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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

World Issues Forums

Fall 2008 Schedule

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

Coordinator: Shirley Osterhaus
All events are free and everyone is welcome. Information: call 650-2309



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.



October 1, Noon-1:30pm, Fairhaven College Auditorium

Gilda Sheppard: World Issues ForumsMoving from Object to Subject: Critical Ethnography & Documentary Film"

Gilda Sheppard, Ph. D. Evergreen State College Tacoma. She teaches interdisciplinary courses in sociology, cultural studies and media literacy and is a filmmaker.


Gilda L. Sheppard will discuss the growing population of refugees using her collaborative work in the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana, West Africa. Sheppard will provide stories of her one woman camera documentation of this process and how the positions of a sociologist and filmmaker representing another culture can be a place of privilege, emancipation and social justice.


"Role of Ghanian Literature as Performance and Oral History" (Paths to Global Justice)

Drawing upon excerpts from the late Efua Sutherland, founder of The Ghanaian Drama Theater, play Marriage of Anasewa, as well as interviews Sheppard recorded in 2007 of Ama Ata Aidoo, first lady of Literature in Ghana, an award winning literary scholar of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and with Mohammed ben Abdallah, a playwright and former minister of culture of Ghana, Sheppard will speak to the role of literature as performance in the genre of Concert Parties.




October 8, Noon-1:30, Fairhaven College Auditorium

Jeff Halper"Breaking the Siege of Gaza"

Jeff Halper, an Israeli-American Anthropologist, author, lecturer, political activist, and co-founder and Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).

Jeff Halper, one of 44 activists from 17 nations who successfully sailed from Cyprus to Gaza aboard two fishing boats in defiance of Israel's blockade this past August will address the situation and voices of the people of Gaza. Halper was the only Israeli Jew on this historic challenge to Israel's blockade of this besieged territory. From that perspective, he will share understandings he upholds: (1) the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is political and as such it has a political solution; (2) the Palestinians are not our enemies and (3) as the infinitely stronger party in the conflict and the only Occupying Power, Israelis must accept responsibility for our failed and oppressive policies. His most recent book is: An Israeli In Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel.




October 15, 12:00-1:30, Fairhaven College Auditorium

"Cultural Diversity and Globalization: Is this an evident contradiction or can both complement each other?"

Erich Schellhammer, Program Head of the BA in Justice Studies at Royal Roads University

At face value, globalization can destroy cultural diversity which is now seen as a human right. However, if we
examine the primary reason for cultural diversity, using models derived from phenomenology and ontology, we discover that globalization might actually deliver the otherness that is required for the formulation of identity and thusfor cultural diversity. Thoughts about such interconnections then might trigger a different approach to the use of means of globalization, such as communication technologies, knowledge transfers, harmonization of economic development tools and international regulations.

October 15, 6:00-7:30 Law Diversity and Justice Pizza Social with Dr. Schellhammer
Discussion Topic: Links between Justice Studies and Law, Diversity & Justice




Monday, October 20, time and place TBA

Dahl Jamail"Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist"

Dahr Jamail, independent journalist and author on the Iraq war.

Dahr Jamail, on tour with Haymarket's 'Resisting Empire' book tour, will give an indispensable account of life in Iraq under U.S. occupation. Author of Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq.



October 22, Noon-1:30, Fairhaven College Auditorium

"The Politics of the End Times"

Reverend Rich Lang, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, Seattle

Rev. Lang will address the political implications of end-times apocalyptic theology.He will examine what is called the Third Wave movement, an extension of Pentecostalism that is familiar to the audience through the viewing of Christian television healing ministries.He will demonstrate the connection between the theology behind this movement and its political manifestation in our current politics.




Friday, October 24, 2-3pm Place TBA

Rick Steeves"Challenging the Prohibition of our Age: Bringing a European Perspective to America's Drug Policy."

Rick Steves, author of European travel guidebooks and host of travel shows on public television and public radio

Sponsors: American Democracy Project, AS Civil Controversy, World Issues Forum

After spending a third of his adult life in Europe researching his guidebooks, Rick Steves has learned that Europe is fighting its drug abuse problems differently and more effectively than the USA. In Europe, where a joint causes as much excitement as a can of beer, drug problems are treated as health problems rather than criminal ones. Europeans measure the effectiveness of their drug policy not by how many people they lock up but on harm reduction to their society. Steves, who believes that the current American war on marijuana is similar to the war on alcohol during Prohibition, is a board member of NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).




October 29, Noon-1:30pm, Fairhaven College Auditorium

"The Evolution of Intelligent Design: Why ID Matters"

Gordy Slack, a science writer focusing on evolutionary biology and the relationship of science and religion.

It has been nearly three years since a federal judge declared it unconstitutional for a school board in Pennsylvania to teach intelligent design theory as an alternative to evolution. Slack will discuss how both sides of the battle have adapted to the new legal environment and why each position believes there is so much at stake. For this talk, Slack will emphasize how each side of this argument appears when viewed from the other.




November 5, Noon-1:30, Fairhaven College Auditorium

Stephen Beruchka"The Politics of Health"

Stephen Bezruchka, Senior Lecturer at UW School of Public Health and Community Medicine


We in the US die much younger than we should for living in the richest and most powerful country in world history, one that spends half of the world's health care bill. Although most of us are unaware of our premature demise. Do you want health or health care? We lack both. The reason is that today we transfer about a trillion dollars a year from the rest of us to the rich, something we didn't do fifty years ago when we were one of the world's healthiest countries. The solution is to go back to policies proposed by both Republican and Democratic presidents in the last century that would have shared this country's wealth more equitably. If we enacted these the rich and the rest of us would all be healthier.



November 6, time and place on campus and in the community TBA

Camillo Mejia"Resisting Empire: A Soldier of Conscience"

Camilo Mejia, former staff sergeant who served 6 months in Iraq and refused to return.

Camilo Mejia, first known Iraq veteran who refused to fight in Iraq, tells his story in Road from ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia, from his upbringing in Central America and his experience as an immigrant in the United States, to his service in Iraq and subsequent time in prison for his refusal to redeploy.



November 12, Noon-1:30pm Fairhaven College Auditorium

Keena and Khushboo"The Plight of Afghan Women"

Keena and Khushboo, Kabul, Afghanistan who worked with Afghan Women Skills Development Center


Heena and Khushboo will illuminate the lives of Afghan women.  In a country where arranged marriages are the rule rather than the exception, where co-educational schools suffer vandalism due to the presence of female students and where the feminization of poverty abounds, the plight of Afghan women bears consideration. 




Monday, November 17, Noon-1:30pm Fairhaven College Auditorium

Dr Richard Robbins"Contradictions and the Future of Globalization"

Dr. Richard Robbins, anthorologist at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh; author of numerous books and recipient of distinguished awards.  





December 3, Noon-1:30pm, Fairhaven College Auditorium

Riki Ott"Not One Drop:  Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill" 

Riki Ott, PhD marine biologist and independent environmental researcher and writer in Alaska.


Spanning nearly 40 years, Dr. Ott in her recent book, Not One Drop, describes an extraordinary tale of ordinary people who take on the world's richest oil companies and most powerful politicians to protect Prince William Sound from oil accidents. Author Riki Ott, a rare combination of commercial salmon "fisherma'am" and PhD marine biologist, describes the firsthand impact of this broken promise when the Exxon Valdez oil spill decimated Cordova, Alaska, a small commercial fishing community set in 38,000 square miles of rugged Alaska wilderness.
7:00pm Village Books Reading