• Everyday Nation Building: Creativity, Culture and Political Community in Senegal and Indonesia

    Political Scientist Dennis Galvan previews his forthcoming book, Everyday Nation Building: Creativity, Culture and Political Community in Senegal and Indonesia (University of Pennsylvania Press).  Through a close examination of cases from Senegal and Indonesia, Prof. Galvan develops a new scholarly approach to nation building, emphasizing the everyday practices and performances that are central to the politics of […]

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  • Smog, Natural Gas, Batteries: On the New Geopolitics of Energy

    Acclaimed journalist Steve LeVine, author of The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea, returns to the University of Chicago to speak on his new project: an investigation on the geopolitics of technology, and the race among nations for a breakthrough in advanced batteries. Steve LeVine is Washington Correspondent […]

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  • Alan Weisman on Population Growth’s Challenge to Sustainability

    In Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?  Alan Weisman tackles pressing questions on the problem that overpopulation poses to sustainable living on Earth.  The book chronicles Weisman’s travels to twenty-one countries where he encounters first hand examples of the challenges of population growth. Throughout, he explores four questions that experts agreed were […]

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  • Masha Gessen & Bernardine Dohrn on Pussy Riot

    Words Will Break Cement tells the heroic story of Pussy Riot, the activist group who resurrected the power of truth in a society built on lies. On February 21, 2012, five young women entered the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. In neon-colored dresses, tights, and balaclavas, they performed a “punk prayer” beseeching the “Mother […]

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  • Wind at the Margins of the State: Autonomy and Renewable Energy in Southern Mexico

    In Oaxaca’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec, state and private interests have created the densest development of wind power anywhere in the world. This presentation examines how a governmentally supported, ecologically timely project, the Mareña Renovables wind park, failed in the face of unprecedented local resistance. We argue that while transitions to renewable energy have the ethical […]

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  • Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East

    In Temptations of Power, Shadi Hamid draws on hundreds of interviews with leaders and activists from across the region to advance a new understanding of how Islamist movements change over time. He puts forward the bold thesis that repression “forced” Islamists to moderate their politics, work in coalitions, de-emphasize Islamic law, and set aside the dream […]

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  • Food Patriots: Film Screening and Filmmaker Q&A

    Food Patriots begins with a wake up call: filmmakers Jeff Spitz and Jennifer Amdur Spitz’s son got sick eating chicken contaminated with a superbug, and antibiotics failed. The film chronicles the family’s newfound interest in food sources, getting outlaw chickens, and meeting people from all walks of life who are trying to change the way […]

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  • The Abominable Crime – Film Screening and Q&A with Micah Fink

    The Abominable Crime Trailer from Common Good Productions on Vimeo. THE ABOMINABLE CRIME, at heart, is a story about a mother’s love for her child and an activist’s troubled love for his country. It also gives voice to gay Jamaicans who, in the face of endemic anti-gay violence, are forced to flee their homeland. Simone, […]

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  • Book Launch: The Social Lives of Forests

    This event celebrated the book launch for the new edited volume, The Social Lives of Forests.  Stemming from our May 2008 conference of the same name, this book explores woodland resurgance and how forests throughout the world are closely integrated into the lives of their inhabitants, be they in the city of Chicago or in the […]

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  • Carbon Fuel and the Corporate Future

    Over the last two centuries the use of fossil fuels has shaped and reshaped experiences of time, including our collective relationships to the future. One set of futures with which we live are those framed by forms of economic calculation, such as the futures produced in the accounting practices of large oil firms. To approach […]

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