Spring 2015 Calendar of Events

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Race, Ethnicity and Politics: Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 19, 2015 1:00 PM  – 4:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Professor Cory Gooding's class, Government and Legal Studies/Africana Studies 2052 Race, Ethnicity and Politics, will honor the life and legacy of Dr. King.

The class will meet from 1:00 to 4:00 pm in Kresge Auditorium and will include two panel discussions:

  • 1:15-2:15 pm  Learning from King and the Civil Rights Movement
  • 2:30-3:30 pm  King and the Common Good: Discussing King's Impact on Bowdoin

Bowdoin faculty, staff and students who do not have other obligations are welcome to join us for either or both panels.

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Film: 'For the Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska'

February 5, 2015 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

In observance of Black History Month the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center presents the film, For the Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska.

This one-hour, award winning documentary reveals the true-life story of an extraordinary Alaskan woman who becomes an unlikely hero in the fight for civil rights. Like Native Americans in the lower forty-eight states, Alaska Natives struggled to keep their basic human rights, as well as protect their ancient ties to the land. The Bill of Rights did not apply to them.

Elizabeth Peratrovich, a young Tlingit woman and mother of three, testified before the Alaska Territorial Senate in 1945 and swayed their vote with her compelling testimony in favor of the Anti-Discrimination Act, the first civil rights bill passed in the U.S. since the Civil War.

Free and open to the public.

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Environmental Consulting: An Alumni Career Conversation

February 12, 2015 7:30 PM  – 9:00 PM
Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge

Are you curious about the broad field of environmental consulting?  Alumni from large and small consulting firms will come and share their insights, advice and experience about the numerous career paths in environmental consulting.

Our panelists are:

Matt Savard ’14 (Environmental Studies/Earth & Oceanographic Studies), Engineer II with GZA Environmental in Portland, ME.
Dan Peckham ’12 (Environmental Studies/Economics), Environmental Analyst, New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission
Liza Cohen ’08 (Self-designed Urban Studies/Built Environment) Associate, Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates
Patrick Coughlin ’89 (Environmental Studies/Chemistry), Principal and Senior Scientist, St. Germain Collins

This event is co-sponsored by Career Planning and the Environmental Studies Program.

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Second Annual World Cinema Festival: 'The Tribe' - with Kristina Toland

February 16, 2015 7:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

Newly arrived at a boarding school for the deaf, student Sergey quickly realizes he must win the protection of the school gang’s leader to survive. He assimilates into "the tribe" --an institutional system of organized crime involving robbery and prostitution--but compromises his position when he falls in love with a female classmate, who is also one of the gang’s sex workers. Using no spoken dialogue or subtitles, the film unfolds through body language and sign language from its cast of deaf, non-professional actors. 

Winner of the Critics' Week Grand Prix at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, The Tribe (Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, Ukraine, 2014), is presented by Kristina Toland, visiting assistant professor, Russian. 

Bowdoin’s World Cinema Festival offers a varied program of important contemporary narrative and documentary films from around the world with post-screening discussions moderated by faculty and students. 

The public is welcomed at no charge and tickets are not required.

The 2nd Annual World Cinema Festival is sponsored by the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund, the Latin American Studies Program, the Asian Studies Program, the Africana Studies Program, the Russian Department, the German Department, the Romance Languages Department, the English Department, MacMillan House, the Bowdoin Film Society, and the Cinema Studies Program.

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Second Annual World Cinema Festival: 'God Loves Uganda' - with Hanetha Vete-Congolo and Laura Premack

February 18, 2015 7:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

As an American-influenced bill to make homosexuality punishable by death wins widespread support, tension in Uganda mounts and an atmosphere of murderous hatred takes hold. This film reveals the conflicting motives of faith and greed, ecstasy and egotism, among Ugandan ministers, American evangelical leaders and the foot soldiers of a theology that sees Uganda as ground zero in a battle for billions of souls. Through verité, interviews, and hidden camera footage – and with unprecedented access – God Loves Uganda takes viewers inside the evangelical movement in both the US and Uganda.

Presented by Hanétha Vété-Congolo, Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Laura Premack, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow of Latin American Studies, God Loves Uganda (Roger Ross Williams, US, 2013), is a NY Times Critic’s Pick, winner of the Inspiration Award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and official selection at Sundance, HotDocs, and AFI Docs. 

