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ICGC Brown Bag Friday, January 20, 2012, 12:00 noon, 537 Heller Hall


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Andrew Ellias State,
ICGC Alumni and Sociologist at Makerere University in Uganda


Learning and teaching in higher institutions of learning (universities) in Africa continue to face daunting challenges today. Teaching and learning, a central activity of every university the world over has not been emphasized in a neo-liberal reform program agenda, as advocated by the World Bank, but instead administrative and financial reforms seriously affecting the quality of teaching and learning. Most reform emphasis have been on the financial and administrative reforms without necessarily considering the central core activities of universities, i.e. being a center of excellence in teaching, learning, and research. Makerere University, arguably the oldest institution of higher education in East Africa - established in 1922 as a small technical institution and evolved over time to a reputable institution of higher learning - has not escaped the neo-liberal reforms and the attendant challenges. The most significant reforms at Makerere University were the neo-liberal inspired reforms in the 1990s and early 2000s implemented at the orders of the World Bank (WB) reform of higher education in Africa. I argue that higher education reform should emphasize the importance of learning and teaching activities in order to achieve quality of education outcomes rather than focusing only on quantity of education products in the reform process.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology

Thresholds: Impunity, Gender, and Testimonio in Argentina

ICGC Brown Bag
Presented by Ana Forcinto, Associate Professor,
U of M Department of Spanish and ICGC Affiliated Faculty

Friday, November 18, 12pm
537 Heller Hall

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Former detainees have a central place in the Argentine redemocratization process that started in 1983. Their testimonies have been essential in determining the existence, location, and living conditions of Clandestine Detention Camps, in identifying repressors, and especially in providing information about the desaparecidos. The testimonial practices of the survivors-in documentary film, and in artistic and literary practices-have been important not only for human rights and memory struggles but also for the dismantling of the interpretations, biases, and assumptions that supported many years of impunity. In this presentation I analyze gendered aspects of impunity in the Argentine post dictatorship, by focusing on the difficulties that women survivors have had in bearing witness to their experiences in detention camps. Because these testimonies imply, in the last instance, a re-thinking of what violence is-and even the concept of bare life-they also imply the need to reconsider the relationship between violence and force, violence and coercion, and violence and (fake) consent.
**ROOM CHANGE**

Special ICGC Brown Bag
Tuesday, November 15 12pm,
1210 Heller Hall
Lunch provided
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Imed Labidi, Ph.D., media scholar and lecturer Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature

Gayla Marty, M.F.A., editor and media relations manager College of Education and Human Development


Flower metaphors, jasmine, and even a whole season--spring--were rapidly adopted in popular discourse about the Arab revolutions of the past year. What are the semantic and political layers embedded in such ambiguous labels in contrast to distinct terms like the French Revolution or the American Revolution? Why is it used, and how do we understand this "nature talk"? This discussion will contextualize the images that
such linguistic constructions deploy within racial politics and illustrate how they create a sense of confusion about Arabs and their struggle against dictatorial regimes.

The presenters each spent several weeks in Tunisia this summer. Marty will give an American's perspective on the early post-revolutionary period in Tunisia and changes she has observed since her first sojourn in 1979. Labidi will speak from a representational viewpoint within U.S. discourse. Labidi and Marty are alumni of the University of Minnesota-University of Tunis reciprocal exchange program, which enabled nearly 40 students from the U of M and Tunisia to study abroad between 1977 and 1998.


ICGC Brown Bag
Friday, October 14, 2011
12:00 noon, 537 Heller Hall

Perceptions of Time in Post Civil War Tajikistan

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Presented by:
Damon Lynch,
PhD Student in Anthropology and ICGC Scholar

Communities emerging from protracted violent conflict typically do not perceive time in a simple linear fashion. People who have experienced episodes of wartime violence can talk about them as if they occurred yesterday, regardless of whether they actually occurred months, years or even centuries before. Much scholarship in the last few decades has focused on the social life of memory, but less attention has been directed to the underlying notions of time that shape them. In my dissertation research, I intend to investigate how Tajiks perceive time when they reflect on the 1992-97 Tajik civil war, and the implications these perceptions have for social action. I will also explore what influence religion has on these perceptions, if any. This past summer I spent two months doing pre-dissertation fieldwork in Tajikistan. In my talk I will present some preliminary research findings and challenges, but the primary goal is to open up the project for discussion, particularly regarding research methodologies and relevant areas of scholarship.

Okechukwu Nwafor

Department of History and Center for Humanities Research,
University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
ICGC Fellow, University of Minnesota, Fall 2011

FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER
537 HELLER HALL
12 PM

In this presentation, I seek to problematize prevailing views of what is known as aso ebi in Nigeria which place emphasis on solidarity and conviviality. In its most common import, Aso ebi refers to uniformed solidarity dressing worn by friends and family members to distinguish themselves from the rest during important social events such as weddings, street parties, birthday parties, among others. By challenging the moral economy of intimacy, I show that aso ebi's solidarity is constructed along bodily attire rather than along its purported claims to 'real' friendship or unity. The presentation shows that aso ebi's type of friendly and political solidarities are mere rhetoric. They are also indirectly forceful and exclusionary. Their exclusionary tendencies could have been informed by a social convention that recognizes uniform as the only yardstick for measuring solidarity, friendship and oneness. By employing Herbert Blumer's theoretical models of espirit de corps, and Marcel Mauss' logic of the gifts, I both engage the discourse of solidarity and gift-giving in aso ebi practice.

