Category Archives: Fall 2013

Maureen “Micki” McCue, December 5, 2013

mccue_maureen_4x5“Health and Human Rights in the Shadow of Fukushima”

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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.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Economics, Environmental Issues, Fall 2013, Governance Issues, Health & Medicine, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

Tyler Priest, November 20, 2013

Ty Priest“40th Anniversary:The 1973 Oil Embargo and its Aftermath”

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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.

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Filed under Economics, Environmental Issues, Fall 2013, Governance Issues, Past Events, The Middle East, U.S. Foreign Policy

Kurt Wall, November 15, 2013

Kurt Wall Photo“Witchcraft and Racism Threaten Tanzanians with Albinism”

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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.

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Filed under Fall 2013, Health & Medicine, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, War & Conflict

Vicki Hesli Claypool, November 6, 2013

vicki picture“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.

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Filed under Fall 2013, Past Events, The Middle East, U.S. Foreign Policy, War & Conflict

Prof. Em. Burns Weston, October 29, 2013

1279“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


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Filed under Environmental Issues, Fall 2013, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

Jim Leach, October 24, 2013

1267“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.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2013, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, The Middle East, U.S. Foreign Policy, War & Conflict

Peter Gries, October 17, 2013

Picture1“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.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, China & East Asia, Fall 2013, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Zeyar Lynn, October 9, 2013

1256“Myanmar and China Since 2011”

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The relationship between China and Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) has traditionally been quite close. The two countries share a long border and trade extensively with one another.  In 2011, Myanmar began a series of democratic reforms. Zeyar Lynn will discuss the evolving relationship between Myanmar and China since these reforms began.

Zeyar Lynn is a poet, writer, and translator widely regarded as the most influential living poet in Myanmar. He is the author of seven poetry collections, including Distinguishing Features (2006), Real/Life: Prose Poems (2009) and Kilimanjaro (2010). He has translated John Ashbery, Charles Bernstein, Donald Justice, Sylvia Plath, Wisława Szymborska and Tomas Tranströmer, as well as many Chinese, Japanese, Australian, East European and Russian poets. Since 2005 he has organized and hosted the annual UNESCO World Poetry Day event in Yangon. He is also one of the editors of the quarterly Poetry World. He teaches English at a specialized language school.

Zeyar is visiting Iowa City under the aegis of the International Writing Program. He is one of about thirty IWP residents visiting Iowa this year.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2013, Governance Issues, Past Events

Prof. Lyombe Eko, October 2, 2013

Eko pix“Google This: The Great Firewall of China”

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Google and other American global information technology companies are caught between two worlds. They are tethered to their American umbilical cords-networks, servers, business models, and legal frameworks-and yet have to live with the realities of lucrative markets like China, whose culture of freedom of expression differs from that of the United States. Google has had to live with China’s elaborate system of Internet censorship- the so-called “Great Firewall of China.”

Lyombe Eko is associate professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is also co-Director of the African Studies Program. He teaches courses in media law and ethics, comparative and international communication. He has published two books: Case Studies in Comparative Communication Law and Policy (2012); and American Exceptionalism, The French Exception and Digital Media Law (2013). He has also published numerous articles in law review and refereed international communication journals.

Prof. Eko recommends these short documentaries if you’re more interested the topic:

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Filed under Business, China & East Asia, Fall 2013, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Technology

Prof. Fred Solt, September 26, 2013

Fred Solt“Economic Inequality and Democratic Performance Around the World”

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Over the past three decades, economic inequality has risen in many democracies around the world.  As the rich grow richer relative to everyone else, do they also grow relatively more powerful, undermining democracy’s promise of political equality?  Patterns of political attitudes, behavior, and policymaking in democracies around the world support the answer that yes, political equality does depend on economic equality.

Frederick Solt is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa.  His primary research interests are in comparative politics and focus on the consequences of economic inequality for political attitudes and behavior. His work on this topic has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science, and other journals. To facilitate this research, he created and maintains the Standardized World Income Inequality Database (SWIID), which provides the most comparable data available on income inequality for countries around the world over the past half-century.

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Filed under Business, Economics, Fall 2013, Governance Issues, Past Events

Chuck Peters, September 17, 2013

Bio Photo 2009“Transforming a Local Business with Global Connections”

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In an ever-globalizing world, maintaining a small, local business is increasingly difficult. Companies need to expand and use their global connections while remaining grounded within their communities. Chuck Peters, CEO and President of the Gazette Company, will discuss the variety of international initiatives the Gazette Company currently has underway.

