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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

World Issues Forum: Fall 2013

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: Anthropology, Canadian American Studies, Communications, Political Science, Women's Studies, WWU Diversity Fund, and Mark Lehmann.

 

 

Fall 2013 Schedule
Date & Time Lecture

Wed 10/2

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven

Auditorium

 

7:00pm

RE Sources

2900 Meridian

 

VIDEO >

#joya“Afghanistan, Ecology and the End of War”

Dana Visalli, veteran international journalist, editor, and author

 

“Dana spent part of March this year volunteer-teaching biology and evolution to young female Moslem students in Kabul. He will begin his presentation with this story, then segue into the history of western involvement in Afghanistan and why the US is militarily involved in that country at this time. He concludes with an overview of the human evolutionary story and the potential for a more enlightened relationship with one another and the earth.”

Wed 10/9

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

“No Longer Shackled by Chains but by our Economic Conditions: The struggle for Trade, Labor & Racial Justice in Colombia’s Ports”

Jhon Jairo Castro, President of the Buenaventura chapter of the Portworkers Union in Colombia

 

“On tour with Witness for Peace, Jhon Jairo Castro will share his experience as an Afro-Colombian labor leader in one of the deadliest countries in the world to exercise labor rights. Jhon Jairo has worked as a longshoreman and labor rights organizer for over eleven years, leading various actions in Colombia’s principle port city of Buenaventura. A voice from the port, through which 60 percent of Colombian imports and exports pass, is especially significant in the wake of the approval of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Jhon Jairo will share what privatization and free trade have meant for Buenaventura’s Afro-Colombian community, who make up nearly 90% of the city’s population.”

 

Wed 10/16

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

“Economic adaptation, identity preservation - a Lahu Na Shehleh case"

Jakatae Jayo, Lahu coffee farmer and filmmaker from Thailand

 

The Lahu Shehleh have faced serious challenges to their identity and way of life in recent decades. Jakatae Jayo will discuss the challenges of adapting to meet the demands of political and economic policies which restrict traditional practices. This talk will include discussion of grassroots efforts to develop sustainable economic programs, and to promote and maintain Lahu Shehleh ethnic identity, focusing on projects in which Mr. Jayo has been engaged over the past two decades.

 

Wed 10/23

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven

Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

#marlowe

"Paper Truths and Ersatz Lives: Authenticity and Fakery in an African Transnational Visa Economy”

Ebenezer Obadare, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Kansas,

 

“The subject of my presentation is the Nigerian transnational visa economy. This is the motley of practices, private and institutional actors, institutions and state and para-state agents involved in the production of alternative/official travel documentation for clients who hail from Nigeria. As a contribution to the scholarship on ‘globalization from below’, I demonstrate how those who work within this economy become participants in the transnational process by producing agents who eventually become transnational migrants. Furthermore, I situate the workings of the visa economy within a larger economy of falsification. I argue that the ‘visa economy’ is a fallout of a combination of factors: the dis-embedding of the state from ordinary people’s lives, the freeze in social mobility as a result of mass unemployment, and the ‘appetite for Elsewhere’ partly fostered by the scarcity of opportunities for material reproduction and professional enhancement.”

Wed 10/30

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

#thrush

“A History of Partition: the Gordian Knot of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”

Martin Bunton, Professor of history at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

 

"Over the last 120 years the evolving Palestinian–Israeli conflict has had many facets, but none has been as pressing and tangible as the problem of sharing the land. This presentation focuses squarely on the constant but evolving challenge of partitioning a relatively small but geographically varied strip of land sitting between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Organised chronologically, it reflects on the failure of successive attempts to establish separate independent states that can satisfy the claims of both Jewish and Palestinian nationalism to the same territorial space."

Wed 11/6

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

#sheehan

“Frictions of Conversion and Contention: Religion and Activism in the Tohono O’odham Borderlands”

Jose Antonio Lucero, Hanauer Honors Professor, Associate Professor, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Chair, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Washington

 

“Due to US border policies that funnel migrants through the harsh Arizona desert, thousands of people have crossed and died on Tohono O’odham lands. Mike Wilson, a tribal member and activist, leaves water in the desert for migrants, against the wishes of his tribal council and the United States Border Patrol. To the surprise of many, in the 1980s Wilson was a member of the US Army Special Forces stationed in El Salvador. How did a Green Beret become an outspoken human rights activist? Professor Lucero argues that religion provided the “friction” that both enabled and constrained his activism.”

 

Wed 11/13

12:00 - 1:20pm

 

Fairhaven

Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

#godoy

“Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies from the Occupied Territories”

Yehuda Shaul, Executive director of Breaking the Silence, one of Israel’s internationally lauded NGOs

 

"Our story is how an ordinary good boy encounters the circumstances in Hebron and what he does there. Wanting people to understand what the occupation is beyond newspaper headlines, we want to reflect it through a soldier's eyes: how your senses are gradually dulled, how you cross red lines, what the moral cost is. The soldiers in OUR HARSH LOGIC have gone on the record with their personal experiences to break what they call a conspiracy of silence across Israeli society and to fulfill a moral obligation. Speaking with undeniable authority, they have made a supremely significant contribution to one of the world’s most vexed and intractable conflicts."