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ICGC Brown Bag

Presented by Virgil Slade PhD Candidate, History Department and Researcher and Narrative Designer, District Six Museum,
Cape Town, South Africa.

Offside: Kick Ignorance Out, Football Unites, Racism Divides

(Offside) was launched in June 2010 and is a joint project between the District Six Museum, the British Council, Football Unites, Racism Divides (FURD) and Kick Racism Out of Football (KIO). It is hosted at the District Six Museum's Homecoming Center in Cape Town, South Africa, and highlights the different forms of discrimination that are still resident in the 'beautiful game'. Football (soccer) exhibitions have, almost as a rule, taken on a very specific form both in the South African context and further abroad. Generally, sport displays have adopted the "Hall Of Fame" model that allows very little critical space. In contrast, the main aim of Offside is to provide a counter-narrative to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (commonly known as FIFA) rhetoric as it constituted itself in the build up to the first ever football world cup hosted on African soil. This brownbag will focus on two aspects of the exhibition. Firstly, it will explore why this exhibition has made such an important contribution to public history. Secondly, this discussion will unpack the editorial decisions made by the exhibition team in creating its narrative through a very measured usage of text, audio-visuality, art and space.

Friday, April 15, 2011 · 12:00 p.m · 537 Heller

ICGC Brown Bag
Presented by
Felly Chiteng Kot

PhD Candidate, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development, University of Minnesota

In the last two decades, there has been a significant expansion of cross-border higher education activities internationally. Many of these activities have been established through cooperation and partnerships. International cooperation and partnerships have become an important trend in African higher education. African universities increasingly seek to establish academic partnerships with foreign institutions, and many foreign institutions have become interested in establishing linkages with African institutions of higher education. Recent developments, particularly in the U.S. and in Europe suggest the partnership trend will continue to expand in coming years. International partnerships, however, are not a new phenomenon in African higher education. "Partnerships" have been established for decades. Yet, despite past and present developments, very little is known about how members of African university communities experience international partnerships, how beneficial they think partnerships are, or what they believe should be future priorities. Drawing from a survey of 470 and interviews with 40 administrators, faculty members, and postgraduate students at the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and the University of Lubumbashi (D.R. of Congo), this presentation will explore some partnership trends at the two institutions.


Wed. March 30, 2011 · 12:00 pm · 537 Heller Hall

"Brown Bag" Presentation and Discussion:
Nikhil Anand
Assistant Professor, Haverford College


Municipal Disconnect: On Abject Water and its Urban Systems
co-sponsored by:
Department of Anthropology, Institute for Global Studies,
Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change
University of Minnesota


Wednesday, March 23, 2011
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Room 389 Humphrey Center


ICGC Brown Bag Series

Children's Health & the Environment
The U.S. National Children's Study & the Japanese Eco & Child Study

Pat McGovern, PhD, MPH
Bond Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy
and Principal Investigator, National Children's Study, School of Public Health

The profile of children's health among industrialized nations is changing from acute diseases to chronic conditions such as asthma,diabetes, obesity and autism. The U.S. also faces the conundrum of spending more money on maternal and child health care
than any other nation yet we rank near the bottom on most measures of maternal and child health among the 30 developed nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. While increased access to health care has been a cornerstone of US strategy for improving health there is growing recognition many determinants of perinatal and child health outcomes predate pregnancy and are outside of the clinical realm, involving educational, economic, family, community and the physical environment. In response to these concerns the U.S. launched the National Children's Study to identify risk and protective factors for child health in a 21 year study of 100,000 children. Comparable studies in other countries have also begun such as the Eco-Child Study in Japan.

Join us for a public health perspective on longitudinal studies of child health and the environment focused on the US and Japan.

Wed. March 23, 2011 · 12:00 p.m. · 537 Heller Hall

ICGC Brown Bag Series

Pat McGovern, PhD, MPH
Bond Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy
and Principal Investigator, National Children's Study, School of Public Health

The profile of children's health among industrialized nations is changing from acute diseases to chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity and autism. The U.S. also faces the conundrum of spending more money on maternal and child health care than any other nation yet we rank near the bottom on most measures of maternal and child health among the 30 developed nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. While increased access to health care has been a cornerstone of US strategy for improving health there is growing recognition many determinants of perinatal and child health outcomes predate pregnancy and are outside of the clinical realm, involving educational, economic, family, community and the physical environment. In response to these concerns the U.S. launched the National Children's Study to identify risk and protective factors for child health in a 21 year study of 100,000 children. Comparable studies in other countries have also begun such as the Eco-Child Study in Japan. Join us for a public health perspective on longitudinal studies of child health and the environment focused on the US and Japan.

Wed. March 23, 2011 · 12:00 p.m. · 537 Heller Hall

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