Bowdoin’s World Cinema Festival offers a varied program of important contemporary narrative and documentary films from around the world with post-screening discussions moderated by faculty and students.

The public is welcomed at no charge and tickets are not required.

The 2nd Annual World Cinema Festival is sponsored by the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund, the Latin American Studies Program, the Asian Studies Program, the African Studies Program, the Russian Department, the German Department, the Romance Languages Department, the English Department, MacMillan House, the Bowdoin Film Society, and the Cinema Studies Program.

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Second Annual World Cinema Festival: 'A Touch of Sin' - with Shu-chin Tsui

February 19, 2015 7:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

An angry miner, enraged by widespread corruption in his village, decides to take justice into his own hands. A rootless migrant discovers the infinite possibilities of owning a firearm. A young receptionist, who dates a married man and works at a local sauna, is pushed beyond her limits by an abusive client. And a young factory worker goes from one discouraging job to the next, only to face increasingly degrading circumstances. This daring, poetic and grand-scale film focuses on four characters, each living in different provinces, who are driven to violent ends. 

Written and directed by master filmmaker Jia Zhangke (China, 2013) and presented by Shu-Chin Tsui, professor of Asian studies and cinema studies, A Touch of Sin is the winner of Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival, and an official selection of the 2013 NYFF. 

Bowdoin’s World Cinema Festival offers a varied program of important contemporary narrative and documentary films from around the world with post-screening discussions moderated by faculty and students. 

The public is welcomed at no charge and tickets are not required.

The 2nd Annual World Cinema Festival is sponsored by the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund, the Latin American Studies Program, the Asian Studies Program, the African Studies Program, the Russian Department, the German Department, the Romance Languages Department, the English Department, MacMillan House, the Bowdoin Film Society, and the Cinema Studies Program.


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Film Screening: 'The Auschwitz Gateway Film' with Filmmaker David Conover

March 25, 2015 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Filmmaker David Conover will screen his recently-produced eight-minute film created for the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum near Krakow, Poland.

The Auschwitz Gateway Film is a compelling and heartbreaking introduction to the horrors of the Holocaust at the largest concentration camp of the Nazi era, and will be shown to museum visitors before they walk through the infamous Arbeit Macht Frei ("work makes you free") gateway to enter the camp.

The screening will be followed by a conversation with Conover and Professor of English and Cinema Studies, Aviva Briefel.

Free and open to the public. No tickets required.
Call 725-3552 or email lholland@bowdoin.edu for more information.

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Protecting Nature in Federal Systems: Decentralization, Private Interests, and Conservation Units in Brazil

March 26, 2015 4:15 PM  – 5:15 PM
Hubbard Hall, Thomas F. Shannon Room [208]

Benjamin Allen?s research interests include environmental conservation and green growth politics and policy in Latin America, particularly Brazil. His current work builds on sixteen months of field work in Brazil, and examines when and where state and federal governments choose to establish and implement environmental conservation areas, with case studies of the Amazonian states of
Par and Amazonas, as well as Minas Gerais and the Federal District of Braslia.

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Rick Hess: "Reauthorizing 'No Child Left Behind': Challenges and Opportunities"

March 27, 2015 12:00 PM  – 1:00 PM
Hubbard Hall, The Pickering Room [213]

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) authorized federal spending on programs to support K-12 schooling. The act provided federal resources for states to level the playing field between schools in wealthy and poor districts. Its 2002 reauthorization, which became known as No Child Left Behind, mandated that all students hit arbitrary scores on standardized tests instead of ensuring equal opportunities. Rick Hess will discuss reforms being considered for another reauthorization, and examine the opportunities and challenges inherent to the process. 

Hess is a resident scholar and the director of educational policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. He is a prolific author on a variety of issues related to K-12 and higher education, including books and edited volumes on educational policy implementation, leadership, school reform, No Child Left Behind, the Common Core, and the impact of education research. His most recent book is The Cage-Busting Teacher (Harvard Education Press, 2015).

Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, and on the review board for the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. A former high school social studies teacher, he has taught at a variety of institutions, including the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, and Georgetown University. He holds an MA and PhD in government and an MEd in teaching and curriculum, all from Harvard University.

