Reflections on Sicilian Insularity – What Does It Mean to Be an Island and What Is Its Role as a Meeting Point for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East?
Professor Andò will introduce his Sicilian home to an American audience by applying his long experience as a professor of comparative law and a student of different cultures to bear on the questions of Sicily’s role in the current world. Sicily is undeniably an island and that fact entails a certain degree of insularity though modern forms of information technology may be overcoming some of the isolation due to geography. But islands can also be meeting points, and Sicily’s position in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea has made it an important meeting point throughout recorded history. It has served and will continue to serve as an important meeting point for Europeans, Africans, and Middle Easterners. It is, however, also being overwhelmed by waves of refugees fleeing Africa and the Near East. Professor Andò will seek to acquaint us with Sicily by exploring these multiple meanings of Sicilian “insularity.”
Professor Biagio Andò earned his basic law degree and his Ph.D. in law at the University of Catania. He is currently a professor of comparative law at the University of Catania and is visiting Iowa’s College of Law as a visiting research scholar during this fall semester (2022). He has deepened his understanding of islands through several stints as a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta and research stays at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He has also conducted research at the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg, at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University.
Participatory Storytelling and Malnutrition: Qualitative Evidence from Women's Groups in Eastern India"
When: Wednesday, November 16th, 2022 at 12 noon CST
Where: Online via Zoom
Speakers: Dr. Carly Nichols
Maternal and young child malnutrition remains a persistent problem in South Asia - most especially among small and marginal farmers. The links between gender, agriculture, and nutrition are similarly multifaceted and complex - covering social, political, and ecological aspects of everyday life. In this talk, Dr. Nichols will discuss qualitative research carried out in central India that examined the efficacy of a participatory storytelling-based intervention conducted among groups of rural women that sought to empower them to analyze and address problems of malnutrition. She will highlight how emotion, honesty, and personal testimony are key ingredients for this form of social learning and that there is a large unmet demand for safe spaces in rural India where women can collectively process their own health statuses. She will end with a tale of caution that socio-emotional learning programs must also be matched with public investment in rural communities if there is to be a true sustainable reduction in malnutrition among the most vulnerable.
Dr. Nicols is an Assistant Professor in Geographical and Sustainable Sciences at the University of Iowa. She is a broadly trained human-environment geographer with specializations in feminist, health, and agro-food geographies. She has over 7 years of research experience across northern, eastern, and central India investigating agriculture, health, gender, and food and nutrition security. Her research examines the complex interplay among processes of human health and wellbeing, ecological change, and everyday social relations, particularly in relation to food and agriculture. Her most recent project entitled “Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture, Global Nutrition Policy, and the Gendered and Affective Politics of Health in India” examines the changing political context of global health and nutrition policy in the context of agrarian India. She has received Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Geography from the University of Arizona (2019, 2014), and a BA in Economics and International Studies from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (2010).
Election misinformation is a global problem that involves various actors and actions that contribute to both the spread of misinformation and responses to it. To better understand election misinformation requires examining the broader political and socio-cultural context as well as citizens’ “everyday” experiences with misinformation that occur outside election contexts. Looking at the case of Kenya, this presentation will contextualize election misinformation and share insights from a variety of studies conducted in the past five years.
Dr. Melissa Tully is the Interim Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, at the University of Iowa. She is also an Associate Professor and Easton Professor of Research. She studies news literacy, misinformation, global media with a particular focus on African media studies, and engagement. She has a particular interest in media produced in and about Africa and has conducted research in multiple Sub-Saharan African countries. She is currently working on research about misinformation and news literacy in Kenya and Senegal. She teaches courses that focus on social and digital media for both undergraduate and graduate students. She is also the Director of the Global Media Studies Working Group at the Obermann Center and a Senior Research Fellow in the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2011).
When: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022 at 12 noon CDT
Where: in- person via livestream
MidWestOne Bank 102 S. Clinton St
Speaker: Dr. Peter Gross
Since 2000, the Kremlin has been waging a relentless information war against the U.S., NATO, the European Union, democracy, and liberal values. Russian disinformation and propaganda, disseminated to one extent or another on every continent, achieved hyper status as Vladimir Putin prepared to invade Ukraine. It continues in its varied, preposterous ways as the conflict endures. The presentation examines the nature, goals, and consequences of these ongoing struggles for the hearts and minds of audiences and the West’s late arrival on this bloodless, nonetheless perilous battlefield.
Peter Gross, Ph.D., is professor emeritus and former Director of the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media (2006-2019). Before his tenure at the UT, he held the Gaylord Family Endowed Chair (International Communication) at the University of Oklahoma, where he also served as Director of the Institute for Research and Training at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is now an adjunct faculty member at the University of Iowa’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Gross is a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Media, Data and Society, the Central European University (Vienna, Austria), and Co-Editor of the Journal of Romanian Studies (2020-2023). He is a long-standing columnist for Transitions Online, a Czech-based journal concentrated on East and Central European politics, economics, society, culture, and media. Multilingual, his research focus is East and Central European societies, politics, media, and cultures. He carried out multiple assessment assignments for the U.S. Information Agency (U.S.I.A.)/U.S. Department of State and Voice of America in these regions. In 1996, Gross was a research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C. He frequently lectured at the U.S. Department of State's National Foreign Affairs Training Center and served as consultant to the International Media Fund, The Freedom Forum, the U.S.I.A. and Voice of America among other governmental and non-governmental organizations. He also served as scientific advisor to the EU-sponsored "Press Freedom and Media Systems in Europe” project at the University of Salzburg, Austria, and was a board member of the International Center for Protest Research, Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany. Among his 12 authored and co-authored scholarly books, textbooks, and co-edited book collections are, Entangled Evolutions. Media and Democratization in Eastern Europe (2002) and Media Transformations in the Post-Communist World: Eastern Europe’s Tortured Path to Change (2013), which he co-edited with Dr. Karol Jakubowicz (Poland). His forthcoming book, Focusing on the Core. A Cultural Approach to Media Systems, will be released in 2023. In addition to his book chapters in edited volumes, his scholarly and journalistic articles are published in U.S. and European academic journals and general circulation publications, respectively.