Upcoming Events

Ryan Balot: "Thucydides on the Perils of Manliness"

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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?"

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

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.

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

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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 'Ecocinima: China's Ecological and Environmental Crisis.' 

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program, the Environmental Studies Program, and Cinema Studies.

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Celebration of Community

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

At the McKeen Center's annual symposium, students will present individual and class projects that have, over the past year, linked the College with the community. Their projects include both community service as well as independent research.

The symposium stands as a "beautiful example" of the value of a liberal arts education. The projects are not only diverse but often multidisciplinary in their scope.

Some of the issues presented at the symposium this year were equal access to education, sustainable communities, poverty and social justice, and international connections.

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