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Slavery, science, theater among topics in lecture series at Illinois

Craig Chamberlain, Education Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. —-- Global slavery, the role of serendipity in scientific research, and an all-female Japanese theater troupe are on the schedule of talks and performances this spring sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois at

Other topics on the CAS schedule through early spring: the Pan-African movement, India-Pakistan relations, conflicts over cultural heritage, AIDS in South Africa, writing about new discoveries and inventions, the Black Power movement in the U.S., and crime, corruption and capitalism in the Balkans and Russia.

All but two of the lectures or performances are part of the CAS MillerComm series, begun in 1973 and supported with funds from the George A. Miller Endowment and several co-sponsoring campus units. The MillerComm events provide a forum for discourse on topics spanning the university’s many disciplines.

All CAS events are free and open to the public.

The first MillerComm lecture of the spring semester will take place Feb. 23 and is titled “"Criminal Trafficking and Slavery: A Global Problem." The speaker will be Susan Forbes Martin, executive director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University. Martin will discuss the global dimensions of the trafficking and slavery problem, as well as current and potential measures to eliminate these practices and assist the victims. Her lecture, being held in conjunction with the university's Joint Area Centers symposium on the topic, begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.

Subsequent lectures scheduled through the first week of April:

Feb. 27, “"21st-Century Color Lines and Other Lines: The Challenge of Pan-Africanism,"” by Bill Fletcher, president and chief executive of the TransAfrica Forum. Fletcher will discuss divisions and challenges within the Pan-African movement, linked with issues such as race, class and the defeat of colonialism. His MillerComm talk, which is also the annual W.E.B. DuBois Lecture, begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

March 6, “"The Prospects for Peace in South Asia,"” by Rafiq Dossani, from the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford. Dossani will discuss the history of conflicts between India and Pakistan, and suggest what may happen in the context of India's rapid economic progress and Pakistan's involvement in the global war on terror. His talk, part of the CAS Initiative on Globalization, begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

March 10, “"Closing Pandora's Box: Human Rights Conundrums in Cultural Heritage Protection,"” by William Logan, UNESCO Chair of Heritage and Urbanism at Deakin University, Australia. Logan will discuss the numerous conflicts around the globe over cultural heritage sites and practices. His MillerComm lecture, held in conjunction with the “"Cultural Heritage and Human Rights" workshop, begins at 4 p.m. in the Plym Auditorium, Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, 611 Taft Drive, Champaign.

March 14, the Seinendan Japanese Theatre Troupe, performing the comedies “"The Yalta Conference"” and “"Ronin Office Ladies".” The first play puts a unique Japanese spin on the Allied meeting late in World War II that played a key role in shaping the post-war world. The second play spoofs a classic Japanese tale of samurai who plot to avenge their master's wrongful death, but with this version taking place in a corporate lunchroom. The MillerComm-sponsored plays, performed entirely by women and in Japanese with English supertitles, begin at 7:30 p.m. in the theater in Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright St., Urbana.

March 16, “"Serendipity in Practice: Breakthroughs in Nutrition of Animals and Humans,"” the second annual Chancellor's CAS Special Lecture, by David Baker, professor emeritus of nutrition in the U. of I. department of animal sciences and Division of Nutritional Sciences. Baker will discuss how many great discoveries in science have been made through serendipity, by carefully pursuing unintended and ancillary findings, and will use examples from comparative nutrition research at Illinois to illustrate. His lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium (Room 1404) of the Siebel Center, 201 N. Goodwin Ave., Urbana.

March 27, “"Trusting Edison: From Speculative Belief to Reliably Reconstitutable Phenomena,"” by Charles Bazerman, chair of the department of education at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Bazerman will use the case of Edison's light and power, along with other cases from scientific and technical writing, to explore the process by which incredible claims about new discoveries and inventions become trusted. His MillerComm talk begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

March 28, “"Realizing Human Rights: Access to HIV/AIDS-related Medication and the Role of Civil Society in South Africa,” by Zackie Achmat, a health-care activist. Achmat, who received the Nelson
Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, will discuss how human rights connect with health-care access for people with HIV/AIDS. His MillerComm lecture begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

March 31, “"The Black Power Movement: Self-Determination, Transformation and Sabotage,"” by Kathleen Cleaver, senior lecturer in law at Emory University and in African and African American Studies at Yale University. Cleaver, former national press secretary for the Black Panther Political Party, will discuss her experiences in the Black Power movement and the philosophy on which it was based. Her MillerComm talk, held in conjunction with a conference on the same topic, begins at 4 p.m. in Room 112 of Gregory Hall, 810 S. Wright St., Urbana.

April 6, “"The Spider Trap: Corruption, Organized Crime and Transition in the Balkans and Russia,"” by journalist and historian Misha Glenny, author of “"The Balkans, 1804-1999."” Glenny will discuss his current research on the tangled relationship between weak government, corrupt business and crime in the region, and their foundation for the emergence of capitalism there. His MillerComm lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

For additional information, or to confirm scheduling details, check the events links on the CAS Web site.

Details on CAS lectures scheduled for later this spring will appear in a forthcoming news release.