himalaya region overall.


Wed 10/17

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



"From Che to Castro: Life as an Organizer in Cuba"

Daisy Rojas from Martin Luther King Center in Havana, Cuba Accompanied by Diego Benitez of Cuba International Team and AmyTruax of Witness for Peace NW


What comes to mind when you hear the word Cuba? Might it be images of Che Guevara, Fidel Castro or Hemingway smoking cigars? Or possibly images of drinking rum on a beach, classic cars and beautiful architecture. Or maybe you think of Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban Five, and the Bay of Pigs invasion. What about actual Cuban citizens who live and make their home there? In an interactive presentation, Daisy Rojas will offer a rare insight into the daily lives of Cubans in the 21st century, discuss the state of reforms under Raul Castro and†share her experience as an organizer at the MLK Center.


Wed 10/24

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



"Cultural Activism in a Time of Crisis"

Susan Noyes Platt, Ph.D, art historian and art critic



Susan Platt will offer a critical analysis of socially engaged art with a global perspective. From the art of street protest to the work of gallery artists, she will present renowned artists from Latin American, Asia, Middle East, Europe and the United States described in her recent book, Art and Politics Now,Cultural Activism in a Time of Crisis, that are engaged in issues of war, police state oppressions, racism, borders, and the environment.


Wed 10/31

12:00-1:20 pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



"Bahrain: The Uncovered Uprising"

Jen Marlowe, documentary filmmaker and author



In July 2012, documentary filmmaker Jen Marlowe traveled to Bahrain in order to clandestinely observe and document the continued repression against Bahrainis Arab Spring. Marlowe's talk explores the central role women play in Bahrainis Arab Spring, challenging Western stereotypes about women in conservative Middle Eastern societies. She also examines the overly simplistic shiitake versus Sunni analysis characterizing the uprising. Throughout, Marlowe will highlight inspirational Bahraini pro-democracy activists, who continue their freedom struggle at great personal risk.


Mon 11/7



Fairhaven Auditorium



"The 2012 US Election an A Domestic and Global Perspective"

Todd Donavan Professor of Political Science, Western Washington University


A post-election overview on what was 'normal' about the 2012 US election compared to previous presidential elections,and an assessment of how 2012 was unlike other US elections. The discussion will also consider how Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are perceived†overseas, and how Americans' attitudes about their elections†compare to attitudes held by citizens in other democratic nations.


Wed 11/14

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium





"Indigenous Peoples' Food Systems - An International Public Health Context"

Harriet Kuhnlein, Professor Emerita of Human Nutrition, Founding Director, Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment (CINE) McGill University (Montreal, QC)


Indigenous Peoples' globally who live in rural environments depend on their local ecosystems and cultures for effective nutrition to provide health and well-being. The Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment (CINE) developed collaborations with the United Nations to work with 12 cultures of Indigenous Peoples in nine countries (Canada, Colombia, Federated States of Micronesia, India, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru and Thailand). The goals were to document local cultural food systems and develop strategies for these resources to improve health and well-being.



WED 11/28

Fairhaven Auditorium



Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, Bellingham Herald Building



"Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation"

Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, Canadian author and Quaker-Jewish activist


Despite the long history of nonviolent campaigns by Palestinians challenging both British and Zionist colonialism, culminating in the overwhelmingly nonviolent first intifada (1987-93) and the present struggle against the Israeli occupation, this aspect of the Palestinian resistance is vastly under-reported. With her recent interview-based book, Kaufman-Lacusta will highlight non-violent resistance by both Palestinians and Israelis to the Israeli occupation along with ways US citizens can support this resistance. Valued Co-sponsors of Fairhaven Colleges World Issues Forum: Anthropology, Canadian American Studies, Communications, Political Science, Omens Studies, various Associated Students organizations and local community non-profits.


Speaker Biographies


Miko Peled was born in Jerusalem in 1961 into a well known Zionist family. His grandfather, Dr. Avraham Katsnelson was a Zionist leader and signer on the Israeli Declaration of Independence. His father, Matti Peled was a young officer in the war of 1948 and a general in the war of 1967 when Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and the Sinai. After retirement, General Peled became an expert in Arab Affairs, a pioneer in the Israeli peace movement, and an outspoken peace activist. In his book, The Generalist Son, Miko Peled relates his fathers career and his personal political evolution. Having served as an officer in the IDF, Peled describes his journey from loyal supporter to critic of Israel, spurred by the tragic death of his 13 year old niece Smadar in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. He tells his story with unsparing honesty, passion, and humanity.

