Events in UCIS

Friday, January 19

12:00 pm Lecture
Support for Democracy in Decline: The LAPOP Americas Barometer 2016/17
Location:
3911 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies along with University Center for International Studies (UCIS)
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Mitchell A. Seligson is the Centennial Professor of Political Science, Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor, and Professor of Sociology (by courtesy) at Vanderbilt University and Founder and Senior Advisor of Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), which conducts the AmericasBarometer surveys that currently covers over 30 countries in the Americas. Seligson has carried out hundreds of surveys of public opinion, mainly focused on democracy and governance, in many countries in Latin America, but has also included projects in Africa and the Balkans. For details, see www.LapopSurveys.org.He currently is an elected member of the General Assembly of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights. Over the past decade, he has been awarded over $25nmillion in research grants and contracts. To read more about Dr. Mitchell Seligson visit:
https://www.vanderbilt.edu/political-science/bio/mitchell-seligson

Lunch will be provided.

for more information contact: ket82@pitt.edu

2:00 pm Lecture
Critical Research on Africa Lecture Series
Location:
3800 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program and Global Studies Center along with Africana Studies Department, GSPIA and World History Center
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What can practices to commemorate official epidemic responses tell us about the logics of response itself? Specifically, what do they tell us about the visions and logics of care that such practices represent? In this paper, I compare two exhibits that describe efforts to respond to the 2014-6 West African Ebola epidemic: the Imperial War Museum’s “Fighting Extremes: From Ebola to ISIS” (London) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Ebola: People + Public Health + Political Will” (Atlanta). Even as they rely on remarkably similar objects – rubber boots, protective gear, tippy taps, short, looped video interviews with frontline workers – to tell their Ebola stories, they differ with respect to how objects are oriented in space, in relation to other objects, ideas, and experiences, and their strategic positioning within museum (and institutional) agendas, more generally. These differences form the basis of my analysis, which is still quite preliminary. For the military museum, Ebola represents an instance of the ‘extreme’ and the extraordinary capacity of the armed forces to provide care under challenging circumstances. The exhibit showcases the tensions of militarized humanitarianism (referred to elsewhere as the ‘empire of hugs’): the military’s need to sustain itself through expansion of its work to humanitarian interventions and the counterinsurgency battles that are increasingly employing private military contractors. The CDC exhibit, while highlighting the contribution of its workers and ‘partnerships’ so central in US public health discourse plays to intimate dimensions of ‘population’ – suggesting that acts of care may occur outside the frame of the interpersonal. I end by discussing a recent trip to the in-progress National Ebola Museum in Njala, Sierra Leone, where questions of local ownership, memory and immunity linger in the archives.

3:00 pm Lecture
State Fictions and the Friction of Frontier Terrain: Songpan and the Huanglong Pilgrimage since Ming Times
Location:
4130 Wesley W Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
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What can the long history of a Sino-Tibetan region tell us about China’s frontiers? This talk develops themes of comparative interest from Contesting the Yellow Dragon: Ethnicity, Religion and the State by Xiaofei Kang and Donald S. Sutton, Brill (CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of 2016). Officialdom from Ming times to the PRC reform period worked to overcome the ‘friction of terrain’ (in James C. Scott’s expression) in remote Songpan, handicapped by limited resources and their own ideological assumptions. But the same handicaps, and the peculiar unfolding of local history, helped locals to find space for their own political and cultural expressions, producing a frontier identity not quite like any other.

3:00 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Undergraduate Research Toolkit Series
Location:
5400 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center
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Global Studies will host a 4-part series with sessions on January 19th, February 2nd, February 16th, and March 16th to equip students to pursue research within the framework of the multidisciplinary field of global studies. The series is designed for students at any stage of their academic career. It's a must for students considering pursing a BPHIL, an honor's thesis, or enrolling in a graduate program in the future. Dr. Michael Goodhart, GSC Director and Professor of Political Science, along with GSC faculty will provide insight based on their experience on conceiving research ideas, formulating research questions, identifying methods to consider to collect and analyze data, ethically gathering data working within university research guidelines and lastly presenting and disseminating data using traditional methods and new forms of digital media. Each session will include ample time for discussion so bring your ideas and questions!