The International Brown Bag Series has been an integral part of the Alworth Institute's programming since its inception in 1987. In the fall of 2013, it was renamed the Martha B. Alwoth International Brown Bag Series. It provides the audience the opportunity to share in the international travel experiences of numerous individuals from the University, local, national and international communities. Many presentations are travelogues; some are reflections of the current issues confronting a country's people; others capture the cultural character of distant societies; but, each allows a unique insight into places many would never have the opportunity to visit.
The objectives of this series are to:
- help fulfill the overall objectives of the Alworth Institute;
- introduce students, staff and the wider community to interesting aspects of foreign culture, society and history;
- raise awareness of political life and conditions in diverse parts of the world;
- create opportunities for sharing insights developed during professional and leisure interest travel and other programs of study abroad;
- create opportunities for visiting faculty to share relevant topics with the wider University;
- involve students, staff and community members in exchanging ideas and reflecting on international and any related domestic policy issues.
To learn more about the renaming of the International Brown Bag Series click here.
Check back soon for more details about Spring 2014 Brown Bag lectures!
Fall 2013 Schedule
Sessions held Thursdays at 12:00 p.m. (noon) in the UMD Library 4th Floor Rotunda.
“A European Vacation: Can the Family that Travels Together, Stay Together?”
Presented by Dr. Cindy Christian, Director of the Alworth Institute
Dr. Christian traveled to Scotland, London, Paris and the Tyrolian region of Austria with her husband and daughter this past summer. They set out to have a grand adventure "together". However, though they know each other very well, their expectations did not match. They discovered very early on that they each were interested in seeing and doing different things. Christian will share photos of their travels in Edinburgh, London, Paris, Innsbruck, Kufstein and Munich, and explain how her family stayed together by NOT always staying together.
“Morocco and Global Challenges”
Presented by Dr. Dennis Falk, Professor, UMD Department of Social Work and Alworth Institute Associate
Dr. Falk will examine how the North African country of Morocco is being affected by global challenges associated with "Seven Revolutions” originally described by Erik Peterson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. These revolutions relate to challenges in the areas of population, natural resources, technology, information, economies, conflict, and governance. The information and images presented will be based in part on Falk's visit to Morocco in January of 2013.
“Panpsychism's Quantum Burden: How I Went to India, What I Saw There, and the Ideas I Would Like to Share”
Presented by Dr. Jason Ford, Assistant Professor, UMD Department of Philosophy
The presentation “Fulbright India: Encountering a Culture” is being replaced by “Panpsychism’s Quantum Burden: Or, How I went to India, What I Saw There, and the Ideas I Would Like to Share” - Dr. Jason Ford, Associate Professor in the UMD Department of Philosophy, attended the conference, Towards a Science of Consciousness in March of 2013 at the Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra, India. He will discuss the sites he saw while in India and share his thoughts on a current philosophical debate.
“Drugs, Guns, and US Policies in Mexico: Lessons from the Mexican Human Rights Organization Comité Cerezo”
Presented by Francisco Cerezo, Founder, Mexican Human Rights Organization, Comité Cerezo
Militarization, fueled by US military aid and War on Drugs, has led to increased violence, political repression, and human rights violations in Mexico. The 2001 arrest of three Cerezo brothers for student activism provides one powerful example; they were incarcerated in federal prison for over seven years where they were physically and psychologically tortured. Over 900 individuals have been detained or persecuted for political reasons since 2000. Family members and allies, including brother Francisco Cerezo, formed Comite Cerezo to fight for their liberation. Since the Cerezo brothers’ release, the Comité has continued to promote and defend human rights of victims of political repression and is active in a national campaign to protect human rights’ defenders. Cerezo, will discuss the work of this organization to end human rights’ abuses in Mexico. (Co-sponsored by the UMD Office of Cultural Diversity and Witness For Peace, Upper Midwest Region.)
