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Fall 2008 - Brown Bag Archives

Fall 2008

“Redefining the Renaissance: The Culture of Artistic Exchange between the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia and the Italian Mainland”
Presented by Dr. Jennifer Webb
Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)
UMD Fourth Floor Library Rotunda

Dr. Jennifer Webb,  Assistant Professor of Art History in UMD’s Department of Art and Design, examines common assumptions about Italian Renaissance Art by sharing her ideas developed during a summer 2008 trip to Croatia and Italy.  In the fifteenth century a number of artists traveled from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia to work at some of the most powerful Renaissance Italian courts while their Italian counterparts traveled east to work in cities like Dubrovnik.  Dr. Webb considers how the pieces found at these more ‘provincial’ sites compare with the masterpieces of the Renaissance in Florence, what influence Croatian artists may have had on Italian culture, and how a more comprehensive understanding of the culture of the Adriatic basin might help art historians and historians alike move towards a more nuanced definition of the ‘Renaissance.’ This presentation also includes pictures of Dr. Webb’s ten-day trip.  

“The Fate of the English Country House”
Presented by Dr. Dianne Barre
Thursday, October 2, 2008 - 12:00 p.m.(noon)
UMD Fourth Floor Library Rotunda

The future of the English Country House has often been in doubt.  The houses are the product of past economic circumstances.  They are often inconvenient to live in and expensive to maintain.  How has this rich architectural heritage adapted to change or been put to new uses?   What have been the consequences, visually and functionally?  Finding new uses for old buildings is a theme in many American downtowns.  Dr. Dianne Barre is an expert on the English Country House and associated gardens and a faculty participant in the UMD Study in England program, examines whether continuity or change has been achieved in England. 

“Researching Garden History”
Presented by Dr. Dianne Barre
Friday, October 3, 2008 -12:00 p.m. (noon).
UMD Fourth Floor Library Rotunda

Dr. Dianne Barre is a garden historian involved with the charting of the development and the regeneration of interest in historically significant gardens.  Many such gardens are now ‘lost’ or in very neglected and over-grown conditions.  Dr. Barre has been working on a project to visit and record the condition of many dozens of such gardens in her native Staffordshire in England.  She has just recently visited a garden in which the original 16th century garden terraces still survive.  In this talk, Dr. Barre will illustrate and answer the following questions:  What is garden history? How can garden history be researched?  How useful is garden history to the heritage industry and the understanding of the use of leisure in the past?

“(De)Constructing Borders: Native Nations Treaty-Making with the United States and Canada”
Presented by Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark
Thursday, October 9, 2008 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)
UMD Fourth Floor Library Rotunda

Treaties between tribal/First nations and colonial nations, namely the United States and Canada, initially served as the legal tool for colonial nations to acquire land and construct borders.  Treaties were fundamental to the formation of colonial nations because treaty-making served as the main legal practice which legitimized the existence and sovereignty of colonial nations. For many tribal/First nations, treaties operated as a means for seeking recognition and protection of their own sovereignty, land title, and rights to their territories. Throughout the treaty negotiation process, tribal/First nations expressed and sought to retain their own conceptions of sovereignty, nationhood, and land tenure. In this presentation, Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, a Turtle Mountain Anishinaabe and Assistant Professor in the UMD Department of American Indian Studies, takes a bi-national approach by examining treaty-making practices in the U.S. and Canada, but more importantly it places tribal/First Nations at the center. She lays out the benefits of a multi-national study that includes the valuable contributions of tribal/First Nations.

 “Second City of the United Kingdom
Presented by Paul Strommer, Leif Olson, Stephanie Bassett
Thursday, October 16, 2008 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)
UMD Fourth Floor Library Rotunda

Three students that have recently participated in UMD's Study in England Program in England's second largest city, Birmingham, will discuss their experiences living in the city. Paul Strommer, Leif Olson, and Stephanie Bassett will also examine Birmingham's history and its evolution into a leading urban center in the United Kingdom. The students will share pictures of Birmingham and their research about life in the city.

