Chinese-American photographer Taca Sui

Monday, April 1, 6:00-7:30 pm
Mandel Center for Humanities G03
 
Beijing and New York-based photographer Taca Sui creates work inspired by the history and landscape of China. His art challenges our preconceptions about nation and nature as well as our expectations for photography itself. 

BREXIT: Continuing Chaos?

If the British voted to leave the European Union three years ago, why haven’t they left yet?  Why is “Brexit” so complicated?  Why can’t Britain come to an agreement with the EU that the British parliament will approve?

And what happens to the world’s largest market if the world’s fifth-largest economy crashes out of it?  Will “Brexit” be followed by a worldwide “Brecession?”

Come learn more at our lunchtime panel on Friday, March 29 at the Faculty Club.

 

Rock and Resistance in Putin’s Russia

On February 21, 2012, the feminist rock band Pussy Riot jumped on the altar in Moscow’s biggest cathedral and tried to play a protest song:

Virgin Mary, Mother of God

Put Putin Away!

The band members were arrested within minutes and sentenced to prison terms of two years each for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.”  And yet they play on.  Russian President Vladimir Putin can break up protests on the streets, but he can’t stop rock bands from rallying the opposition.

This Tuesday, come hear Russian rock critic Artemy Troitsky speak on the state of protest music under Putin’s regime.  That’s:

Rock and Resistance in Russia

March 26
2-4 p.m.
Skyline Commons

Best Frenemies Forever? Germany and Russia

Monday March 18th 2019, 12pm-2pm
Faculty Club Lounge

Karsten Voight

Speaker Karsten D. Voigt is a former member of the German Bundestag and served as the Coordinator of German-North American Cooperation at the Foreign Office of Germany from 1999 to 2010. He also served as Vice-President (1992-1994) and then President (1994-1996) of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO.

From 1976 to 1998, he was a member of the German Bundestag, where he served as Foreign Policy Speaker of the Social Democratic faction from 1983 to 1998. For many years he was Chairman of the German-Soviet, and later the German-Russian parliamentary group.

Voigt is a board member of Aspen Germany and a Senior Associate fellow and member of the presidium of the German Council on Foreign Policy.

RSVP here.

Can the Diaspora Contribute to Africa’s Development?

IGS was very pleased to join the Heller School in cosponsoring a day-long conference on Africa’s development.  The economic growth in Nigeria, Rwanda, and throughout East Africa shows that this is probably more than just a commodity boom: we might be looking a real, long-term expansion.

Which leads to some interesting questions.  Why is growth now so much more robust?  And what can be done to make it sustainable — in both the sense of enduring and healthy? Does the African diaspora have a significant role to play?

 

 

China’s Investments in Africa: Neocolonialism or Mutual Development?

A fascinating event to end the semester!

Africa-China: Mutual Influence in the Early 21st Century 

Thursday, April 26th , 6:00 PM-7:30 PM
Shiffman Humanities Center 120 (Inside Mandel Quad, across from Olin-Sang and Rabb)

A Roundtable Discussion Featuring

Joseph Assan (Assistant Professor, Heller School)
Xing Hang (Associate Professor, History)
Derek Sheridan (Lecturer, Anthropology)
Elanah Uretsky (Visiting Assistant Professor, Anthropology)

My question, for anyone who would like to comment: is China treating Africa the way that European colonists did?  Or is China, a fellow developing country, simply trying to find mutual benefit from its investments in Africa?  Or are we seeing some combination of the two?

 

Do We Patronize North Korea?

Professor Sung-Yoon Lee of Tufts University gave an erudite talk today on a rather gruesome subject: the true nature of the North Korean regime that we so often mock but rarely take seriously.  I was especially moved by his account of the country’s 1990s famine, which could have been eradicated for $100 million, if only the North Korean regime had thought millions of lives were worth cutting a slice off its $7 billion military budget.

I was left reconsidering my own attitude towards the “Hermit Kingdom.”  Do we patronize North Korea when we laugh at its leader’s haircut?  If we reward the North Koreans — again — for pausing their nuclear tests, are we giving them the tools to continue oppressing their population?  Do we lose sight of the true nature of the North Korea problem if we get so caught up in negotiations that we overlook the sheer viciousness of the regime?

But no doubt you have your own responses to Professor Lee’s talk.  What did you hear that changed the way you think about the problem of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program?

Another fabulous David Wang lecture, and two questions

David Wang’s lecture this afternoon about ghosts in contemporary Chinese fiction was another tour de force.  Such a wonderful exploration of intriguing question: if China became an atheistic and realist society after 1949, why is are its writers now so fascinated by spirits and the transmigration of souls?Image result for life and death are wearing me out

The lecture left me with a lot of questions about the life of the imagination in China today, but also had me wondering about alternative histories — the particular kind of haunting sense that the world could have been different.  So you can answer either of the following two questions:

  1. What story of imaginary hauntings intrigued you the most, and why?  Is there a novel you will now read based on Professor Wang’s suggestions?  Or…
  2. In what sense do you imagine the world we have studied is in some way haunted by an historical legacy?  If you could write a novel with a haunting or an alternative history, what would it be?  Which of the styles that Prof. Wang mentioned would your novel resemble?