WWU’s Fairhaven College Announces Fall World Issues Forum Slate

Grounded in social and environmental justice and human rights, the Fall World Issues Forum lecture series, organized by Western Washington University’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, will focus on topics such as indigenous rights, immigration, and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

The forums, now in their 16th year, are free and open to the campus community and general public. The forums are held from noon to 1:20 p.m. every Wednesday in the Fairhaven Auditorium, unless otherwise noted below.

Oct. 4

Topic: “Tulalip From My Heart: Honoring the Work and Legacy of Harriette Shelton Dover”

Presenters: Darleen Fitzpatrick, Raymond Fryberg, Glen Gobin, and Patti Gobin

In “Tulalip, From My Heart,” Harriette Shelton Dover describes her life on the Tulalip Reservation and recounts the myriad problems tribes faced after resettlement. Born in 1904, Dover grew up hearing the elders of her tribe tell of the hardships involved in moving from their villages to the reservation on Tulalip Bay: inadequate supplies of food and water, harsh economic conditions, and religious persecution outlawing community houses and other ceremonial practices.

In this forum, anthropologist Darleen Fitzpatrick will discuss Dover’s research. Ray Fryberg, Glen Gobin, and Patti Gobin from the Tulalip Tribes will discuss their memories of Harriette Shelton Dover and the importance of her book.

Darleen Fitzpatrick is a social anthropologist.  Her research specialty is religion, ethnicity, and Native North America with an emphasis upon the Northwest Coast.  Her writings include “A Gift from God” (an ethnography of the Indian Shaker religion in the Pacific Northwest), and “We Are Cowlitz” (a study of Cowlitz ethnicity or ethnic identity), and editor of Harriette S. Dover’s Tulalip From My Heart.  She taught anthropology at Everett Community College.

Raymond Fryberg serves as the Commissioner of Fisheries and Natural Resources for the Tulalip Tribes.

Glen Gobin served on the Tulalip Board of Directors for 17 years.  He also served on the Quil Ceda Village Council that oversees business and development activities and on the Planning, Gaming, and Fish commissions.

Patti Gobin has over 25 years of community development experience with the Tulalip Tribes.  Presently, she is with the Natural Resource Treaty Rights office working with state, local and federal agencies regarding those issues that impact the life ways of the Tulalip Tribes.

Oct. 11

Topic: “Human Rights in Mexico: How US Policies Affect State Violence, Militarization, and Displacement”

Presenter: Roberto Mendoza Pérez

Roberto Mendoza Pérez will speak on the current socio-political and economic issues affecting communities in Mexico, which are directly linked to U.S. foreign policy on behalf of the National Network of Women Defenders of Human Rights in Mexico (RNDDHM). RNDDHM members - indigenous teachers, small farmers, students and elders - work in defense of their human rights, which include land, education, labor and housing. Facing repression by their Mexican government, the RNDDHM members demand that the forcefully disappeared be returned alive, that political prisoners be freed, and that those responsible be brought to justice.

Roberto Mendoza Pérez from the Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Mexico has been a rural indigenous community organizer in Chiapas since 2010. He plans conferences and forums related to human rights abuses and state crimes.

Oct. 18

Topic:  America and Germany – Old Friends or New Rivals?

Presenter: Jan Phillip Burgard

For decades, the United States and Germany have been the bulwark of the West. But like no other president before him, Donald Trump has raised questions about the nature of this key partnership. Shortly after the Bundestagswahl (federal elections) in Germany, TV correspondent Jan Philipp Burgard will provide an inside view of how the new political environment might change the transatlantic relationship.

Jan Philipp Burgard is correspondent and Deputy Bureau Chief of the German TV network ARD in Washington, D.C. He studied political science at the University of Bonn and at the Sorbonne in Paris. His doctoral thesis analyzed Barack Obama´s presidential campaign in 2008. In 2016, he published another book about the U.S. elections, “Amerika stellt die Weichen” (America Sets the Course). Burgard also worked as a political correspondent in Berlin and covered breakings news events like the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. In 2017, he became the youngest U.S. correspondent in the history of his network ARD.

Oct. 25

Topic: To Peace Corps or not to Peace Corps?

Presenters: Julie Helling (Fairhaven), Hilary Schwandt (Fairhaven), Jill MacIntyre Witt (WWU Peace Corps representative), and Pedro Cameselle (Dept. of History)

“The Peace Corps is respected abroad because volunteers have often done the different jobs no one else was able or willing to do; because Volunteers have filled needs for trained manpower at critical times. Moreover, the Peace Corps comes without strings or ulterior motive, separate from American foreign policy, with no other purpose than to help where needed.” – Joseph Blatchford, former Peace Corps Director

WWU's graduates have a long tradition of serving as Peace Corps Volunteers in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and throughout the world. This forum discussion by Peace Corps veterans and Western Faculty will reflect on the roles of the Peace Corps and Western’s graduates in the wider world. What do Western grads do in the Peace Corps and where does their service fit in American foreign policy, international development, and myriad relationships between the United States and the developing world? What does it mean to go into another country and culture to "help?" Is it possible for the thousands of Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV) to go to another place without "ulterior motive?" Are volunteers "guests" or "helpers" and what is the difference? How is the Peace Corps viewed through the eyes of the citizens of the host countries?

