“Health and Human Rights in the Shadow of Fukushima”
The triple disaster at Fukushima did not have a simple beginning, middle or end. Tensions, misunderstandings, and lack of consensus between political, economic, scientific, and social interests began long before the disaster and continue unabated almost 3 years later. Populations in, around and far beyond Fukushima continue to struggle for resolution and understanding balanced between belief and fear, suspicion and science. Using the frame of health and human rights, this presentation explores the boundaries of medical science and social responsibility as circumstances unfold for Japan and the world within an increasingly unstable climate and degraded global environment.
Dr. Maureen McCue is a founding member, faculty, and former director of the University of Iowa Global Health Studies Program as well as a founding board member for the UI Center for Human Rights. As Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Colleges of Public Health and of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Dr. McCue has been teaching Health and Human Rights courses since 1997. Before coming to Iowa, she worked as a primary care provider with marginalized communities and has worked for a local women’s clinic for the last 16 years. She has coordinated the Iowa Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility for the last 10 years. Dr. McCue has traveled, consulted, and worked extensively as a peace maker, researcher, and physician.
“40th Anniversary:The 1973 Oil Embargo and its Aftermath”
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the 1973 oil crisis or “shock.” The shock is mainly remembered for the Arab oil embargo imposed in the fall of 1973, but there were underlying structural problems within the oil industry that turned the embargo into a full-blown crisis. The inability of U.S. production to compensate for supply shortages, combined with the loss of the major oil companies’ control over Middle East production and prices, created a shock that reshaped the international petroleum industry and world affairs in ways that still reverberate today.
Tyler Priest (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) is Associate Professor of History and Geography, University of Iowa. He is a specialist in the history of oil and energy. He is the author of The Offshore Imperative: Shell Oil’s Search for Petroleum in Postwar America (Texas A&M Press: 2007) and is working on a new book titled, Deepwater Horizons: Managing Offshore Oil and Gas in the United States. In 2010-2011, he served as a senior policy analyst for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
“Witchcraft and Racism Threaten Tanzanians with Albinism”
People with albinism have faced widespread discrimination and violence in east Africa for centuries, but only recently has this problem garnered significant international attention. Nowhere is this human rights issue more pronounced than in Tanzania, where a half-hearted government response to the problem has failed to stem waves of attacks against members of the albinism community. In the summer of 2012, Kurt Wall spent 11 weeks in Mwanza, Tanzania to try to determine what must be done to adequately address the unique social and healthcare-related issues facing this vulnerable population. He will share his experiences as a medical student at a healthcare clinic in rural Tanzania.
Kurt Wall is a third-year MD/MPH candidate at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and College of Public Health. He received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011 with a major in Neuroscience. This spring he will be conducting an international health practicum project as part of his Master of Public Health degree.
“Egypt’s Revolution & Regional Dynamic: Current Status?”
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Recently eyes have been turned to the Middle East. Not just the recent Arab Spring, but also the revolts in Egypt have people more interested in that part of the world. Since Mohamed Morsi was removed as president by the Army Chief General, Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, the idea of democracy has been threatened. Vicki will talk about the departure of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s 30-year dictator; the rise, via democratic elections, and fall, via military coup, of the Muslim Brotherhood; the repression of the Muslim Brotherhood in the aftermath of the coup; and the regional realignments occurring in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
Vicki Claypool is a professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa. She has served in numerous UI service positions over the years including Chair of the University of Iowa Research Council and Chair of the Faculty Assembly. She created and then coordinated the University of Iowa Middle East and Islamic World Studies Group. She serves on the editorial board of the flagship journal of the American Political Science Association. Her publications include six books, numerous book chapters, and over forty peer-reviewed journal articles.
“Green Governance: Ecological Stewardship through Human Rights and the Commons”
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The vast majority of the world’s scientists agree: We have reached a point in history where we are in grave danger of destroying Earth’s life-sustaining capacity. But our attempts to protect natural ecosystems are increasingly ineffective because our very conception of the problem is limited; we treat “the environment” as its own separate realm, taking for granted prevailing but outmoded conceptions of economics, national sovereignty, and international law.
Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights, and the Law of the Commons is a direct response to the mounting calls for a paradigm shift in the way humans relate to the natural environment. It opens the door to a new set of solutions by proposing a compelling new synthesis of environmental protection based on broader notions of economics and human rights and on commons-based governance. Going beyond speculative abstractions, the book proposes a new architecture of environmental law and public policy that is as practical as it is theoretically sound.
Burns H. Weston is the Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Senior Scholar of the Center for Human Rights at The University of Iowa. He is also a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, and a long-time – now honorary – member of the Board of Editors of theAmerican Journal of International Law. In recognition of his human rights scholarship and programmatic innovations bridging human rights and the environment, he was awarded the degree of Honorary Doctorate of Law (LL.D.) by Vermont Law School in 2009
“What is Old, New, and Unprecedented in America’s Relationships with the World”
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Jim Leach will address the United States’ relationships with key countries in the context of a global setting in which weapons of mass destruction have proliferated and terrorism has been globalized. Such countries include: Syria, Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea. He will conclude by emphasizing the role of the United Nations and of diplomacy in general.
Following a thirty-five year Congressional career, Jim has been very active. Since leaving Congress, he has taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and at Princeton. He served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 2009 until earlier this year. This fall, Leach, 70, has returned to Iowa. He has joined the faculty as a visiting professor in the UI College of Law as the University of Iowa Chair in Public Affairs. He will work with the UI Center for Human Rights, advise law students, and help secure field placements in Washington, D.C. He also drives a black and gold Mini Cooper, which he’s owned for several years, proving his Hawkeye bona fides pre-dates his membership on the UI faculty.
“Hollywood in China: How American Culture Shapes Chinese Views of the USA”
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If America is the world’s largest exporter of culture, China is certainly the world’s largest importer. Peter Gries will discuss the role of popular culture in improving attitudes toward America in China and increasing the desire for friendlier US policy.
Peter Gries is a professor at the Institute for US-China Issues at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of China’s New Nationalism: Pride, Politics, and Diplomacy, co-editor of Chinese Politics: State, Society and the Market and State and Society in 21st-Century China: Crisis, Contention, and Legitimation, and has written dozens of academic journal articles and book chapters. His work focuses on nationalism, the political psychology of international affairs, and China’s domestic politics and foreign policy.
Peter received a BA in East Asian Studies from Middlebury College, an MA in Chinese Studies from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Mershon Center for Security Studies at Ohio State University. He directs a research lab on the political psychology of US-China relations.