Chuck is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Gazette Company, a company owned by a trust for the benefit of the employees (ESOP), and doing business as Iowa SourceMedia Group, consisting of The Gazette newspaper, KCRG – TV9, an ABC affiliate, Hoopla, and numerous online sites; Fusionfarm, a digital services agency and ColorWeb Printers.  He is on the board of directors of the Newspaper Association of America.

A lawyer by training, Chuck graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law. He spent a decade in the appliance business, five years as President of Amana Refrigeration and until 1998 as Vice President – Administration of Maytag.  Between appliance assignments, he was the CEO of Breakthrough, an Iowa City start-up software and consulting company engaged in developing effective early literacy programs for school systems.

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Filed under Business, Economics, Fall 2013, Past Events, Technology

Prof. Jon Carlson, September 10, 2013

carlson_jon_umbrella“Reining in Phaeton’s Chariot: Principles for the Governance of Climate”

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Climate engineering is generally defined as the deliberate modification of large-scale Earth systems in order to change the climate.  The most widely discussed form of climate engineering is the injection of particles into the stratosphere to block sunlight and cool the Earth.  Increasingly, scientists and policymakers are seriously considering the use of climate engineering techniques to cool the Earth and offset the warming impact of rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.  This talk discusses the dangers posed by climate engineering and argues that it should be subject to an international governance regime rather than being controlled exclusively by national governments.

Professor Jonathan Carlson is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and McGill University, and also a proud native of North Dakota. He has lived in Iowa and taught at the University of Iowa College of Law for 30 years. His current teaching and research interests are focused on how international law can be effectively used to address pressing global environmental problems.

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Filed under Environmental Issues, Fall 2013, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

Prof. Em. Joel Barkan, August 28, 2013

Barkan, Joel modified“South Africa After Mandela”

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As South Africans and the world celebrate the life of one of the preeminent statesmen of the 20th century, South Africa still struggles to realize Nelson Mandela’s vision of a multiracial society based on justice and reconciliation. Mandela has in fact not governed the country since he stepped down as its president in 1999. Mr. Barkan will discuss South Africa during Mandela’s administration and its present struggle to overcome the legacies of apartheid.

Joel D. Barkan is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Iowa and is currently Senior Associate at the Africa Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. A specialist on issues of democratization, governance and political economy across Anglophone Africa, he served as the first regional democracy and governance advisor for Eastern and Southern Africa at USAID from 1992 to 1994. Since then he has straddled the worlds of academe and the policy community by consulting extensively for DfID (Department for International Development), the National Endowment for Democracy, the Department of State, USAID and the World Bank. After retiring from Iowa in 2005, Joel has taught at Princeton University (2006-2007) and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (2010, 2011). He has also been a visiting fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (2005-2006), and the University of Cape Town (2004 to present). His latest book is Legislative Power in Emerging African Democracies (2009).

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Filed under Fall 2013, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

Prof. Gary Gleason, August 22, 2013

gleason“An Iowa Solution to Malnutrition in Malawi, Zambia, and Rwanda”

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Children in Malawi, Zambia, and Rwanda are suffering from malnutrition. As a major agricultural state, Iowa has the resources, techniques, and experience to assist in such countries. The talk will focus on a range of communication supports for “Scaling Up Nutrition” (or SUN), an initiative started in 2009. SUN programs have particular emphasis on the policies of national nutrition strategies in countries in Africa, supporting the “1000 Days” concept to prevent childhood stunting.

Professor Gleason received his Ph.D. in Mass Communication here at Iowa. While here he focused on Communication for International Development, an emphasis that later evolved into a graduate program. Currently, he is Director of Communication for the International Nutrition Foundation, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, near Boston, where he lives with his wife.

Professor Gleason joined UNICEF after graduating and began a career as a UN staff member and consultant. His work assignments took him to over 30 countries in Africa, the Middle-East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Far East. Through his affiliation with the International Nutrition Foundation, since 1998 he has been a global leader in the prevention of iron deficiency anemia and universal iodization of salt. Gleason has applied his expertise in communication to a diverse range of development assistance including project design and evaluation, national policy development, design of information systems for decision-making, agriculture, child and maternal health, water, hygiene and sanitation, and primary education for HIV/AIDS.

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Filed under Economics, Environmental Issues, Fall 2013, Health & Medicine, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events