The 2016-2017 season of WKU Libraries’ “Far Away Places” talk series kicked off with Clinton Lewis, WKU’s University Photographer, who spoke about “Exploring New Zealand” at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Bowling Green, KY on the evening of September 15, 2016.
Category Archives: Podcasts
Our opening speaker in our fourteenth season of talks on Kentucky Live! Southern Culture at Its Best was one of the world’s leading tea experts Bruce Richardson, who is a writer, photographer, tea blender and frequent speaker at tea events around the country. The theme of Bruce’s talk in our series was “The Tea Things of Jane Austen,” which took place at Barnes & Noble on the evening of September 8. Book signing ensued after his talk.
On Monday, April 11 WKU Libraries, in collaboration with the Depts. of Modern Languages, Political Science, Sociology, the School of Journalism and Broadcasting, and the Office of International Programs, hosted Carlos de la Torre, Professor at the University of Kentucky, as part of the Tracing the Unexplored speaker series. A native of Quito, Ecuador, de la Torre moved to the United States in 1979, earned his BA in Sociology in 1983 from the University of Florida, and ultimately earned his PhD in 1993 from the New School for Social Research in New York for his study of Ecuadorean Populism in the 1930s and 40s, focusing on the early career of Jose Maria Velasco.
Before coming to UK in 2011 he previously taught at Drew University and Northeastern University, was a professor in the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales Sede (FLASCO) in Ecuador, was a Fulbright Scholar, a Woodrow Wilson International Center Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow. He now serves as International Studies Program Director and Professor of Sociology at UK and teaches courses on topics like Global Racism, Global Populism, and Media and Politics in Latin America. He has authored twelve books, most recently Latin American Populism of the Twenty-First Century in 2013 and Promises and Perils of Populism: Global Perspectives in 2015, as well as contributing occasionally to Spain’s leading newspaper El Pais and maintaining a weekly column in Dario Hoy, Quito’s leading newspaper.
De la Torre’s talk focused on “Assessing Left Wing Populism in Latin America: The Examples of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador”, examing why Hugo chavez Evo Morales and Rafael Correa were elected, the similarities and differences among their regimes, and the challenges to their populismand was held at 4:30 p.m. at the Faculty House.
The final speaker for the WKU Libraries’ 2015-2016 season of “Far Away Places” was Peter Lorge, who is an Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN specializing in the history of 10th and 11th century China, war history and military thought, guns and gunpowder, Chinese martial arts, and Chinese film. Lorge spoke about his book Chinese Martial Arts: From Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century on the evening of April 22, 2016 at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Bowling Green, Ky, a co-sponsor of the event.
WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places series featured Dr. Diane King, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky. Dr. King spoke on her recent book Kurdistan on the Global State: Kinship, Land and Community in Iraq, published in 2014 by Rutgers University Press. The book explores how people in Kurdistan connect socially through patron-client relationships, patrilineage and citizenship. King offers a sensitive interpretation of the challenges occurring between tradition and modernity in a land where honor killings and female genital mutilation coexist with mobile phones and increasing education of women.
WKU Libraries is one of several sponsors of this two week series of visiting speakers and documentary films. On Tuesday, March 17 at 4 p.m. at GRH 1074 Professor Luz Maria de la Torre, an indigenous activist and scholar from Otavalo, Ecuador talked about the role of indigenous women in changing ethnic relations in Ecuador. She’s currently a visiting professor and instructor of Quechua at UCLA. A reception followed. She also spoke to classes on campus.
On Wednesday, March 18 in MMTH 166, With My Heart in Yambo, an award winning documentary film directed by Maria Fernandez Restrepo was shown. The film describes how her two brothers were abducted by the police and later murdered more than 25 years ago. The documentary was introduced by Professor Sonia Lenk who had once met the Restrepos at their Quito store prior to the murders.
On Tuesday, March 24 at 4 p.m. at GRH 1074 Xavier Bonilla (aka Bonil), Ecuador’s most famous and controversial political cartoonist, spoke about “Political Humor/Cartoons in an Ecuadorian Context: A Free Press or Censorship.” He does cartoons for numerous periodicals and magazines in Ecuador including El Universo, Ecuador’s largest newspaper. Professor Melissa Stewart provided the translation, which was created by her Spanish Translation class. A reception followed. Bonilla also spoke to classes on campus and did media interviews with English and Spanish language press.
On Tuesday, March 31 at 5 p.m. in MMTH 166, Cesar’s Grill a 2013 documentary film directed by Dario Aguirre was shown. It describes how a vegetarian artist’s son living in Germany gets called back to Ecuador to help his father Cesar with his failing grill restaurant. It was recently nominated as the best documentary film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. The director prepared a special video introduction especially for this showing at WKU. Professor Fabian Alvarez served as moderator. The film opened in Ecuadorian theaters in April and has awards at several film festivals.
Michael Cairo is Associate Professor of Political Science at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. His newest title “The Gulf: The Bush Presidencies and the Middle East.” Most students at WKU haven’t known a time when there wasn’t a mention of war in the Middle East.
A reception was held in honor of Al and Jeanne Baker, former owners of Shutterbug Photography, for their in-kind gift “WKU Libraries-A Century of Excellence” now displayed on the first floor of Cravens Library. The 14 foot long display was created to commemorate a century of service on the hill.