Spring 2015 Colloquiums


Tracking Crises in the Middle East: Is Peace Possible?

A panel of nine students – Ingrid Roettgen, Caitlyn Bess, Sean Lynn, Trent Hoover, Molly Turner, Lauren Hennenfent, Erin Nyquist, Lillianna Burrow, Aaron Gershman – who studied in the Middle East in the Summer of 2014.

Thursday, January 29, 2015, MG 2001, 7.p.m.

Dr. Mark Appold, a Biblical scholar who has lived and taught on most of Earth’s continents, has taken Truman students to the Middle East every summer for over a decade, encouraging them to immerse themselves in ancient cultures by visiting heritage sites, and helping them to see Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, and other countries as they are today. Nine of his students from the 2014 trip will each present a brief, tightly focused account of an area researched and explored –accounts of checkpoints, healthcare, media coverage, the Knesset, college life, natural resource distribution, attitudes toward the peace process, US aid, and ISIS. The students will take questions from one another and the audience.

 “Understanding North Korea”

Dr. John Ishiyama, Professor of Political Science, University of North Texas and Editor, American Political Science Review

Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015,Violette Hall 1010, 7 p.m.

Dr. Ishiyama taught Political Science at Truman for 18 years before moving to North Texas as University Distinguished Professor of Political Science, and taking over the editorship of America’s premiere political science journal. He returns to help this community explore how North Korea’s political elite sees itself in the global community, and especially how the West and South Korea have impacted North Korea’s choices.

Dr. Ishiyama has published six books and 120 refereed journal articles and book chapters on communist and post-communist regimes, democratization and political parties, and ethnic politics. He has carefully and thoroughly analyzed the composition of the North Korean elite in volatile and in more stable years over the past two decades. Come and discuss these issues: To what extent has Kim Jong-Un separated himself from his father’s legacy? Is it possible that he will de-emphasize military power in the face of dire economic conditions? What are the chances of normalizing relationships with North Korea?

Suggested articles by Dr. Ishiyama:

“Traded Away: Market Reform and Resistance in Central America”

Dr. Rose J. Spalding, Professor of Political Science, DePaul University

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 7 p.m. Magruder 2001

Dr. Rose J. Spalding has spent most of her academic life researching political and economic movements in Latin America. She has taught at DePaul University in Chicago for more than thirty years. Her expertise on neoliberal policies and resistance movements against them informs her latest book, Contesting Trade in Central America: Market Reform and Resistance. In researching this book, Spalding recorded interviews with almost 200 representatives from business, civil society, government and resistance movements in Central America. She returns to Truman eleven years after CAFTA’s passing to update us on the agreement and the aftermath.

As past chair of DePaul’s Political Science department and head of its Study Abroad program, Spalding organized trips and took students to Central America. As a founding member of its Latin American Studies program, she has supervised an impressive number of student projects involving civic engagement with Latino communities in Chicago. As current Director of DePaul’s Honor’s Program, she knows what bright students are capable of. She will engage Truman students, faculty and staff in an educating, yet exciting journey through Central American socio-economic policies. Dr. Spalding’s previous books include Capitalists and Revolution in Nicaragua and The Political Economy of Revolutionary Nicaragua.

“A Panel on Separatist Movements: Crimea, Catalunya, Scotland and Taiwan”

Panelists: Andrei Klyukowski, Maria Antonia James Hammerstrand, Larry Iles and Ding-Hwa Hseih

Thursday, April 9, 2015, 7 p.m. Magruder 2001

How do decisions about national borders get made and changed? Who has the right to decide? What processes work, or don’t work, to insure that nations value their minorities, that regional cultures can flourish? US citizens tend to find these questions puzzling—though our own history of boundary changing tells many stories. What do we need to know about independence movements in other places? Last March, supporters of Taiwanese Independence occupied parliament to protest excessive control of Taiwan by the Chinese. Last September, Scottish voters decided not to leave the United Kingdom—but the vote was close. Should Crimea be an independent nation, a part of the Ukraine, a part of Russia? Should Spain allow its Catalan population to decide whether to remain part of Spain? Our panel of experts will raise thought-provoking questions.