The Nile is the longest river in the world. It is shared by 11 countries. For thousands of years, the river watered Egypt, the lowest riparian state in the Nile basin and one of the oldest civilizations in the world, without much competition from the upper riparian states. However, in the twentieth century things started changing. The upper riparian states started making plans to utilize the waters of the Nile River which once flowed to Egypt in its entirety. Presently, the biggest challenge for Egypt's claim to the Nile waters is coming from the largest hydro-electric dam on the African continent being built by Ethiopia, the upper riparian state providing more than three-quarters of the waters flowing into the Nile River. Egypt claims the Nile waters belong to it as a matter of historic right. Ethiopia argues the waters flowing from it to Egypt belong to Ethiopia as a matter of national sovereignty. The presentation will discuss this dispute from the perspective of international law. Specifically, it will address the issues by discussing the various treaties signed by the Nile basin states. The presentation will also discuss international law principles relevant to the dispute.
Daniel Teshome Teklu is a second-year Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) student in International and Comparative Law at the University of Iowa College of Law. He is currently writing a dissertation on the Nile water dispute. Daniel is from Ethiopia. He came to the US as a high school junior. In 2012, he graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.S. in Engineering and worked as an engineer for a few companies, including Messier Bugatti and Ford Motor Company, before turning to the study of law. In 2019, he graduated from Wayne State University Law School (Detroit) with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. In 2021, he graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University School of Law (Indianapolis) with a Master of Laws (L.L.M.) degree in International and Comparative Law. He wrote his master's thesis on the Nile water dispute.
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.
When: Wednesday, October 26th, 2022 at 12 noon CDT
Where: In-person and via livestreaming
Speaker: Dr. David Cwiertny
In Collaboration with Johnson County UN Association
The University of Iowa recently launched a new MS degree program built around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainability is inherently interdisciplinary. The technical skills necessary for developing a more sustainable society draw from multiple disciplines including the natural and social sciences, engineering and beyond. Technical skills, however, are not sufficient and developing a more sustainable society will require additional skills including communication and cultural competency to translate training outcomes to communities and the public at large. As such, sustainability focused training programs cannot thrive within the traditional structure of academic silos. Rather, preparing the next generation of sustainability professionals requires a bold, interdisciplinary training approach that is not just technically rigorous, but also builds expertise in community engagement, cultural awareness, and communication with diverse stakeholders. The SDGs provide such a framework upon which to train tomorrow's sustainability leaders. This presentation will introduce the SDG MS program at the University of Iowa and talk more broadly about the skills and competencies needed to turn the SDGs into reality.
Dr. Cwiertny is the William D. Ashton Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Iowa, as well as the Director, Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination; Director, Environmental Policy Research Program, Public Policy Center;
Researcher, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute; Researcher, Environmental Health Sciences Research Center; and Faculty Research Engineer, IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering. His special fields of knowledge include environmental chemistry, and waste and wastewater treatment and reuse. His research areas include Materials-based treatment strategies for water and wastewater, and Chemical transformation pathways for emerging contaminant classes in a natural aquatic systems. He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University (2006), and a B.S.E. degree in Environmental Engineering Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2000).
When: Wednesday, October 19th, 2022 @ 12 noon CDT
Where: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Dr. Clayton Thyne
Coups d’état are dramatic events that can have major and lasting implications for states. Negative effects include destroying democracies, spurring repression, and inviting warfare. Coups may also have more positive effects like ending civil wars and providing opportunity for democratic governance to emerge. The recent spike in coups aligns with a burgeoning scholarly interest in these events. The purpose of this talk is twofold. First, the nature of coups will be discussed along with the scholarly literature that examines causes and consequences of coups. Second, original research will be presented that explores an overlooked aspect of coups: education. While the bulk of coup research focuses on elite actors, the original research presented in this talk will focus on one important aspect of the civilian population, expecting that coups will be unlikely in highly education populations. As such, this talk will be interesting to a wide variety of audiences, including students who have rarely thought about coups and scholars who study coups as a primary research interest.
Clayton Thyne is a Professor in the Political Science department at the University of Kentucky. He currently serves as the Department Chair, having previously held positions as Director of Graduate Studies and as the co-founder and Director of the Peace Studies certificate program. Dr. Thyne’s research currently focuses on domestic conflict/instability, coups d'état, regime types and democratization, and international education policy. His most recent work focuses on coups d'état, civil war onset, and civil war duration. His book, How International Relations Affect Civil Conflict: Cheap Signals, Costly Consequences, was published by Lexington Books in 2009. Other published work can be found in The Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Social Science Quarterly, International Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Comparative Political Studies, The Journal of Peace Research, Foreign Policy Analysis, and Conflict Management and Peace Science. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa (2007); M.A., University of Iowa (2004); M.Ed., University of Saint Thomas-Houston (2003); B.A., University of Nebraska-Kearney (2001).