Tues 11/19

2:00 - 3:30pm

Fraser Hall

 

VIDEO >

#robinson

“Who Stole the American Dream?”

Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor and Emmy Award-winning producer/correspondent

 

Speaking about his current best-selling book, "WHO Stole the American Dream?, Hedrick Smith will describe how America moved from an era of widely shared power and effective bipartisan politics in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, to today's polarized politics, starkly unequal democracy, gaping financial inequalities, with a middle class and a national economy – stuck in a rut. Smith breaks with the conventional explanation that the demise of America’s middle class was caused solely by market forces, globalization and new technologies. He sees a political power shift in Washington and wedge economics in the private sector as the main causes, and he lays out an agenda for systemic reforms and political changes based on a revival of grass roots civic activism.”

Wed 11/20

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

#kriz

“Kwel Hoy: We Draw the Line”

Jeremiah “Jay” Julius, Member of Lummi Nation Tribal Council and Fisherman

 

Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point) is a sacred landscape in NW Washington that has deep spiritual and cultural significance to the people of the Lummi Nation. Overlooking the world-famous San Juan Islands, it includes ancient reef-net sites and a 3,500 year-old village site. The Hereditary Chief of the Lummi Nation, tsilixw (Bill James), describes it as the “home of the Ancient Ones.” Coal interests plan to construct North America's largest coal export terminal on this site. Jay Julius will address the impacts a proposed coal terminal would have on the environment, treaty fishing rights and spiritual values; and share the Lummi response of a Totem Pole Journey to raise awareness and opposition to a coal terminal.

   

 

Speaker Biographies

Dana Visalli is a biologist and organic farmer living in Twisp, Washington; he has a master's degree in environmental studies. His interest in evolution, ecology and human potential led him to visit Iraq four times in the past ten years, Afghanistan three times and Guantanamo once to inquire into the roots of human violence and the prospects for building a sane society.

Jhon Jairo Castro is the President of the Buenaventura chapter of the Portworkers Union in Colombia's principle port city, through which 60 percent of Colombian imports and exports pass. He has worked as a longshoreman and organized for labor rights for over eleven years, despite receiving death threats in a country that has the highest rate of murder for trade unionists in the world, and that has a 90% impunity rate for cases of violence against unionists. “With privatization we found ourselves mired in modern slavery…no longer bound by chains, but by our economic conditions. As portworkers we don’t even make minimum wage. We earn about $45/month working 12 to 36 hour-shifts in some cases, and how are we supposed to provide for our families on that income? With privatization comes exploitation and social decomposition.”--Member of the Portworkers Union Witness for Peace is excited to present Jhon Jairo Castro, the President of the Buenaventura chapter of the Portworkers Union, to share his experience as an Afro-Colombian labor leader in one of the deadliest countries in the world to exercise labor rights. A voice from the port through which 60 percent of Colombian imports and exports pass is especially significant in the wake of the approval of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Jhon Jairo will share what privatization and free trade have meant for Buenaventura’s Afro-Colombian community, who make up nearly 90% of the city’s population.

Jakatae Jayo was born near the Thai-Burma border and now lives with his family in Huay Nam Rin in northern Thailand. Jakatae finished elementary school and began farming shortly after. Ten years ago he was hired by the Thai Research Fund to collect data on Lahu musical instruments. This inspired him to make his first documentary film “Lahu Shelah, Rhythm of Life.” Shortly after, Jakatae completed a second documentary, “Past in the Present”, to mark the opening of a Lahu Market near his village. He presented this film as a gift to the King of Thailand on his 80th birthday. Jakatae then went to work at the Mirror Art Foundation documenting various highland cultures through film, video and photos. Five years ago, he returned to work at Suan Lahu, an organic coffee farm near his village. Soon after, he made a third film, “Images Returning Home”, which documents the return from Germany to Thailand of archival photos of highland cultures. These photos were placed in the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre and prints were presented to the villages where they were originally taken. These days Jakatae helps to manage Suan Lahu while continuing to think about ways to preserve Lahu culture. Lahu Land, a new initiative, focuses on developing sustainable coffee cultivation as a way of both generating income and supporting efforts to negotiate a path, acceptable to the community, through the tricky process of adaptation.

