• The Island President

    Introduction and discussion led by Douglas R. MacAyeal, Department of the Geophysical Sciences Jon Shenk’s The Island President is the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced—the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. After bringing democracy to the Maldives […]

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  • As Demand for Palm Oil Grows, so do Environmental and Labor Concerns

    An early lunch discussion with Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting journalist, Jason Motlagh The huge global appetite for palm oil is yielding billions in revenue for Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s first- and second-largest producers of palm oil. But environmental and human rights activists warn that the boom is doing irreparable damage to rare biodiversity […]

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  • Reexamining the “Marginal Institution”: the Role of Benguela in the Transatlantic Slave Trade

    The port of Benguela was a major outlet for the departure of slaves in the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Yet, the historiography downplays the impact of the slave trade in West Central Africa and slavery has been understood as a “marginal institution.” This talk reexamined these points. It emphasized that the trans-Atlantic slave […]

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  • After the Uprising: Governance and Activism in Post-Mubarak Egypt

    Dr. Abdelmoneim Abol Fotouh was one of the leading candidates in the Egyptian presidential elections held last May. He has an M.D., a Law degree, and a Master’s in Business Management. He has been the President of the Arab Medical Association since 2004. Dr. Abol Fotouh was also a well known student and civic leader […]

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  • The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age

    What impulse prompted some newspapers to attribute the murder of 77 Norwegians to Islamic extremists, until it became evident that a right-wing Norwegian terrorist was the perpetrator? Why did Switzerland, a country of four minarets, vote to ban those structures? How did a proposed Muslim cultural center in lower Manhattan ignite a fevered political debate […]

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  • Turkish Education: Innovation and Participation

    Access to primary and secondary education in Turkey has dramatically increased over the last decade. Yet, only sixteen percent of fifteen year-olds in Turkey have test scores in reading, math, and science that are comparable to or above the OECD average, and Turkey’s education system ranks 32nd among 34 countries. Batuhan Aydagül, the sixth annual […]

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  • Out of Eden: The Walk

    Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Paul Salopek, visited the University of Chicago October 29, shortly before he embarked on a seven-year walk around the world to cover stories about grassroots innovation, conflict, climate change and poverty. But he expected, “the best stories will be the ones I haven’t thought about.” UChicago Careers in Journalism (UCIJ) and the […]

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  • The Caucasus Region at the Geopolitical and Security Crossroads

    Sergey Markedonov focused on the transformation of the Caucasus region from periphery to one of the focal points of the Eurasian, European and Transatlantic security. His presentation examined the role of various states (USA, Turkey and Iran), the integration communities (European Union), and international organizations (OSCE, NATO and UN) since the USSR dissolution. Special attention […]

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  • After Mandela: The Struggle for Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa

    Recent works on South Africa have focused primarily on Nelson Mandela’s transcendent story. But Douglas Foster, a leading South Africa authority with early, unprecedented access to President Zuma and to the next generation in the Mandela family, traces the nation’s entire post-apartheid arc, from its celebrated beginnings under “Madiba” to Thabo Mbeki’s tumultuous rule to […]

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  • The Moral Issue of the Effect of Economic Sanctions

    The economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by the United Nations Security Council has been said to have caused massive damage to the Iraqi population, and to Iraq’s health care, education, economy, and infrastructure. Von Sponeck and Gordon discussed the moral, political, and legal implications of this, as well as offer some thoughts on what this […]

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