Centennial Lecture Series on Globalization starts Sept. 24
Sept. 12, 2003
KALAMAZOO -- The effect of globalization on major regions of the world will be discussed by noted Western Michigan University experts during a series of 2003-04 lectures in Grand Rapids, beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24.
The WMU Centennial Lecture Series on Globalization was developed by the Grand Rapids-based World Affairs Council of Western Michigan and WMU's Diether H. Haenicke Institute for International and Area Studies as part of WMU's centennial celebration.
It will run through March 2004 and feature one 7 p.m. lecture a month over seven Wednesdays. Each lecture will be held at WMU-Grand Rapids' Graduate Center-Downtown, 200 Ionia Ave. S.W. Parking will be available across from the center in Lot 5 or on the street. Reservations are not required for the talks, which are free for WMU faculty and student ID holders and World Affairs Council members. There is a $5 per-lecture charge for other persons who attend.
Each lecture will concentrate on a key world region and be presented by a WMU faculty member with nationally recognized expertise in that region. A question-and-answer/discussion period will follow each hour-long talk. The lecture series schedule is: China, Sept. 24; India, Oct. 22; the Middle East, Nov. 19; Latin America, Dec. 10; Africa, Jan. 21; Russia and the former Soviet states, Feb. 11; and Europe and the European Union, March 10.
Dixie Anderson, executive director of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan, says the council selected globalization as the theme for its 2003-04 programming season, which includes the centennial lecture series.
"Hopefully by the end of the season, we all will have a good handle on a workable definition of globalization and some of its plusses and minuses," Anderson says. "Love it or hate it, we need to understand it--globalization is here to stay. I'm reading my copy of Tom Freidman's 'The Lexus and the Olive Tree' this very minute."
Dr. Ronald Davis, director of the Haenicke Institute for International and Area Studies and a member of the World Affairs Council's board of directors, adds that globalization is only a controversial issue in the United States.
"It has both positive and negative implications for every region and culture of the world," Davis says. "The lecture series will focus on perspectives ranging from the world's major civilizations like China to differing world views from areas for which globalization has been a major challenge, like Africa."
The presenters for the WMU Centennial Lecture Series on Globalization are all longstanding University professors.
Dr. Timothy Light, who will talk Sept. 24 on China, is a professor emeritus of comparative religion and a former WMU provost as well as a World Affairs Council board member. Light, a well-known authority on Chinese philosophy, lived and studied in China for many years. During his tenure as provost, he was a leader in promoting internationalization at WMU.
Dr. Nancy Falk, who will discuss India Oct. 22, is a professor of comparative religion. Falk is recognized around the world as an expert on Indian culture and religion and also is known for her scholarly work related to Indian women. She teaches courses on the Indian tradition as well as workshops in Sanskrit for graduate students.
Dr. Howard Dooley, who will talk Nov. 19 on the Middle East , is a professor of history and executive director of WMU's Office of International Affairs as well as a long-time member of the World Affairs Council. Dooley is an expert on modern Middle Eastern history and recently visited a number of Arab countries as part of a U.S. State Department-sponsored mission for public diplomacy. He has written numerous journal articles and book chapters on the Suez crisis of 1956 and power politics in the Middle East.
Dr. William Santiago-Valles, who will talk Dec. 10 on Latin America, is an associate professor of Africana studies. Santiago-Valles is an expert in Caribbean cultural studies and the impact of globalization in developing areas. He is a native of Puerto Rico and recently directed a Fulbright seminar for WMU students in West Africa.
Dr. Sisay Asefa, who will discuss Africa Jan. 21, is a professor of economics and director of WMU's Center for African Development Policy Research. Asefa is a widely published expert on Ethiopian and East African economies and development dynamics. He recently served as host for a major regional development conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that WMU cosponsored.
Dr. Jim Butterfield, who will talk Feb. 11 on Russia and the former Soviet states, is a professor of political science and associate director of WMU's Haenicke Institute for International and Area Studies as well as a long-time member World Affairs Council. Butterfield is an expert in the political and social systems of Russia and the former USSR. This past summer, he completed a sabbatical that included conducting comparative research in South Africa and teaching at Charles University in the Czech Republic.
Dr. Gunther Hega, who will talk March 10 on Europe and the European Union, is an associate professor of political science and director of WMU's Institute of Government and Politics. Hega is an expert in modern European political systems and the European Union, especially the role of Germany.
The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan is dedicated to educating people in West Michigan about other countries, cultures and regions of the world as well as to providing a forum for discussing critical foreign policy issues facing the nation. It is best known for sponsoring the Great Decisions Series, an American foreign policy lecture series held every February and March since the early 1960s, and the Community Ambassadors and Teenagers Abroad programs, which started in the 1950s.
The council took root in 1949, when concern for the region's increasing isolationism after World War II prompted Edgar Orr and Douglas Hillman to start an organization that was solely concerned with American foreign policy and international issues. The two men chose to affiliate with a loosely organized group of world affairs councils around the country.
The Haenicke Institute for International and Area Studies was formally established in 1999 to continue pre-existing efforts to internationalize the academic domain. Its activities revolve around faculty and curriculum development, study abroad programs, visiting scholar and special events, and collaborations with West Michigan entities that advance international awareness and involvement in the region.
More information is available from the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan by contacting (616) 776-1721 or <firstname.lastname@example.org> or from the Haenicke Institute for International and Area Studies at (269) 387-3985 or visiting the Web at <www.wmich.edu/hcenter>.
Media note: For more information about the Centennial Lecture Series on Globalization, call Dixie Anderson, executive director of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan, at (616) 776-1721. To arrange an interview with a lecture series presenter, call Dr. Ronald Davis, WMU assistant provost and director of the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for International and Area Studies, at (269) 387-3907.
Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, email@example.com