The Great Red Island: Unusual Facts about Madagascar

The Great Red Island: Unusual Facts about Madagascar

Jean-Marie De La Beaujardiere, CFIS-AIA
April 8, 2018

Tucked away in the Indian Ocean near Africa, Madagascar is rarely mentioned in the news. In this talk, Mr. De La Beaujardiere will explore the conditions for the island’s unique fauna, the arrival of humans from an unexpected area of the world, the emergence of the early Malagasy kingdoms, the influence of British missionaries on the evolution of the society, the reasons for the two Franco-Malagasy wars and the colonization, the capture of the French colony by the British during WWII, and the current situation after four constitutions and fifteen governments since 1960.

Marina Oborotova

Moscow: Building a New Third Rome?

Dr. Marina Oborotova, CFIS-AIA
April 3, 2018

Holy Moscow, New Rome, Center of Russia – these names reflect some of the different facets of the City’s ever changing identity throughout centuries. Over the past 16 years, the city’s face has been transformed by massive restoration, renovation and a vast program of new construction. But for all the changes, much of old Moscow remains and she can still take pride in her splendid traditional architecture, fascinating museums like the Tretiakov Gallery, and cultural wonders like the Bolshoi Theater ballet. In this talk, Dr. Oborotova will highlight the city’s changes and its history.

Donald Trump and the Jacksonian Tradition in American Foreign Relations

Donald Trump and the Jacksonian Tradition in American Foreign Relations

Dr. Daniel Feller, University of Tennessee
March 18, 2018

Donald Trump claims Andrew Jackson as his presidential model, and many of his critics agree.  In this talk Daniel Feller, the editor of the Andrew Jackson Papers and one of the nation’s leading experts on our seventh president, will explore the realities of Jackson’s diplomacy, the origins and meaning of the “Jacksonian” label in current public affairs, and the uses and abuses of historical precedent.

Marina Oborotova

Russian Literature: The Best Novel of the 20th Century? Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita

Dr. Marina Oborotova, CFIS-AIA
March 11, 2018

Have you ever heard about Mikhail Bulgakov and his Master and Margarita? Many critics consider it to be one of the best novels of the 20th century, as well as the foremost of Soviet satires. But why don’t we know much about it? And if it is one of the best, why did the Nobel Prize for literature go to Pasternak and Zhivago, and not to Bulgakov and The Master and Margarita, as many of the Russians believe it should have? Who was Mikhail Bulgakov and what was his place in the pantheon of Russian writers of the 20th century?

Ethics and Espionage: A Marriage Made in Heaven or Mutually Exclusive?

Ethics and Espionage: A Marriage Made in Heaven or Mutually Exclusive?

Dr. Stephen Slick, UTexas, Austin and Douglas Wise, retired senior CIA operations officer
February 25, 2018

Can a profession where lying, cheating, stealing, manipulating, exploiting and deceiving have boundaries beyond which a moral intelligence officer cannot cross? Should our intelligence agencies be uninhibited in their actions to defend the Nation or should there be standards reflective of our core values as a Nation which the officers of our intelligence agencies must uphold? Get some answers to these and other questions on the profession and business of espionage when two former senior CIA operations officers discuss these and other issues.

Goddesses of Love in the Ancient World: From Ishtar to Aphrodite

Goddesses of Love in the Ancient World: From Ishtar to Aphrodite

Dr. Diana McDonald, Boston College
February 11, 2018

Female divinities had an outsized role in the development of early societies and their art, going back all the way to the Neolithic period. Where did the goddesses we know best, such as the beautiful Aphrodite (later known as Venus) originally come from? These divinities of sex and love, such as Aphrodite, Inana and Ishtar, were the earliest ones worshipped by ancient societies, and often had fascinating connections with animals such as the lion. In this lecture, we’ll look at these connections and see some of the most stunning art from the ancient Mediterranean world.

Marina Oborotova

Great Museums of the World: The Hermitage

Dr. Marina Oborotova, CFIS-AIA
February 6, 2018

Founded by the Russian empress Catherine the Great in 1764 as “hermit’s retreat”, the Hermitage became one of the largest museums in the world. It comprises over three million items including the largest collection of paintings in the world. Dr. Oborotova will take you on a virtual tour of the Hermitage, talk about the museum’s history and show you some of its treasures – Leonardo’s and da Vinci’s Madonnas, Rembrandts’ portraits and Impressionists’ landscapes.

Dealing with a Nuclear North Korea

Dealing with a Nuclear North Korea

Ambassador Joseph DeTrani
January 23, 2018

The problem of North Korea festering since the 1953 armistice, has become a major threat to the security of the United States. Join us for a unique opportunity to listen a person uniquely qualified to answer our questions and to point a way forward. Ambassador Joseph DeTrani was the U.S. Special Envoy for talks with North Korea. In his presentation he will first provide a brief historical overview of issues affecting the Korean peninsula since 1945, then he will present options for dealing with a North Korea determined to be a nuclear weapons state.

Health Care for Everyone! Why Can't the U.S. Do It?

Health Care for Everyone! Why Can’t the U.S. Do It?

T.R. Reid, Award-Winning Journalist
January 19, 2018

All of the world’s industrialized democracies provide health care for everybody — all, that is, except the world’s richest country, the United States. And all the other rich democracies have better health outcomes than the U.S. — while spending about half as much as we do for medical care. How do they do it? Reid will explain how we could get to health care for all — and how this would benefit the United States and New Mexico.

Golden Beauty:  Art of the Byzantines

Golden Beauty: Art of the Byzantines

Catherine Carter, Ph.D.
January 14, 2018

In this talk we will take a brief look at the history of the Byzantine empire and study the beauty of the art.

Marina Oborotova

St. Petersburg: The City That Should Not Be and Would Not Die

Dr. Marina Oborotova, CFIS-AIA
January 9, 2018

Marina Oborotova will walk you through St. Petersburg’s amazing history and give you a tour of the most beautiful architectural ensembles. This talk opens the series in preparation for AIA trips to Russia in June & July 2018. Everybody is welcome.