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Water Crisis In Ghana

On September 15th, Samantha Derrick from Community Water Solutions ( gave a presentation on the organization’s Fellowship program that takes place over the Winter, Spring and Summer. Speaking to an engaged group of students, she explained the aims and goals of Community Water Solutions, and how students could participate. Community Water Solutions seeks to provide sustainable, affordable and accessible clean water in areas where water is a problem. Their emphasis is on low cost and easy technology, as well as empowering and educating women in the community through upkeep and small scale income generation.

The Struggle To Democratize One Of The Last Colonies Of The Caribbean

A Conversation with Puerto Rican Activists

On September 6th and 7th, Mariolga Reyes Cruz, critical ethnographer, community psychologist, and adjunct professor at the University of Puerto Rico, along with his colleagues at the University, gave a well attended talk via skype on activism in Puerto Rico in the context of one of the last colonies of the Americas. After a brief presentation of the history, student activists and Mariolga described the recent struggle on the campus to keep tuition affordable. Mariolga and filmmaker Juna Ma Pagan Teitelbaum also spoke at Vimala’s Curryblossom Café on local food movements in Puerto Rico the following day.

Practicing Cinema In A Palestinian Context

On Wednesday, September 14th, award-winning Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir delivered a talk on creating films that deal with the Palestinian conflict as part of a festival entitled “Through Palestinian Eyes: an Exploration into Palestinian Representations of Self.” The talk featured video clips from several of her documentaries, including unpublished works, as well as a segment of her feature film “Salt of this Sea,” which premiered in 2008 and later that week screened at Duke University. “Salt of the Sea” tells the emotional story of a Brooklyn born woman of Palestinian lineage who arrives in Israel searching for her ancestral home near Jaffa, where her grandparents were ejected sixty years ago. Jacir has taught at leading universities, and is the co-founder of the “Dreams of a Nation Palestinian Cinema Project,” which helps find funding for Palestinian filmmakers.

 Joanna Macy

Joanna Macy, world-famous eco-philosopher, spoke to a crowd of over one hundred at her talk “The Great Turning: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy” on September 18th. The following day she led a packed half-day workshop on the “Work that Reconnects,” a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, which focuses on the connections that give us strength and reason to fight for a livable planet. Dr. Joanna Macy, received her PhD in Religious Studies, and is the author of numerous books.  Her wide-ranging work addresses psychological and spiritual issues of the nuclear age, the cultivation of ecological awareness, and the fruitful resonance between Buddhist thought and contemporary science.

 Wendy Harcourt

Wendy Harcourt is a feminist researcher and activist and chief editor of the quarterly journal Development. She received the 2010 Feminist and Women’s Studies Association’s Prize for her book on Body Politics in Development: Critical Debates in Gender and Development (2009). Harcourt has led a series of global research projects funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, UNFPA, UNDP, WHO, Unifem and the MacArthur Foundation, examining facets of gender, population, and development. She is actively engaged in global feminist politics through her work with international networks of Women in Development Europe (WIDE), European Feminist Forum, the Feminist Dialogues, EADI gender working group, Punti di Vista and Trans-dignity.

Over October 10th-12th, Harcourt participated in several events on campus, ranging from a public talk focused on Women and Development, a lunch discussion about transnational feminisms, and a conversation with a Global Studies-Anthropology class, in which the students had read her latest book. She was enthusiastically received by students and faculty alike, who took the opportunity to engage in real and meaningful discussions on feminisms and the de-colonial.   

The Political And Theoretical Challenges Of Latin-American Feminisms In The Present

Dr. Yuderkys Espinosa Minoso, a Latin American feminist from the Dominican Republic, was one of the key presenters at a public workshop entitled “Decolonizing Feminisms: Maps and Genealogies from Latin America and Beyond” that took place on Friday, October 28th. Dr. Espinosa is founder and coordinator of GLEFAS—Grupo Latinoamericana de Estudio, Formacion y Accion  Femenista. She is at the forefront of important processes of rethinking feminism and activism on the continent.