Three nationally and internationally recognized scholars will give campus presentations at WMU during the spring 2012 Distinguished Lectures on Africa series hosted by WMU’s Center for African Development Policy Research.
Dr. Bilinda Straight, a WMU associate professor of anthropology, will present “Health Outcomes of Inter-community Violence in Three Northern Kenyan Pastoralist Communities” from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Monday, March 12 in Brown Hall, room 2028.
Straight works with Samburu pastoralists in northern Kenya, examining consciousness, cosmology, material culture, gender, health and violence. She has published scholarly articles in a variety of journals and edited volumes. She is the editor of “Women on the Verge of Home” (SUNY, 2005), and author of “Miracles and Extraordinary Experience in Northern Kenya” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007). She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards from prestigious institutions, including the Fulbright Program and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Theodore Vestal, professor emeritus of political science at Oklahoma State University, will present “Ethiopian-American Relations during the Reign of Emperor Haile Selassie, 1930-1974” from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 28, in Brown Hall, room 2028.
Vestal has served as an expert witness in more than 115 political asylum cases of Ethiopians and Eritreans since 1996. In 1964-1966, he served as a Peace Corps executive in Ethiopia and has maintained an academic interest in the country and its people ever since. Vestal is the author of “The Lion of Judah in the New World: Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and the Shaping of Americans’ Attitudes toward Africa” (Praeger Publishing, 2011) and “Ethiopia: A Post-Cold War African State” (Praeger Publishing, 1999).
Dr. David Wiley, professor of sociology and former director of the African Studies Center at Michigan State University, will present “Africa After 9/11: Rethinking U.S. Definitions and Policies” from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 11, in Brown Hall, room 1025.
Wiley served as director of the African Studies Center at MSU from 1978-2008 and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1972-77. His research has focused on Zambia (urban housing and development); Zimbabwe (race relations, religious movements); Kenya (participatory fisheries management); South Africa (urban environment) as a Fulbright-Hays Senior Fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal; and internationalization and less commonly taught languages in the U.S. Wiley is currently conducting research on militarization in Africa. His most recent publication is “International and Language Education for a Global Future: Fifty Years of the U.S. Title VI and Fulbright-Hays Programs” (co-ed, MSU Press, 2010).
The Distinguished Lectures on Africa Series is co-sponsored by WMU’s Haenicke Institute for Global Education; the Departments of Anthropology, Economics, Foreign Languages, History, Political Science, Sociology and Spanish; the Timothy Light Center for Chinese Studies; the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion; the University Center for the Humanities; and the Walker Institute for Race and Ethnic Relations.
For more information, contact: Dr. Sisay Asefa, CADPR director and professor of economics, firstname.lastname@example.org