Julie Tate-Libby is a researcher and anthropologist specializing in tourism, migration and issues of place. She received her PhD in tourism from the University of Otago in 2010 after conducting research on rural migration on Hawaii Island. Her MA, Socio-Cultural Anthropology, from Western Washington University is Tourism and the Methow Dream: Living in Paradise. She has traveled extensively in South West Asia, particularly the Himalayas, and is currently working on a research project on sacred mountains in SW China. Dr. Tate-Libby is an adjunct faculty member at Wenatchee Valley College in Omak, Washington where she teaches anthropology and sociology. Her research interests include: Cultural Revitalization and Tourism, Mobilities and Amenity Migration, Religion versus Western conceptions of the sacred and sacred places. Her major field site interests are Southeast Asia: India, Nepal, SW China, and the Pacific: Hawaii and New Zealand. James Loucky, Professor of Anthropology at Western Washington University has been involved in global issues as director of international studies and programs during the 1990s, project director for transborder research involving Mexico and Canada, and through leading†field courses for†students in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. He specializes in culture change, Latin American affairs, global migration and intercultural education.

Daisy Rojas is one of the founders of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center, where she acts as Coordinator for international delegations at this institution. She has worked alongside Witness for Peace and other international organizations facilitating programs that help visitors learn about the Cuban reality. She offers workshops on Popular Education and is an admirer of the philosophy of Paulo Freire. Daisy is a member of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Havana, where she held administrative positions in the church board and has worked in different pastoral roles such as liturgy, education, gender issues, and community projects for many years. She completed her studies at the Institute of International Relations in Havana. Daisy has visited the United States on several occasions and often receives visits from United States delegations with whom she shares her experience of being a woman, a Christian, and a Cuban in today's society.

Susan Platt Noyes, a native of New York City, is a freelance art historian and art critic, as well as a political activist, based in Seattle, Washington. She has published articles, essays and reviews on the intersections of art and politics. Her primary concern is to alter the critical discourse to embrace the many different ways in which artists explore this intersection. Over the course of her career she has shifted from a focus on American art to an exploration of art in the Middle East, particularly in Turkey. She has also published reviews of contemporary art from China, Latin America, and Europe. Her first book, Modernism in the 1920s (UMI Research Press, 1985) based on her dissertation, examined the critical discourse on modern art in the New York art and academic press in the 1920s. Art and Politics in the 1930s, Modernism, Marxism, Americanism (Midmarch Arts Press, 1999) looks at the interconnections of art and politics during the Depression years. Art and Politics Now Cultural Activism in a Time of Crisis (Midmarch Arts Press 2011) begins with the anti WTO demonstrations in 1999 in Seattle and concludes with reference to the BP Gulf oil spill in the spring of 2010. Topics include opposition to war, terrorism, racism, borders, and the violation of the earth. Updates to her book can be found on her blog, .

Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based writer, documentary filmmaker, and human rights advocate. Jen previously worked in conflict resolution with youth in Palestine/Israel, Afghanistan, Cyprus, India, Pakistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Jen co-directed/co-produced the award-winning documentary film Darfur Diaries: Message from Home and wrote the accompanying book Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival. Jens second award-winning documentary is Rebuilding Hope: Sudan Lost Boys Return Home. Jen also co-authored The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinians Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker. Jen is the playwright of There is a Field, addressing issues faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel. Jens most recent documentary is One Family in Gaza. Jen is currently finishing her next book, about Troy Davis, an innocent man executed by the state of Georgia, and is working on a documentary film about Bahrain's Arab Spring. Jens essays can be found at The Nation,,, Massachusetts Review and Yes! Magazine.

Dr. Todd Donovan is a Professor of Political Science at Western Washington University, in Bellingham, WA. He has taught at Western for 20 years. Donovan primary academic expertise is in the areas of voting, elections, American state politics, direct democracy, election systems, and representation. He has conducted statewide opinion polls in Washington, and has received grants to study elections in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Donovan has worked as an expert on election matters in state and federal cases in Alaska, California, Montana, Tennessee, and Washington. He is past president of the Whatcom chapter of Washington Conservation Voters, recently served as president of Futurewise Whatcom, and is president-elect of the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association. Donovan is co-author or co-editor of ten books. His latest include The Limits of Electoral Reform 2013, Oxford University Press (with Shaun Bowler), and Why Iowa? Sequential Elections, Reform and United States Presidential Nominations. 2010, University of Chicago Press (with David Redlask and Caroline Tolbert). Other books include two on direct democracy with Bowler: Demanding Choice: Opinion and Voting in Direct Democracy (University of Michigan Press, 1998), and Citizens as Legislators: Direct Democracy in the United States (Ohio State University Press, 1998). His articles appear in many scholarly journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Political Research Quarterly. He has several research projects currently underway, including a study of the effects of opinion polls on Americans' evaluations of candidates, a study of the relationship between electoral competition and political corruption in the United States, a paper exploring the relationship between civic duty and voter turnout in the UK (with Bowler), and a paper examining citizen attachments to democratic norms in 14 democracies (with David Denemark and Richard Niemi). Donovan's vita can be found here: Donovan's Google Scholar profile is here:

