Fall 2019 Colloquiums

Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 7:00 pm
Baldwin Little Theater
Sheena Shah
Title: SiPhûthî, an endangered language of Southern Africa
Co-Sponsor: LING Ofstad Lecture

Dr. Shah has a PhD from Georgetown University, and held a postdoc at the Centre for African Language Diversity at the University of Capetown. She has conducted linguistic fieldwork on a number of African languages, and is currently an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow in the Department of African and Ethiopian Studies at the University of Hamburg (Germany) and a Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Thursday, September 26, 2019, 7:00 pm
Dr. Michael Benitez, Jr.
Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall
Title: Migrations and Dreamers: A call for critical understandings and openness in the US
Co-Sponsor: Hispanic Heritage month, HALO, Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Dr. Michael Benitez Jr. is a nationally-acclaimed activist, and is known for his works that highlight the complexity of the Latinx identity, addresses diversity issues in higher education, and speaks on how to better coordinate and implement a more inclusive environment. Dr. Benitez hopes to broaden Truman student’s perspective on complex yet relevant conversations and issues everyone encounters.

Thursday, October 17, 2019, 7:00 pm
Baldwin Little Theater
Leider Valencia
Title: Eradicating Peace: the other side of the Colombian War on Drugs

Valencia is from COCCAM, the Campesino Coordination of Coca, Poppy and Marijuana Growers of Colombia. COCCAM emerged with the objective of promoting the implementation of point 4 (Solution to the problem of illicit drugs) of the peace accords in Havana. Paramilitaries have assassinated more 38 leaders participating in this movement.

Valencia will talk about the grassroots efforts by Afro-Colombians, campesinos and Indigenous peoples working towards alternative sustainable development in areas hard-hit by the internal armed conflict as well as fumigations and forced eradication/militarization. These struggles come in the aftermath of the 2016 peace accords between FARC and the Colombian government as well as a staggering number of assassinations against environmental, land and indigenous rights defenders. These leaders will discuss the recent Minga in Cauca, Colombia which was met by tremendous violence by the state security forces leaving at least 16 people dead. The speaker will discuss the various forces threatening the Colombian peace process and how movements in the U.S may contribute in defending it.

Thursday, November 7, 2019, 7:00 pm
Baldwin Little Theater
Christine Harker
Title: Climate Anxiety and Global Hope

The news about the rapidly changing global climate can be overwhelming in its magnitude:  many people feel as though we have passed the point of no return and that no action can help.  Often called “climate anxiety,” this paralyzing feeling leads people to profound depression.  This GIC presentation will provide an overview of the current state of climate change, and while not discounting the severity and urgency of the situation, will address points of hope and possibility; the talk will be followed by a panel discussion featuring local climate experts and activists to address strategies for combatting climate anxiety and take action against climate change.