Spring speaker forum features talks on trade agreements, climate change and homeland security

Speakers will discuss the future of trade agreements, climate change, and many other topics this spring at Western Washington University.

Western’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies announced the schedule for its spring World Issues Forum. The lectures happen weekly on Wednesdays from April 8 to May 27.

The events are sponsored by Western’s departments of Canadian American Studies, Political Science, Communication, Women Sexuality and Gender Studies WWU Diversity Fund and Associated Students Organization MECHA.

Find more information on the World Issues Forum website at http://www.wwu.edu/depts/fairhaven/.

See the full schedule and descriptions of the events from a university press release below.

Wednesday, April 8

“The Politics of Immigration in the Age of Mass Incarceration”

Presenter: Silky Shah, co-director of Detention Watch Network

In recent years, immigrants have become the fastest growing population behind bars. Since the 1900s, immigration policy has become increasingly linked to the growth of mass incarceration, private prisons, and police and border militarization. These developments have been exacerbated by the post-9/11 culture of homeland security and mass surveillance. This presentation will give an overview of the immigration detention system, current policies and practices put forth by the administration and Congress, and the movement to resist the mass incarceration and deportation of immigrants.


Wednesday, April 15

“Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Homeland Security”

Presenter: Todd Miller, author and journalist

This presentation exposes the underpinnings of the Homeland Security apparatus that is creating a surveillance state in both the U.S. and abroad. Since 9/11, the government has spent $791 billion on Homeland Security. Miller will expose the inhumanity of the border industrial system and reveal the humanity of both the victims and the victimizers.


Wednesday, April 22

“Civil Disobedience and Climate Change: Does it Work?”

Presenter: Kathryn Harrison, professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia

Washington state and British Columbia are both involved in debates over proposed carbon export infrastructure: two bitumen pipelines across British Columbia, new coal ports in both Washington and British Columbia, and numerous liquefied natural gas projects in British Columbia. There is a strong local opposition to most of these projects, which has resulted in the arrests of over 100 people on Burnaby Mountain in efforts to block exploratory work for the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. This presentation will examine the role of civil disobedience as a political strategy in the climate movement and will consider the potential impact of civil disobedience on public opinion and, potentially, the 2015 Canadian election.


Wednesday, April 29

“Trade Agreements Reveal How Life Will be Organized in 2050”

Presenter: Stan Sorscher, labor representative at the Society for Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace and president of Washington Fair Trade Coalition

Trading agreements have begun to play a larger role globally – setting moral, social, political and economic values. This presentation will discuss economic integration in the U.S. and Europe and the question of governance at the global level. It will also look at the negotiation of two large trade agreements – the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which will set terms favorable for global companies and investors.


Wednesday, May 6

“Shackled Democratically? Global Raciality, Terror, and the Black Body”

Presenter: Anna M Agathangelou, associate professor at York University and fellow in Science, Technology and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

After a series of deaths of black youth protestors have taken to the streets challenging the idea that black bodies do not matter. The protests in several cities in the U.S. have increased along with other protests in other parts of the world. Anna Agathangelou will present on the emerging revolutionary racialized and sexual poetics and the effects that these protests present on society. She will discuss the protesters’ poetry (poems, slogans, songs) as an essential driver of the energy that disrupts ‘business as usual’ global raciality and transforms racilialized relations.


Wednesday, May 13

“Terrorism, Propaganda and U.S. Mideast Policy”

Presenter: David Barsamian, founder and director of Alternative Radio

Large parts of the Middle East today are engulfed in violence. U.S. policy in the Middle East is buried in a blizzard of propaganda about democracy and human rights while in practice Washington backs feudal and repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the Emirates as well as dictatorships like Egypt. This presentation will discuss the historical factors that shape the current conflicts and the controversial justification for U.S. military bases, invasions and occupations.


Wednesday, May 20

“National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism”

Presenter: Melvin Goodman, director of National Security Project at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C. and adjunct professor of Government at John Hopkins University

Upon leaving the White House in 1961, President Eisenhower famously warned the nation about the dangers of the “military-industrial complex.” In this presentation Melvin Goodman will outline the destabilizing effects of a national economy based on open-ended military spending as well as the impact of two losing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On this basis of his experience with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense, Goodman will analyze national security policies.


Wednesday, May 27

“One Year: Eat, Clown, Pound, Potato, Pick, Weave, and Sow”

Presenters: Arcadia Trueheart and Liliana Morgan, students and recipients of Fairhaven College’s Adventure Learning Grant, 2013-14

Adventure Learning Grant recipients Arcadia Trueheart and Liliana Morgan spent a year exploring their most burning questions through the lens of art and agriculture. Trueheart explored how Bolivians use the arts to both maintain tradition and spark change. Morgan learned and lived alongside famers in Peru, investigating biodiversity, food traditions and the role of community in maintaining healthy agricultural practices. In this presentation they will share stories of vulnerability, wonder, friendship and trust and invite the audience to explore how we can begin to connect with one another by listening and sharing.

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