|From left, Dr. Araceli Masterson-Algar, Tim Wise, Miriam Labbok, John Granger and Peter Feaver.|
Welcome to Augustana College's spring term convocations. All convocations are held in Centennial Hall from 10:30-11:20 a.m. on the scheduled dates. They are free and open to the public as well as the campus community. For more information regarding convocations, contact Connie Ghinazzi.
Spring Term 2010
Panel discussion, March 18: What are the issues facing immigrants in the Quad Cities? Local immigration experts will answer students' questions and discuss the issues. The panelists are Amy Rowell, director of local chapter of World Relief, the Rev. Michael Swartz, Church of Peace United Church of Christ in Rock Island, and Estella Schneekloth, a volunteer at Casa Guanajuato in Moline. Dr. Araceli Masterson-Algar of Augustana will moderate.
Prior to becoming director of World Relief, Rowell volunteered for the YMCA for more than 22 years. World Relief aids newly arrived refugees during their initial adjustment into Rock Island County.
Rev. Swartz's church has begun to host an adult literacy program.His doctoral project explored cultural competency and multi-cultural ministry with Tongan immigrants. He advocates comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for those who are current U.S. residents.
Schneekloth works full-time for Project Now and is also active at Casa Guanajuato. She brings a firsthand perspective to this discussion.
Dr. Masterson-Algar is an assistant professor in Augustana's Spanish department. She has a master's degree in secondary education and Latin American studies, and a Ph.D. in border studies. Over the last 10 years, she has collaborated with a variety of migrant and grassroots organizations in Southern Arizona.
Tim Wise, March 25: "Between Barack and a Hard Place: Challenging Racism, Privilege and Denial in the Age of Obama." Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S., and has been called, "One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation," by best-selling author and professor Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown University. Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has trained physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. He has also trained corporate, government, entertainment, military and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions. Wise is the author of several books and has contributed chapters or essays to many more. Wise has a B.A. in political science from Tulane University, where his anti-apartheid work received global attention and the thanks of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (Website)
Dr. Miriam Labbok, April 8: "Why should I attend a talk about ...breastfeeding!?!" Dr. Labbok is a professor of the Practice of Public Health and director of the Carolina Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. CGBI was established in 2006 and exists to further statewide, national and global understanding and support for the mother/child dyad as key to the achievement of optimal infant and young child feeding and associated reproductive health. In her address, Dr. Labbok will examine breastfeeding as a construct for considering how we live our lives. She has 35 years of research and program work experience with maternal/child health and nutrition issues.
John Granger, April 15: Why Do We Love -- or Despise -- Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Novels? The Twilight novels and the films made from them are stories we cannot escape. Critics, as a rule, believe the books are trash despite sales of the books approaching 50 million copies. John Granger explains the allegorical and sublime "meat" in Meyer's romances as well as the Latter-day Saint content in these Mormon parables. Granger is best known for explaining the artistry, meaning, and popularity of the books we love, especially Joanne Rowling's Harry Potter novels. He has just finished writing Spotlight: A Close-Up Look at the Artistry and Meaning of the Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Novels.
Peter Feaver, April 22: How is President Obama's Grand Strategy Faring? Feaver (Ph.D., Harvard, 1990) is the Alexander F. Hehmeyer Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Duke University and Director of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS). From June 2005 to July 2007, Feaver was on leave from Duke and working as the Special Advisor for Strategic Planning and Institutional Reform on the National Security Council Staff at the White House. Feaver describes his talk by saying, "American grand strategy is the collection of plans and policies by which the leadership of the United States mobilizes and deploys the country's resources and capabilities, both military and non-military, to achieve its national goals. During the Cold War, American grand strategy could be summed up in the containment strategy. Has there been a comparable grand strategy for the post-Cold War or the post-9/11 world? If so, how is it faring under President Obama?"
May 22: Senior Honors Convocation, 4 p.m., Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building
Fall Term 2009
Speakers from the fall term convocations are listed below. Many of their lectures and more are available on video on our Speakers and Lecturers page.