Sunera Thobani is a professor at University of British Columbia with degrees from Middlesex University (BA in Social Sciences), University of Colorado (MA in Social Sciences and Certificate in Women's Studies) and Simon Fraser University (PhD in Sociology). Prior to coming to UBC she was the Ruth Wynn Woodward Endowed Professor in Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University (1996-2000). Dr. Thobani was the Lansdowne Scholar in Residence at the School of Social Work, University of Victoria (1997). Since her appointment at UBC, Dr. Thobani has been committed to using an interdisciplinary approach in her teaching and research, and to maintaining her involvement in community and social justice activities. Dr. Thobani's academic publications include articles in journals such as Canadian Woman Studies, Atlantis: A Women's Studies Journal, Journal of Canadian Women and the Law, Refuge and Race & Class. Her research focuses on globalization, citizenship, migration and race and gender relations. Her current research projects include a Hampton Research Grant project, Gender, Globalization and International Conflict: Representation of Women in the Print Media' and a SSHRC funded project, Television Representations of Women and the War on Terrorism. Dr. Thobani is also past president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC), Canada's largest feminist organization. The first woman of colour to serve in this position, Ms. Thobani's tenure was committed to making the politics of anti-racism central to the women's movement. In her community work she has written and spoken on many issues, including the impact of globalization on women's citizenship; Canadian immigration and social policy; new reproductive technologies; violence against women; and women and APEC. She has been invited to help organize and give addresses at numerous international conferences, including the NGO Forum at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China (1996), the First International Women's Conference on APEC in Manila, Philippines (1996), and the National Association of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Councilors in Manchester, Britain (1998). She is also a founding member of the cross-Canada Researchers

Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta is a Quaker-Jewish activist who lived in Jerusalem for seven years (1988-95), during which time she participated in a variety of anti-occupation and solidarity groups, and took a particular interest in the practice and promotion of active nonviolence and joint Israeli-Palestinian endeavors. One of the founding members of the Action Committee for the Jahalin Tribe (ACJT) and a participant in the Hebron Solidarity Committee, Maxine was also part of a small collective that offered nonviolence training workshops during the early and mid-nineties attended by both Jewish and Druze activists in Israel, as well as one for the ACJT and other interested Jahalin. She is currently a member of Vancouver Women in Black, as well as the Vancouver branch of Independent Jewish Voices-Canada. She was also active in the local International Solidarity Movement group in its early years and was a part of the Vancouver-based Nonviolent Direct Action Training Collective early in the 2000s. Traveling regularly to Israel and Palestine, Maxine has written widely on Palestinian and Israeli nonviolent activism and related topics. In 2007, she presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) entitled lithe Potential for Joint Struggle: an examination of present and future participation by Israelis in Palestinian nonviolent resistance to the occupation (available on request). She also presented an abbreviated version of her book presentation in a workshop session at the October 2010 conference of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. She has undertaken extensive speaking tours in Canada and the US and, most recently, in the UK and Ireland promoting her book and disseminating information and updates on nonviolent activism in Palestine and Israel. Her most recent book is Refusing to Be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation.

Harriet Kuhnlein, Professor Emerita of Human Nutrition, Founding Director, Centre for Indigenous Peoples Nutrition and Environment (CINE) McGill University (Montreal, QC) Harriet Kuhnlein is a nutritionist and Founding Director of the Centre for Indigenous Peoples Nutrition and Environment (CINE) and Professor Emerita of Human Nutrition at McGill University. Dr. Kuhnlein received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Western Ontario. She was Assistant, then Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia before joining McGill University as Director of the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition in 1985, a position she held until the founding of CINE in 1993. Dr. Kuhnlein directs a Global Health Research initiative that received primary funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Twelve cultures of Indigenous Peoples in different parts of the world are involved in this project. The overall intent of the initiative is to provide evidence that biodiversity inherent in traditional food resources of Indigenous Peoples fosters food security and good health and should be environmentally protected. She has served as a member of the Advisory Board for CIHR - Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes, and with the Executive of the Canadian Coalition of Global Health Research. Dr. Kuhnlein chairs the Task Force on Traditional, Indigenous and Cultural Food and Nutrition of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences. Dr. Kuhnlein holds membership in several nutrition societies and the Canadian Society for Circumpolar Health. She is the 2001-02 recipient of McGill Universities Earle W. Crampton Award for Distinguished Service in Nutrition and the 1993 winner of the Canadian Jack Hildes Medal for Circumpolar Health. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Nutrition and a Fellow the International Union of Nutritional Sciences.


Fairhaven College is grateful to our valued co-sponsors for the World Issues Forum:




Shirley Osterhaus is the Coordinator of the World Issues Forums:

Shirley's Faculty Profile >