His talk is sponsored by the Department of Government and Legal Studies with support from the Department of Education and the John C. Donovan Lecture Fund.

Free and open to the public.

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Craig Steven Wilder, Russwurm Lecture: 'Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities'

March 31, 2015 6:30 PM  – 8:30 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Craig Steven Wilder, professor of history at MIT and a leading historian of race in America, will deliver the annual John Brown Russwurm Lecture in the Main Lounge of Moulton Union. A reception in the Russwurm House Library will precede the lecture at 5:00pm. Both events are free and open to the public. 

Professor Wilder will examine the contrasting figures of "the matriculating Indian" and "the uneducable Negro" to explore the limits on access to higher education in the second half of the 18th century. Looking closely at the experiences of two friends, the Reverend Samson Occom - a member of the Mohegan nation who became a Presbyterian minister, and poet Phillis Wheatley - the first African-American woman to be published, Professor Wilder will demonstrate how illusory were even the modest hopes of education held by Native and enslaved Americans. Though hailed by well-wishers as possessors of exceptional talents, Occum and Wheatley could find no institutional structures that would support them in intellectual, literary, or religious pursuits. 

This lecture stems from Wilder's important and widely reviewed new study, Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities, where he argues that many of America's revered colleges and universities were soaked in the sweat, the tears, and sometimes the blood of people of color.

Professor Wilder is a senior fellow at the Bard Prison Initiative, where he has served as a guest lecturer, commencement speaker, academic advisor, and visiting professor. For more than a decade, this innovative program has given hundreds of men and women the opportunity to acquire a college education during their incarcerations in the New York State prison system. 

He has advised and appeared in numerous historical documentaries, including the celebrated Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon film, The Central Park Five; Kelly Anderson's highly praised exploration of gentrification, My Brooklyn; the History Channel's F.D.R.: A Presidency Revealed; and Ric Burn's award-winning PBS series, New York: A Documentary History

Named after the first African-American graduate of Bowdoin College (class of 1826), the John Brown Russwurm lecture series explores "the legacy and status of Black Americans". Notable speakers include Robert Levine, Lani Guinier, Carl Stokes, Vernon Jordan, Shirley Chisholm, Bayard Rustin, Benjamin Hooks, and Julian Bond, among others.

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Stacy Vandeveer: "Climate Politics Are Everywhere! Hope and Change in Transnational, National, and Local Spaces"

April 6, 2015 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge

The world of climate politics is increasingly no longer confined to the activities of national governments and international negotiations. Critical to this transformation of the politics of climate change has been the emergence of new forms of transnational governance that cut across traditional state-based jurisdictions and operate across public and private divides. 

In this presentation, Stacy Vandeveer will examine the world of climate change governance and the implications for the field of global environmental politics. He is currently professor of political science and chair of the department of political science at the University of New Hampshire. His teaching and research interests include international environmental policymaking and its domestic impacts, comparative environmental politics, connections between environmental and security issues, the roles of expertise in policy making and the global politics of consumption and environmental and humanitarian degradation. 

In addition to authoring and co-authoring over seventy articles, book chapters, working papers and reports, he co-edited six books: Comparative Environmental Politics (MIT Press 2012); The Global Environment: Institutions, Law and Policy (CQ Press 2010); Changing Climates in North American Politics (MIT Press 2009); Transatlantic Environment and Energy Politics (Ashgate 2009); EU Enlargement and the Environment (Routledge 2005); and Saving the Seas (1997). He co-edits the journal Global Environmental Politics (MIT Press).

This event is free and open to the public.

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Brendan Nyhan: "Why do Journalists Fact-Check? The Role of Demand- and Supply-side Factors"

April 7, 2015 4:00 PM  – 5:30 PM
Hubbard Hall, Thomas F. Shannon Room [208]

Politicians in the United States are coming under increasing scrutiny from fact-checkers like PolitiFact, Factcheck.org, and the Washington Post Fact Checker, who examine the accuracy of public statements that are often reported without challenge by traditional news organizations. However, we know little about the effects of this practice, especially on public officials. One possibility is that fact checking might help to deter the dissemination of misinformation, especially for candidates and legislators at lower levels of government who receive relatively little scrutiny and are sensitive to potential threats to re-election. 