Adrien Wing, Aug. 27: Wing, a professor the University of Iowa College of Law, also serves as a member of the university’s African Studies faculty. Her scholarship focuses on race and gender discrimination, including the impact of Hurricane Katrina, gangs, mothering, affirmative action, the war on terrorism, and polygamy in Black America. She writes on international issues touching on Africa and the Middle East, such as the Palestinian legal system, women’s rights, rape in Bosnia, Muslim headscarves in France, Tunisian secularism, and Turkish democracy. Professor Wing has served as a constitutional advisor to South Africa, Palestine and Rwanda. She has lectured all over the world and served on delegations to many nations. (Website) (Lecture video)
Kamran Pasha, Sept. 10: Pasha produced the NBC series “Kings,” a modern day retelling of the Biblical tale of King David. He also was a writer on NBC's remake of Bionic Woman, and on the Golden Globe nominated series Sleeper Cell, about a Muslim FBI agent who infiltrates a terrorist group. Simon & Schuster published his first book Mother of the Believers, historical fiction about the rise of Islam through the eyes of Prophet Muhammad's teenage wife. An expert on the Middle East, Pasha is currently writing a film called The Voyage Of Ibn Battuta, which follows the adventures of a famous Arab traveler who journeyed to China in the 14th century. Kamran Pasha holds a juris doctor from Cornell Law School, an MBA from Dartmouth and an MFA from UCLA Film School. He spent three years as a journalist in New York City. (Website) (Lecture video)
Joe Riley, Sept. 24: Charleston Mayor Riley visited the Quad-Cities as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of River Action and the Upper Mississippi Conference. Using experiences in Charleston, Mayor Riley presented transferable lessons learned that could benefit towns and cities of any size and of interest to all those who want America to be a place of great livable towns and cities. He is regarded as an expert on urban design and livability. Riley led the revitalization of downtown Charleston’s King Street, including the development of Charleston Place, a major hotel and retail complex and an award-winning visitors’ center. He was selected to receive the first Urban Land Institute J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionary Urban Development. First elected mayor of Charleston in 1975, Riley is serving an unprecedented ninth term. (Website) (Lecture video)
Josh Swiller, Oct. 8: Author of “The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa,” Swiller has been deaf since age 4. After growing up on the sidelines of the hearing world, he decided to find a place so far removed that his deafness would become irrelevant. That place turned out to be Zambia, where he worked as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years. A graduate of Yale University, he's had a wide variety of careers, including forest ranger in the California Redwoods, sheepskin slipper craftsman and salesman, Zen monk, raw food chef, journalist, and teacher. Most recently, he worked as a hospice social worker in Brooklyn. (Website) (Lecture video)
Alison Malmon, Oct. 22: Alison Malmon is the founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, the only national organization dedicated to using the student voice to raise mental health awareness on college campuses. Malmon started Active Minds after the suicide of her brother, Brian, who had experienced depression and psychosis for three years while in college but had concealed his symptoms and not received the support he needed. In just over five years, the organization has expanded onto more than 200 campuses, including Augustana. With national recognition from the Campaign for Mental Health Reform and organizational profiles in The Washington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, and others, Active Minds has become recognized as the leading voice in student mental health advocacy. (Website) (Lecture video)
Winter Term 2009
LSFY102 Faculty, Nov. 19: "From Antiquity to Modernity: How does exploring the past deepen our understanding of the human condition?" One way to answer such a big question is to take a quick, enlightening tour through the history of civilization. Your tour guides will be members of Augustana's faculty who will help us frame the question by presenting ideas, issues, music, and artistic images from the ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and modern periods. (Preview) (Lecture video)
Dr. Cyrus Zargar, Dec. 10: Cyrus Ali Zargar, an assistant professor of Religion at Augustana College, specializes in Islamic studies. His research interests include Sufi literature and the history of Islamic mysticism. He holds a doctorate in Near Eastern Studies from UC Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in English Literature from UCLA. This talk examines contemporary Iranian society, under the presumption that we meet other cultures and civilizations not to learn about them, but rather to learn from them. The art, poetry, customs, and even problems of today's Iran provide us with a window of inquiry. Dr. Zargar will give an account of his summer stay in Iran.
Christmas Convocation, Dec. 17
Founders Day, Jan. 14, 2010: "Getting it all together (by graduation)" by retired Augustana President Thomas Tredway, introduced by current President Steve Bahs. "If you listen thoughtfully to all the voices, ideas, and people who speak to you during your college years, figuring out what you yourself believe about life -- its origin, meaning, destiny, and purpose -- is a tricky business," says Tredway. "Maybe that's because a good college education reflects all the complexity and uncertainty of contemporary American life... Getting it all together by the time you graduate was no easier 50 years ago than it is now; but it was (and is) what an education in the liberal arts and sciences is, in the end, all about."
Dr. Michael Shermer, Jan. 28: "Why People Believe Weird Things?" Dr. Shermer is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, executive director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, and adjunct professor of Economics at Claremont Graduate University. His latest book is "The Mind of the Market," on evolutionary economics. He was a college professor from 1979-1998, teaching psychology, evolution, and the history of science. (Website) (Lecture video)
Dr. Cal DeWitt, Feb. 4: Calvin DeWitt is professor at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include integrative framing of science, ethics, and praxis in the development of solutions to environmental problems. Dr. DeWitt also works on sustainability of wetlands, stewardship of land, and ongoing institutional, organizational, and philosophical convergence to work toward long-term sustainability of ecosystems and the biosphere. He is the founding director of the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies and co-founder of the the International Evangelical Environmental Network. (Website) (Lecture video)