Charles Steen


Dr. Charles Steen, UNM
December 13, 2015

Dr. Charles Steen will provide an overview of the founding and development of Venice. He will examine the people and the place, chronicling the rise of a unique class of merchant oligarchs who crafted a republic that lasted for a thousand years.

Catherine Carr

Doctors Without Borders: Lessons from the Frontline

Catherine Carr
November 8, 2015

Catherine will relate the history of Doctors Without Borders and provide noteworthy information about the work the organization does as it provides medical assistance to populations in severe distress, often in areas of active conflict. Throughout the presentation, Catherine will weave in some the lessons that come from living a life in the field and the relevance those lessons have after leaving the field.

Southeast Asia and the U.S. 'Pivot': Neglected Target of Opportunity

Southeast Asia and the U.S. ‘Pivot’: Neglected Target of Opportunity

Dr. Ellen Frost, East-West Center
October 30, 2015

The Obama administration’s “pivot” policy assigns a higher priority to Southeast Asia than any of its antecedents. So far, however, the region has attracted less attention and fewer resources than its size and importance would justify. Why does Southeast Asia matter for the United States – and for New Mexico in particular? The state is home to over 16,000 ASEAN-Americans (almost 40% of the state’s Asian population), but exports to ASEAN countries amount to a mere 3% of the state’s total. Are the citizens and companies of New Mexico paying enough attention to this dynamic region?

Nandini Kuehn

The Great Escape: Bollywood

Dr. Nandini Kuehn, Ph.D
October 11, 2015

Why is the term “Bollywood” such an iconic one? Why does this genre dominate India, where more commercial films are made than anywhere else in the world? In this session, we will look at clips from Bollywood movies, old and new, and understand what makes these films tick, especially the good ones.

Washoku on the World Stage: Japanese Cuisine and National Identity

Washoku on the World Stage: Japanese Cuisine and National Identity

Dr. Theodore Bestor, Harvard University
October 4, 2015

How has washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) become such a popular part of the global scene? What does its global popularity mean for washoku in Japan?

Ken Carpenter

El Gran Sueno: China and the Nicaragua Canal?

Dr. Ken Carpenter, UNM (Retired)
September 20, 2015

The government of Nicaragua recently signed a long-term lease agreement with a billionaire Chinese businessman to build a new interoceanic canal across southern Nicaragua to compete with the Panama Canal. Dr. Carpenter will examine all these possible consequences if the canal is eventually completed, as well as the challenges to U.S. commercial, geopolitical, and military interests if the Chinese government becomes involved in the project.

Monika Ghattas

Hanoi: Poised Between Ideology and Reality

Dr. Monika Ghattas, Ph.D
September 13, 2015

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a kaleidoscope of colors, cultures, and commotion. Dr. Monika Ghattas will take us on a tour this modern yet ancient city.

United States and the Muslim World: Changing Foreign Policy Landscape

United States and the Muslim World: Changing Foreign Policy Landscape

Ambassador Shirin-Tahir Kheli
August 30, 2015

In her talk, Ambassador Tahir-Kheli will look at the recent past after the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in order to examine the nature of the relationships between the U.S. and the world of Islam today.

Morocco: Arts, Culture, History and Daily Life

Morocco: Arts, Culture, History and Daily Life

Nancy Brady, UNM
August 9, 2015

Nancy Brady will take you on a virtual tour of Moroccan culture with a stunning slide show that showcases visual arts, music, dance, spiritual practices of the Sufi and Gnawa and life among the earliest people, the Berbers (Amazigh). She will present a brief history of the Berbers in Morocco and focus on Islamic art and architecture, as well as ancient traditional arts.

Iron Camel:  A Trans-national Look at Building, Maintaining and Operating the New Silk Roads

Iron Camel: A Trans-national Look at Building, Maintaining and Operating the New Silk Roads

Dr. John Betak, Collaborative Solutions LLC
July 12, 2015

The “China Dream” of the “great rejuvenation of the nation” has been the hallmark of Xi Jinping’s presidency since he became the party chief in late 2012. The proposed revival of a great trade route that two thousand years ago bridged Eastern and Western cultures across the Eurasian continent is front and center in the idea of a new “Silk Road economic belt”.

U.S. - Cuba Update: What’s Next?

U.S. – Cuba Update: What’s Next?

Dr. Nelson Valdes
June 14, 2015

Dr. Valdés will provide us with a much needed explanation of the Obama administration’s policy towards Cuba, and more importantly will answer the question of what will come next, both in terms of U.S. policy and Cuban leadership.

Mark Von Hagen

Ukraine between East and West: Linking the Past to the Present

Dr. Mark Von Hagen, Arizona State University
May 31, 2015

Events in Ukraine are swirling so rapidly that by May the situation in that troubled country is likely to have changed dramatically. But we can be sure of one thing: Mark Von Hagen will provide us with a much needed explanation of Ukrainian history and its impact on the current crisis.

Andrew Connors

Japanese Art Deco and the Global Aesthetic

Andrew Connors, Curator of Art, Albuquerque Museum
May 10, 2015

Are you looking for an unconventional way to celebrate Mother’s Day? Come to the Albuquerque Museum to enjoy an afternoon of art and music. Andrew Connors, the Curator of Art and a brilliant speaker, will take you on a unique tour of Japanese Art Deco, accompanied by vintage recordings of Japanese jazz and big-band music.

Charles Armstrong

South Korea: The Rise to Globalism

Dr. Charles Armstrong, Columbia University
May 3, 2015

In less than half a century South Korea has been transformed from a war-ravaged dictatorship to a high-tech democracy and an important global force in technology, economy, culture and security. This transformation challenges many assumptions about how we have understood the phenomenon of globalization, especially the idea that globalization is a strictly Westernizing or Americanizing phenomenon. In some respects the world, Asia in particular, is becoming significantly “Koreanized.”

Stephan Haggard

North Korea: Witness to Transformation

Dr. Stephan Haggard, University of California – San Diego
April 19, 2015

In his talk Stephan Haggard will outline a path-breaking new approach to North Korea, based on a large-scale and unprecedented refugee survey in China and South Korea.