In his presentation, Brendan Nyhan explores new data on the spread of fact-checking and estimates the influence of changes in practice by professional peers, audience demand, and journalistic values on its prevalence in political journalism. 
Nyhan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. His research focuses on political scandal and misperceptions about politics and health care.

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Akram Belkaid: "The Arab Spring Four Years After: A Failure or the Beginning of a Transition?"

April 8, 2015 7:30 PM  – 9:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

In 2011, several Arab peoples rose up against their dictatorial or authoritarian regimes. From Tunisia to Bahrain via Egypt, Yemen or Syria, the same slogans mobilized the masses: freedom and dignity but also bread and employment. "The people want the fall of the regime" was the now famous slogan adopted by protesters committed to ending decades of deprivation of their most basic rights, among them "the right to rights." This shock wave brought down regimes or forced leaders to leave power (Tunisia, Egypt). It obliged many others to open their purse strings to buy social peace (The Gulf monarchies, Algeria). Four years after this unexpected dislocation, the debate is far from over regarding the real and structural outcome of the so-called "Arab Spring." After a quick reminder of the events of 2011, this presentation addresses the following points:

- Should the Arab Spring be considered a failure in light of the dramatic situation experienced by countries like Syria, Libya or Yemen? Or, would it be more appropriate to see it as a long-term transition?

- What are the prospects for the two countries where the Arab Spring began? Tunisia is an exception with its democratic, but fragile, experiment while Egypt has returned to authoritarianism and violence.

- Is the rise of ISIS a consequence of the Arab Spring? How will the Arab world face the extremist threat in the coming years in a context of a rising terrorism and a weakening of states?

Akram Belkaid, born in Algeria, is a journalist and a writer. He lives in France and works for Le Monde Diplomatique, a monthly magazine specialized in geostrategic issues. He is also a columnist with Le Quotidien d'Oran in Algeria and he has published several books about the Arab world, among them: Being Arab Today (Etre arabe aujourd'hui, carnetsnord, Paris, 2011) and Back to Algeria (Retours en Algerie, carnetsnord, Paris, 2013).

This event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Departments of Romance Languages, Government and Legal Studies, and Religion.

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Brian Mello: "The End of the Liberalized Autocracy in the Middle East and North Africa"

April 13, 2015 7:30 PM  – 9:30 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Prior to the events of the Arab Spring, it was believed that controlled liberalization and the emergence of hybrid authoritarian regimes?what scholar Daniel Brumberg termed liberalized autocracies?contributed to authoritarian stability in the Middle East and North Africa.  

In this talk, Brian Mello challenges these assumptions by identifying a set of causal mechanisms that emerged within liberalized autocracies that help to explain why the wave of protest in the Arab Spring began in and contributed to regime change primarily in such hybrid regimes. He concludes by examining what this wave of contentious politics might mean for the future of liberalized autocracy and democracy in the region.

Brian Mello is Associate Professor of Political Science at Muhlenberg College. He is author of Evaluating Social Movement Impacts: Comparative Lessons from the Labor Movement in Turkey(2013, Bloomsbury Academic). 

Note: This talk will also be live streamed on Bowdoin?s Live Webcasts page.

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Ryan Balot: "Thucydides on the Perils of Manliness"

April 22, 2015 5:00 PM  – 6:30 PM
Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge

Thucydides was an Athenian historian, philosopher, author, and general. He has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" because of his strict standards of evidence-gathering and analysis of cause and effect without reference to intervention by the gods. He has also been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the relations between nations as based on might rather than right. He showed an interest in developing an understanding of human nature to explain behaviour in such crises as plague, massacres, and civil war.

Ryan Balot, professor of political science and classics at the University of Toronto, will examine the political philosophies of Thucydides through this presentation. Balot is author of Greed and Injustice in Classical Athens (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001) and Courage in the Democratic Polis: Ideology and Critique in Classical Athens (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), among other books. He specializes in early modern and classical political thought, and he received his doctorate in Classics at Princeton University.

Before moving to Political Science at Toronto, Balot taught for nearly a decade in the Classics departments at Union College and Washington University in St. Louis, as both a Greek historian and a classical philologist. His research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Teagle Foundation of New York. His essays and reviews have appeared in such venues as Political Theory, Ancient Philosophy, Social Research, and The Journal of Hellenic Studies. His current projects include work on Machiavelli's republicanism, Aristotle and the mixed regime, and Plato's Laws.

