WWU’s Fairhaven College Announces Fall World Issues Forum Slate

The upcoming Fall World Issues Forum lecture series, facilitated by Western Washington University’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, will focus on topics such as immigration policy, indigenous sovereignty, human rights violations and global documentary practices.

The forums are free and open to Western’s community and the general public. The forums are held from noon to 1:20 p.m. every Wednesday in the Fairhaven College Auditorium, unless otherwise noted below.


Wednesday, Oct. 3

“Immigrant Incarceration and the Neoliberal State in the Trump Era”          

Presenter: Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network.

Topic:  This talk explores the contemporary issue of family separation and the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, specifically its relationship to the continuous expansion of mass incarceration in the United States over the last two decades. Rates of immigrant detention have increased in recent years, an increase that has had a profound impact on the shape of government. What does this mean for existing immigrants, as well as those coming into the U.S? This presentation aims to answer questions and offer a primer on the current state of immigration detention.


Wednesday, Oct. 10

“Robin Gray - Embodied Heritage: Enactments of Indigenous Sovereignty

Presenter: Robin Gray, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Topic: In a contemporary era, Indigenous nationhood exists at multiple scales. It’s most visible and recognized in elected councils that negotiate rights with settler states, but far less visible to the outside world are the dynamic ways of knowing, being and doing that continue to anchor Indigenous sovereignty in place. A member of Ts’msyen Nation, Gray will provide examples of feasting, land and waterway protection, repatriation and dance groups to highlight the role that embodied heritage plays in maintaining and reinforcing Ts’msyen law, politics and nationhood.


Wednesday, Oct. 17

“The Silencing of Dissent: How Freedom of the Press is Threatened in Honduras.”

Presenters: Jennifer Avila, Honduran journalist and filmmaker.  

Topic: Honduran journalist and filmmaker Jennifer Avila will discuss the growing threat to freedom of the press in Honduras.


Wednesday, Oct. 24

“Canadian Documentary in the Global Context”

Presenter: Tim Schwab, Communication Studies professor at Concordia University.

Topic: Documentary practices have seen notable expansion in the last 30 years. This expansion comes at a time of increasing global integration and the growing need to address problems on a planetary scale, such as climate change, refugees and mass migration and continuing armed conflicts around the world.  Canada is a founding nation of documentary practice, advancing the use of visual and audio documentary to address global economic, environmental and cultural challenges and recording the human experience.  Incorporating clips from relevant films, this talk will address Canadian documentary practice in the global context and examine the traditional role of documentary to record and reveal human stories.


Wednesday, Nov. 7

“How to Stop a Dam with Indigenous Resistance”

Presenter: Jose Gomez, Maya Mam community leader.

Topic: In Guatemala’s Ixcán region, Indigenous communities have resisted the imposition of the Xalalá Dam for over a decade. Join the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) and the Association of Communities for Development & the Defense of Land and Natural Resources (ACODET) in learning from the lessons of this long-term organizing. Gómez will speak about ACODET's struggle to protect land and water, Indigenous identity and leadership, and building community power in the face of corporate and state-led large-scale development.


Wednesday, Nov. 14

“Human Rights Norms, Institutions and Enforcement in Reality: With a Focus on Enforced Disappearances”

Presenter: Tae-Ung Baik, William S. Richardson School of Law professor.

Topic: Enforced disappearance is a human rights violation recognized by the United Nations. As an independent expert member of the UN Human Rights Council Special Procedure mechanism, Baik will explain the efforts to fight against the human rights violations, while also explaining human rights norms, institutions, and enforcement. Baik will introduce new challenges being faced by the world community, including violations by non-state actors, short-term enforced disappearances and disappearances in the context of migration and protecting victims in the context of counter-terrorism and national security campaigns.


Wednesday, Nov. 28

Civil Society Development in the EU Eastern Partnership Countries

Presenter: Margrit Sare, cross-border research fellow, investigating transboundary civic environmentalism in the Salish Sea- Cascadia border region.

Topic: The European Union has gradually become a proactive actor in democracy promotion in Eastern Europe. Several external events, such as Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and the Rose Revolution in Georgia, played a role in this transformation. This lecture will discuss the EU “external democracy-promotion” via various funding programs and the creation of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. Sare will provide practical examples of working with development cooperation projects with non-government organizations in Eastern Partnership countries.


For more information on the World Issues Forum, call (360) 650-6680.

Friday, September 28, 2018 - 2:58pm
image of protest from the ukraine

The European Union's role in promoting the Ukraine's Orange Revolution, a series of pro-Democracy protests in 2004-5, will be one topic in this fall's World Issues Forum series.