Julie Helling is a professor of Law, Diversity and Justice in Western’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies. She is a lawyer and former domestic violence prosecutor and served for two years in the Peace Corps in Niger.

Jill MacIntyre Witt is the WWU Peace Corps campus representative and an instructor teaching courses in Health and Human Development and Environmental Studies. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from Western’s Huxley College of the Environment and served in the Peace Corps in Morocco.

Hilary Schwandt is an associate professor of Public Health in Western’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies. She has a master’s degree and doctorate from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and served for two years in the Peace Corps in Jamaica.

Pedro Cameselle is assistant professor of History at Western. He is originally from Uruguay and his research is on US-Latin American relations.

Nov. 1

Topic: “Innocent Victims and Schoolgirl Warriors: A Child Witness's Account of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.”
Presenter: Peter Hargitai, Florida International University

Peter Hargitai will show a 10-minute documentary short film entitled “Daughter of the Revolution”  about a child-witness to the bloody Hungarian Revolution of 1956. In the film, Hargitai and his adult son revisit his turbulent past, but ultimately the film pays tribute to the brave women, some as young as 14, who had taken their fight to the streets of Budapest. Animated scenes from his 2006 novel, bearing the same title, are weaved into the narrative to bring history to life. After viewing the film, Professor Hargitai will contrast the lure of “armchair” Marxism at American universities with the realities of living and fighting for freedom under Communism.

Nov. 8

Topic: “The First Half-Century of Israel’s Permanently Temporary Occupation”

Presenter: Gershon Shafir, professor, University of California at San Diego

This talk raises the two burning questions in this 50th anniversary of the 1967 War. First, “Is the presence of Israel’s military and settlers in the West Bank an occupation?” An answer leads us to both international and domestic legal conundrums and the everyday life experience of Palestinian inhabitants. Second, “Is the Israeli settlement enterprise reversible?” As part of a feasibility study of the two-state solution, Shafir will focus on such issues as the percentage of land taken up by Israeli settlements and their layout, the demographic ratio of Israeli Jews to Palestinians, etc. Instead of viewing the settlements as a single-minded undertaking, he will highlight and examine the ramifications of their diverse character.

Gershon Shafir is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California at San Diego, and the founding director of its Human Rights Program. He has served as president of the Association for Israel Studies and is the author or editor of 10 books, among them “Land, Labor, and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882–1914;” “Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship (co-authored with Yoav Peled),” winner of the 2002 Middle Eastern Studies Association’s Albert Hourani Award; and “Struggle and Survival in Palestine/Israel” (with co-editor with Mark LeVine).

Nov. 15

Topic: “Korematsu Then and Now”

Presenter: Lorraine K. Bannai director, Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, and professor of Lawyering Skills, Seattle University School of Law

During World War II, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which forcibly removed over 110,000 persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast to desolate camps in the interior. In Korematsu v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the government’s actions, deferring to the government’s claims about national security.  Today, new government actions, such as the travel ban, are also asserted to be justified by national security, but are rooted in the same fear and prejudice that led to the wartime incarceration.  This incarceration can teach us much about what happens when ignorance and fear combine to harm vulnerable communities; when the courts fail to act as a check on the exercise of government power; and when we, as a people, fail to uphold the rule of law and to speak out against injustice.

Lorraine Bannai has directed academic support at Boalt Hall Law School and taught Law at University of San Francisco, New College of California, WWU’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, and, for 20 years, at Seattle University.  She has written and spoken widely on the wartime Japanese American incarceration and its present-day relevance, testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and written an amicus brief for the Supreme Court in Hedges vs. Obama.  Bannai is the author of “Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice.”

Nov. 29

Topic: “Rethinking the Heart of Empire: Indigenous Travellers in London, 1502-2015”

Presenter: Coll Thrush, professor of History at the University of British Columbia

London is famed both as the ancient center of a former empire and as a modern metropolis of bewildering complexity and diversity. Coll Thrush offers an imaginative vision of the city's past crafted from an almost entirely new perspective: that of Indigenous children, women, and men who traveled there, willingly or otherwise, from territories that became Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, beginning in the sixteenth century. They included captives and diplomats, missionaries and shamans, poets and performers. Thrush illustrates how London learned to be a global, imperial city and how Indigenous people were central to that process.

Coll Thrush is professor of history at the University of British Columbia, where he is also affiliated with UBC’s Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies. He is the author of Indigenous London and Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place.

For more information on the World Issues Forums, contact Western Washington University’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at (360) 650-6680.

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 10:34am

Lorraine K. Bannai of the Seattle University School of Law will present “Korematsu Then and Now” about the legality of the Japanese internment during WW II on Nov. 15 as part of the World Issues Forum series.