Ebenezer Obadare is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA. He earned his doctorate in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2005, and has undergraduate and graduate degrees in History (1989) and International Relations (1992) respectively from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. A former award-winning journalist, Dr. Obadare’s research interests include: civil society and the state, religion and politics in Africa, civic service, and the politics of citizenship. He has published extensively on these subjects in leading refereed journals, among them Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE), African Affairs, Politique Africaine, Journal of Civil Society, Democratization, Patterns of Prejudice, Africa Development, Critical African Studies, Development in Practice, Journal of Modern African Studies, and Journal of Contemporary African Studies. He is the author of Africa Between the Old and the New: The Strange Persistence of the Postcolonial State ( UNCW, 2008); Statism, Youth and the Civic Imagination: A Critical Study of the Nigerian National Youth Service Corps(CODESRIA, 2010); editor of The Handbook of Civil Society in Africa (Springer, 2013); and co-editor of Encountering the Nigerian State (Palgrave, 2010) Nigeria at Fifty: The Nation in Narration (Routledge, 2011); Democracy and Prebendalism in Nigeria: Critical Interpretations (Palgrave, 2013); and Civic Agency in Africa: Arts of Resistance in the 21st Century (2014). He is a member of the editorial board of Journal of Civil Society and Contemporary Sociology.

Martin Bunton teaches history at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. The bulk of my teaching has been in the field of modern Middle Eastern history, and I am especially interested in studying the history of the region in its global context. My first book focused on the making and remaking of colonial land policies in Palestine during the interwar period. The book is organised around two main themes: the legacy of Ottoman administrative practices and the borrowing of policies developed elsewhere in the British empire. These same themes also frame my organisation of the nine-volume collection of primary sources on land legislation in Palestine. My current research explores the development of land policies in Egypt during the period of British rule, 1882-1920, with a focus on land taxation, cadastral surveys, state lands, and agricultural credit.

José Antonio Lucero, Hanauer Honors Professor, Associate Professor, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Chair, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Washington. José Antonio Lucero (BA Stanford University, PhD Princeton University) was born in El Paso, Texas, and raised on both sides of the Mexico-US border. His main research and teaching interests include Indigenous politics, social movements, Latin American politics, and borderlands. Lucero is interested in the intersections of theories of politics and culture, and the methods of historical institutionalism, cultural studies, and ethnography. He has conducted field research in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru. In addition to numerous articles, Lucero is the author of Struggles of Voice: The Politics of Indigenous Representation in the Andes (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008) and the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Peoples Politics (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). His currently working on two research projects that examine the cultural politics of (1) conflicts between Indigenous peoples and the agents of extractive industry in Peru and (2) human rights activism, religion, and Indigenous politics on the Tohono-O’odham- Mexico-US border.

Yehuda Shaul was brought up in a Jewish Orthodox family in Jerusalem. At the end of his military service, which included serving in Hebron for fourteen months, Yehuda founded Breaking the Silence together with other Israeli soldiers from his unit. Breaking the Silence collects and publishes the testimonies of Israeli soldiers who served in the Territories during the second intifada, calling on the Israeli public to face the price of occupation. Their first event was an exhibit of photographs and testimonials by soldiers serving in Hebron that was displayed in Tel Aviv in 2004. Yehuda writes: “I was born and raised in Jerusalem on 25.12.82. My parents made ‘Alia’ (Immigrated to Israel) from North America. I grew up in an ultra orthodox family. I went to yeshiva in Ma’ale Michmash, a settlement near Ramallah, where I graduated from high school. I was recruited in March 2001 to the IDF and served in the 50th battalion of the “Nachal Brigade” as a soldier. In June 2002 I entered a Sergeant Academy, later going back to the brigade as a commander and a platoon sergeant. I served in most of the Palestinian cities in the West Bank. I was discharged in March 2004 after 3 years in the army. Then some of my friends and I founded Breaking the Silence. Today I serve as the executive director of the organization.

Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor and Emmy Award-winning producer/correspondent, is one of America's most distinguished journalists. He has covered Washington and world capitals for The New York Times, authored several best-selling books and created 20 award-winning PBS prime time specials and miniseries on Washington's power game, Soviet perestroika, the global economy, education reform, health care, teen violence, terrorism and Wall Street.

Jeremiah (“Jay”) Julius is Secretary of the Lummi Nation governing Council, a fisherman, crabber, successful businessman, and father of four. He is descended from¬ tribesmen who have fished the waters off Xwe’chi’eXen for centuries. He was recently featured in a KCTS documentary and a related PBS News Hour piece about the proposed Northwest coal terminals. Councilman Julius is speaking to multiple groups on the need to protect the sacred lands and waters of Xwe’chi’eXen and the San Juan Islands, the aboriginal territory of the Lummi Indians.

Co-sponsors

Fairhaven College is grateful to our valued co-sponsors for the Fall 2013World Issues Forum: Anthropology, Canadian American Studies, Communications, Political Science, Women's Studies, WWU Diversity Fund, and Mark Lehmann.

 

 

Contact

Shirley Osterhaus is the Coordinator of the World Issues Forums:

shirley.osterhaus@wwu.edu
650-2309

Shirley's Faculty Profile >