Professor Balot's talk is co-sponsored by Bowdoin's departments of Classics and Government and Legal Studies with support from the John C. Donovan Lecture Fund. The fund was established at Bowdoin College in 1990 by family members, professional colleagues and friends of John C. Donovan, who served as Bowdoin's DeAlva Stanwood Alexander Professor of Government from 1965 until his death in 1984. Established through the leadership of Shepard Lee, Bowdoin Class of 1947, this fund is used to support lectures in the field of political science.

Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

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Panel Discussion: "What is Boko Haram? Why Should We Care?"

April 30, 2015 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Hubbard Hall, Thomas F. Shannon Room [208]

Boko Haram is a radical Sunni Islamic sect, originally calling itself Jama'atu Ahlis Sunnar Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad, "people committed to the propagation of the Prophet's teachings and jihad." The group's more widely known name of Boko Haram means "Western education is sin." While initially non-violent and preaching a doctrine of withdrawal from what they perceived as a corrupt Nigerian state, they now increasingly engage in confrontation and deadly attacks on a wide range of targets.

Join us for an informative panel discussion among professors with professors from Bowdoin and University of Massachusetts, Boston. 

  • Ericka Albaugh, Assistant Professor of Government (Bowdoin). She teaches courses on Africa, language politics, development and state-building. She has researched in Cameroon, Senegal, and Ghana, and her more recent explorations focus on violence and language spread in West Africa more broadly.
  • Daren Kew, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance in the McCormack Graduate School, and Executive Director of the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has researched and consulted on the prevention of conflicts in Nigeria and elsewhere, highlighting in particular the role of religious civil society groups in promoting peace and democratization.
  • Scott MacEachern, Professor of Anthropology (Bowdoin). He has directed archaeological research projects in different countries in Africa and North America, but much of his research since the mid-1980s has taken place around the Mandara Mountains of northern Cameroon and Nigeria. His main research interests are in state formation processes in Africa, the archaeological studty of ethnicity and social boundaries, and African and global historical genetics.

Note: This talk will also be live streamed on Bowdoin?s Live Webcasts page.

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Film Screening and Discussion with Wang Jiuliang and Shu-Chin Tsui: "Plastic China"

May 4, 2015 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

The waste that we produce each day gets tossed away and quickly disappears from our view. But where does it go? Is it recycled properly as we hope?  

Plastic China is a story about how plastic waste from all around the world, including the United States, ends up in China. It is because of this plastic waste that water is no longer clean, air is no longer fresh, and food is no longer safe in many areas of the vast country. People living in these polluted areas experience elevated rates of disease and mortality. This film reveals the shocking degree to which we all play a part in this problem; the connection among people around the world grows ever closer, and China is in fact not that far from home. 

Film screening (30 minutes) followed by a question and answer session with the filmmaker and Bowdoin's Shu-chin Tsui, professor of Asian Studies and Cinema Studies. 

Wang Jiang graduated from the Communication University of China and worked for several years as a freelance photographer. He is currently a visiting scholar and artist-in-residence at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Shu-chin Tsui earned her Ph.D. in cinema and culture studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is currently teaching 'Ecocinema: China's Ecological and Environmental Crisis'.

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program, the Environmental Studies Program, Cinema Studies, and the Department of Government and Legal Studies.

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Bowdoin and the Common Good: A Celebration of Community

May 7, 2015 3:30 PM  – 5:00 PM
David Saul Smith Union, Morrell Lounge

This celebratory symposium provides an opportunity for students involved in communities through service and research to share their projects and stories about what they have learned as a result of working 'for the benefit of society' in partnership with organizations throughout Maine and around the globe.

The symposium stands as a beautiful example of the value of a liberal arts education, featuring projects that are diverse and often multidisciplinary in their scope.

Some of the issues represented at the symposium this year include equal access to education, sustainable communities, poverty and social justice, and international connections in Maine and beyond.

Join us for refreshing beverages, Maine-made treats, and gelato from Gelato Fiasco, and enjoy posters and displays that chronicle a year of the College's public engagement. All are welcome!