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2011-12 Mershon Center Conferences
2011-12 Mershon Center Conferences
Borland, Katherine; Cardenal, Fernando
Short-term delegations to Central America for the purpose of providing material aid, assisting with grassroots development, or offering direct service have proliferated in the last four decades. This conference critically examines travel-for-service and the micro-politics of encounters between privileged visitors (professionals, politically motivated groups, service-learning programs) and impoverished third-world communities they visit, as well as the larger implications of poverty relief efforts organized outside of and sometimes in opposition to existing national and international institutions. Such projects promise solutions to seemingly entrenched problems in poorer nations through virtuous vigorous action. Yet in actuality, the dynamics of cosmopolitan interaction are complex. This conference...
Perhaps no country in the modern era has perplexed Western observers as much as North Korea, a nation whose extraordinary secrecy and internal repression has generally prevented scholars from exploring its Cold War experience. As a result, the country remains to many an enigma, a land of provocation and intrigue that is often criticized but rarely understood. Then came the liquidation of the Soviet empire, and with it a torrent of new information from the archives of North Korea's former communist allies. Records from the embassies of Russia, East Germany, Poland, Romania, Albania, Hungary, and elsewhere, pulled back the curtain of...
Mohamed, Jibril; Joseph, Laura; Malac, Deborah; Arman, Abukar
This two-day conference will bring together some of the brightest minds in Somali affairs with the aim of deepening public discourse and understanding of the complex situation in Somalia and developing strong, pragmatic, and principled policy recommendations for, post-transition political development in Somalia. Issues discussed include the national roadmap, piracy, humanitarian crisis, frontline state military interventions, Diaspora remittance challenges and community development issues.
Noyes, Dorothy; Lloyd, Barbara
Professor Margaret Mills, retiring in June 2012 from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, has made major contributions to the study of women in contemporary Afghanistan, the folklore of the Persian-speaking world and South Asia, women’s oral traditions, and traditional pedagogies. She has helped us to think about the rhetorical dimension of oral traditions; the gendering of religious experience; the partitioning of the traditional public sphere into gendered and performative situations; how literacies and pedagogies are mobilized to form political identities; how individual and collective expressive repertoires respond to war and displacement. This conference assembles some of her...
This conference investigates the historical and contemporary significance of the public sphere and modern social imaginaries—of the discourses, norms, and ideas shared by members of a given society. The motivation for such an investigation arises from the growing interdependence of different nations, regions, and communities that demands and generates new ways of political, legal, economic, strategic, and cultural forms of cooperation. What kind of public spaces facilitate and what kind of shared imaginaries support such cooperation? What aspects in society hinder productive communication and interaction? Does productive social cooperation presuppose certain governmental, in particular democratic structures? Answers to these and...
Abu Hāmid al-Ghazālī (1058-1111) is a central figure in the history of Islamic theology, jurisprudence, philosophy and Sufism. Of Persian origin, he lived and worked in Baghdad and in other intellectual centers of the Muslim world of the 11th and 12th century. Besides his teaching activity in Baghdad and Tus (in Iran), al-Ghazālī wrote in Arabic and Persian on an enormous variety of subjects, which primarily include theology, Islamic law, logic, philosophy, mysticism, and epistemology. A major concern in his works involves the development of an approach to God which is both Islamic and rational; he also strove to integrate religious...
Hubin, Don; MacGilvray, Eric
"Immigration: What's at Stake?" is the first major interdisciplinary conference of the Immigration COMPAS, organized with the support of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies , that will focus on core ethical, political, social, and economic issues related to immigration. The conference will bring together a truly distinguished set of researchers addressing the main challenges and opportunities immigration poses in the modern world. The conference aims to interest not only researchers and students, but the broader community. Beside the academic panels, there will be two panels specifically oriented to public discussion. The introductory panel will focus on broad demographic changes...
Dragostinova, Theodora; Hashamova, Yana
Ethnic diversity and national tensions in the Balkans have long attracted the attention of the international community of scholars and policy-makers who have tried to understand how states, societies and people in the area negotiate complex religious and ethno-national identities. Bulgaria and Bosnia exemplify two fascinating case studies of these issues of ethnic diversity and national conflict. The two countries share a similar history of strained transitions from empires to nation-states to communist internationalism and back to nationalism. However, after the fall of communism in 1989, the two states followed diverging paths; while Bosnia underwent a violent process of civil war accompanied...
Wittner, David; Blaylock, David
Since the end of World War II, historical and contemporary developments in East Asian science, technology and medicine have received increasing scholarly attention partly due to historian of Japanese science James R. Bartholomew's career-long commitment to the field and his mentorship of a younger generation of scholars. This interdisciplinary conference proposes to examine the ways in which the sciences in East Asia – whether basic or applied, from technology to medicine—have shaped and been shaped historically, and are being transformed in the contemporary world by political, economic, institutional, social, and cultural forces, both regional and global.
Levi, Scott; Liu, Morgan
Annual Meeting of the Central Eurasian Studies Society is an event put on by the preeminent scholarly organization for Central Asian studies. CESS is a private, non-political, non-profit, North America-based interdisciplinary organization of scholars who are interested in the study of Central Eurasia: a region that stretches from the Black Sea region, the Crimea, and the Caucasus in the west, through the Middle Volga region, Central Asia and Afghanistan, and on to Siberia, Mongolia and Tibet in the east.