“Antarctica: The Last Continental Frontier”
Presented by Dr. John Goodge, UMD Professor of Geological Sciences
Dr. Goodge will give a presentation on scientific exploration in the deep interior of Antarctica, focusing on what we know and what we want to know about this ice-covered continent. The continental geology of Antarctica is intrinsically linked to supercontinent formation, resource distribution, stability of the ice sheets, and climate science. Embracing novel technologies promises to provide new views of the deep parts of the ice sheet, and to help us learn about Earth changes on a variety of timescales. John has led 11 scientific expeditions to Antarctica, and his research has been featured by The New York Times.
“Birmingham (UK) to Tuscany and Back”
Presented by Dr. William Henderson, Alworth Institute’s International Associate
Dr. Henderson has traveled many times across Europe from the UK to Tuscany. In this photographic travelogue, he will discuss geographical and architectural aspects of places such as Arras, Isoire, Collioure, San Remo, Tuscany, Cannes, Nice and Dijon. He will also comment on wider European economic and political issues such as Italy under austerity.
“Sri Lanka: Transition in the Tear Drop”
Presented by Jacob Petersen-Perlman, Ph.D. Candidate of Geography in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University
Mr. Petersen-Perlman recently completed field research he conducted as part his internship at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He will discuss Sri Lanka’s current state of rapid reconstruction and development in light of its protracted civil war. He argues that the country’s future is uncertain, with an increasingly authoritarian government threatening its democracy.
Special Presentation for International Education Week - "Art and Artists in Växjö, Stockholm and Oslo"
Presented by Dr. Alison Aune, UMD Professor of Art & Design and Cheryl Reitan, UMD Associate Director of External Affairs
Dr. Aune and Ms. Reitan will give an overview of Nordic artists to be featured during UMD's May 2014 Study Abroad Trip. Artists include: Bertil Vallien and Ullrica Hydman Vallien, Carl and Emma Milles, Estrid Ericson, Josef Frank, Siri Derkert, Edvard Munch(The Scream, Harriet Backer, Gustav Vigeland, and others. Trip features will be also presented including graphic designagencies, IKEA designers, studio workshops, accommodations, and travel.
“Exploration of English Wind Band Music”
Presented by Dr. Mark Whitlock, Director of Bands in the UMD Department of Music
In April 2013, Dr. Whitlock was invited to adjudicate the National Concert Band Festival held at the Birmingham Conservatiore in Birmingham, England. This is the largest band festival in England and is attended by some of the most important band conductors and composers in the country. Whitlock will give an illustrated presentation about his trip to Birmingham and share what he has learned from interacting with the composers and conductors at the festival.
“Echoes of Peace from Duluth to Iraq”
Presented by Trisha O’Keefe, Dr. Paula Pedersen, Wendy Ruhnke & Sara Thomsen, Members of the Duluth “Echoes of Peace Choir”
In March of 2013, the Echoes of Peace Choir from Duluth traveled to Rania in Iraqi Kurdistan as part of the city’s friendship exchange program. A delegation of 22 members of the choir performed in three different cities, including Halabja, the site of the 1988 poison gas attack by the Iraqi government. The mission of the choir and the Duluth Rania Friendship Exchange Project is to develop understanding through cultural and educational exchanges in the spirit of citizen diplomacy. Sara Thomsen, founder and artistic director of the Choir, along with the three other members will share their experiences of this visit to Rania.
“Finland: First Impressions . . .”
Presented by Dr. Gesa Zinn, Associate Professor of German, UMD Foreign Languages and Literatures Department
From June 10 until August 16, 2013, Dr. Zinn taught German language and German Business courses for the International Business Program at Aalto University, Mikkeli Campus (the main campus is in Helsinki). It was her first time in Finland, and thus everything was new: the language (which luckily she didn't need to speak, since the program is taught in English), the Finnish educational system, daily life in a smaller town in Eastern Finland, excursions around the area and to Helsinki, outings and visits with locals, as well as the Finnish sauna culture. Her "first impressions" consist of unforgettable events experienced during her summer months living in this special and young Nordic country between Russia and Sweden.
If you are interested in proposing a topic for discussion, finding a qualified speaker, or co-sponsoring a lecture; check the suitability of the topic and the speaker against the objectives above and contact the Alworth Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org or (218) 726-7493.