“Creating Democracy and Civil Society in Tajikistan"
Presented by Visiting Leaders from Tajikistan
Thursday, October 23, 2008 - 12:00 p.m. (noon) - A reception will follow this presentation until 2:00 p.m.
UMD Fourth Floor Library Rotunda

The Duluth area League of Women Voters is hosting five individuals from Tajikistan in October 2008.  The visit of these emerging leaders is made possible through the Open World Program which enables participants to experience U.S. democracy, as well as the role of civil society and free enterprise in communities throughout the United States.  Mukhibullo Dodojonov, Shokir Hakimov, Marifat Nazhmudinovna Khidiraliyeva, Timur Akhmedovich Nabiyev and Shuhrat Abdumutalibovich Shamsiev, from the government and non-profit sectors of the country, will discuss the process of democratization and civic engagement in Tajikistan and will reflect upon what they have learned in the United States. (A reception will follow this presentation)

“China: Perspective from an Insider"
Presented by Dr. Zhangyi Liu
Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)
UMD Fourth Floor Library Rotunda

Dr. Zhangyi Liu, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UMD, was born in China and came to the United States in 1984 for his  graduate education.  Since 1992, he has established research collaborations with Chinese colleagues, which have led to many trips back to China.  Dr. Liu also leads a Study in China program for UMD students.  He has witnessed the dramatic changes China has been experiencing and in this presentation he will share his perspective on these changes.

"Guatemala, at the Crossroads of the Past and the Future"
Presented by Carlos Castillo
Thursday, November 6, 2008 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)
UMD Fourth Floor Library Rotunda

Carlos Castillo, an Instructor in the UMD Marketing Department, will be sharing with the audience some historical information about the country of Guatemala, including its Spanish and Indian American  heritages and connecting this to today's cultural, political and economic situation in the country.  The objective of this presentation is to show how today's Guatemala is  the result of world political mishaps and the continuing challenges  the nation faces as it deals with fierce competition from other developing  countries.  Mr. Castillo will also show pictures and offer cultural data for those interested in visiting the country.

"Researching Student Outcomes in Study Abroad"
Presented by Dr. Paula Pedersen
Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)
UMD Fourth Floor Library Rotunda

In 2006-2007, Dr. Paula Pedersen, Assistant Professor of Psychology at UMD, served as a resident faculty member in the UMD Study in England Program. During that time she began working with students to assess the impact of their study abroad experience on their 'worldview' given the reality of cultural differences. Dr. Pedersen utilized the "Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)" to measure how students feel and think about, and thus react to, cultural difference. The inventory is given before and after the students' year in England. Dr. Pedersen will provide the results of her research in this presentation.

“Glasgow: From Medieval to Post-Modern City”
Presented by Dr. William Henderson
Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)
UMD Fourth Floor Library Rotunda

Dr. William Henderson, Director of the Alworth Institute, discusses Glasgow, a city with a proud industrial past and with very strong North American connections.  Like Duluth, it lost much of its heavy industry in the 1970s and 1980s.  It has regenerated by rediscovering the strength of its urban landscape, the significance of its past and the depth of its cultural achievements.  This presentation gives an overview of the city and its history as well as its regeneration through culture and the arts.

"Reflections of an Icelandic Author"
Presented by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Thursday, December 4, 2008 - 12:00 p.m. (noon)
UMD Fourth Floor Library Rotunda

Yrsa Sigurdardottir, a mystery and children's book author as well as a geothermal engineer, lives and works in Reykjavik, and is the technical manager of one of the largest hydro-construction projects in Europe. She is married with two children, and her books for children and teenagers have won prizes and great acclaim. Last Rituals, her first adult mystery novel and the first of a series featuring Thora Gudmundsdottir, has been a bestseller in Iceland has been recently translated into English. Her visit to the United States and Canada is sponsored by The Icelandic National League of North America.