When: Tuesday, October 12, 2022 at 12 noon CDT
Where: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Carrie Schuettpelz
Over the last twenty years, there’s been an explosion in the number of people who are checking the so-called “Indian box.” More than 9.7 million people in the United States self-identified as Native American or Alaska Native in the 2020 census, twice as many as in 2000 when the number was just 4.1 million. And while there have been some changes in the way things are measured or defined, nothing can explain the astronomical rise. Rather, the story over the last twenty years is one of more and more people claiming – perhaps for the first time – to be Native.
As more and more people claim Native-ness, the irony is the fewer and fewer people are able to clear the tribal membership "hurdle." That is, fewer people are able to prove either lineage or DNA that is sufficient to formally enroll in a tribe. In The Indian Card, University of Iowa Associate Professor Carrie Schuettpelz (Lumbee) explores this issue by weaving together history, policy, and storytelling.
Carrie Schuettpelz is an Associate Professor of Practice, University of Iowa School of Planning and Public Affairs, focusing primarily on social policy, homelessness, and poverty. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Balance-of-State Continuum of Care, she works with communities across the state to create plans to prevent and end homelessness. She also serves as the Vice President of the Native American Council.
Prior to joining SPPA, Carrie was a homelessness policy advisor in the Obama Administration from 2009-2016. She was a Fulbright Scholar in 2006, which was awarded by the U.S. Department of State to study the East-West divide of the European Union in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is a trained storyteller and teaches digital storytelling at a variety of levels. She is also at work on a nonfiction book about Native identity. She is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. She has a MFA degree in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison 2016, and a MPP degree from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government 2009.
When: Thursday, October 6, 2022 @ 12 noon CDT
Where: In-person: MidWestOne Bank 102 S. Clinton St., Iowa City, IA
Speaker: Zaza Muchemwa
In collaboration with The University of Iowa International Writing Program
Zaza Muchemwa, born, raised and making her artistic practice in Zimbabwe, looks at and shares the experiences of living in a country of constant transition, of being in fear and rising despite that fear, of holding onto hope amid despair and, what it means to stay alive in Zimbabwe today. She writes that there is a country in southern Africa which is known for always being in mainstream news for all the things that went wrong with young African nations shortly after gaining independence from colonial regimes. Chances are that one out of the ten times you have switched on a news channel in the past 3 decades you have come across the name Zimbabwe. You may have learned that the country is mineral rich, with a climate favorable to a rich agrarian economy, with a highly literate population and that this country, Zimbabwe, should be thriving. Yet misrule, corruption, poverty, dictatorship, decline, unemployment (the list goes on) have come to be associated with Zimbabwe. Equally you may have been astounded by the resilience of Zimbabweans. Rightly so, even when the country hit rock bottom several times, the citizens mysteriously found ways to bounce back from one catastrophe to another. The Art Scene has grown to, over the years, proffering thought provoking, delightful and visceral music, visual art, theatre, poetry, literature to global consumers. This with little to no support from the government, often within the confines of regulation censoring free expression. Ms. Muchemwa will address these issues during her presentation.
Zaza MUCHEMWA (poet, playwright, arts administrator; Zimbabwe) has had her poetry appear at PEN International and Badilisha Poetry X-change and included in the anthology Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights. Author of the play The IVth Interrogation, she is also an award-winning theater director and producer. Her journalism appears in Index on Censorship Magazine, Povo Magazine and elsewhere. As a Fall Resident in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, she participates thanks to a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.
When: Thursday, September 29th, 2022 @ 7:30pm CDT
Where: E105 Adler Journalism Building, University of Iowa, and via livestreaming
Speakers: Dr. Cullen Hendrix
The war in Ukraine has sent prices for food and energy spiraling, plunging millions into hunger and threatening energy security across Europe and Asia. But did fuel prices play a role in precipitating the conflict in the first place? In his talk, Dr. Cullen Hendrix will discuss the roles of oil and gas exports and prices in emboldening leaders of petrostates - states that derive significant export and government revenue from oil and gas exports - to behave aggressively in the international arena. The talk will conclude with thoughts about how the global transition to renewable energy systems will shift the locus of geopolitical competition from oil and gas to the critical minerals that will fuel the energy transition - and what can be done to ensure sustainable energy security moving forward.
Cullen Hendrix is senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, nonresident senior research fellow at the Center for Climate & Security, and a specially appointed research professor with the Network for Education and Research on Peace and Sustainability (NERPS) at Hiroshima University. He is currently on leave from the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He is the author of over 30+ peer-reviewed articles on the relationships between international markets, natural resources, and conflict, as well as the economic and security implications of climate change. Dr. Hendrix has authored reports published by or consulted for organizations including the Asian Development Bank, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the National Intelligence Council, Oxfam America, USAID, and the World Food Programme, among others. He was a contributing author to the 2022 IPCC report, for which he assessed the implications of climate change for threats to peace and human mobility.