for The Grinnell Lecture: A Celebration of Faculty Scholarship, now through Oct. 17, 2014. See Announcement and Call for Nominations.
Theme 2014-15: "A Century of War: 1914 and Beyond"
These events will explore the social, political, and cultural transformations brought about by the First World War and the ways in which these have been debated, represented, and recorded in different humanist disciplines and fields of study. Our goal is to mark the centenary of the Great War, but also to discuss how the phenomenon of war continues to shape a culture of violence. We also wish to examine its consequences for global relations and the military-capitalist nexus that undergirds states and nations and for those domestic policies and attitudes towards weapons, which affect our understanding of the concept of 'freedom.'
Fall 2014 - Public Talks
War and Peace Project: August 28 – December 7
War and Peace Project
August 28 – December 7, 2014
ARTISTS: LUCY ARRINGTON, LAURA “LOLA” BALTZELL ’83, CHRISTIANE CARNEY JOHNSON ’83, OTTO MAYR ’82
LUCY ZAHNER MONTGOMERY ’83, EMMA RHODES, ELIZABETH JORGANSON SHERMAN ’83, LYNN WASKELIS ’83, and ADRIENNE WETMORE
The War and Peace Project is a collaborative fusion of art and literature, created on all 747 pages of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Laura “Lola” Baltzell ’83 began the project in 2008 by making a collage from each page of a 1970s Soviet edition of the novel she’d picked up when she was a Russian studies student in Leningrad. She gradually expanded the project to include a small group of friends, dubbed “Team Tolstoy” (at least six Grinnell alumni are part of Team Tolstoy). The presentation of the War and Peace Project at Grinnell is a homecoming for many of the alumni artists, and the exhibition is a part of “A Century of War,” the topic of focus this year for the Humanities Center.
Chris Hedges: “War is the Force that Gives us Meaning” – September 16
Chris Hedges, American Journalist specializing in American politics and society
Tuesday, September 16, 7:30 pm, JRC 101
“War is the Force that Gives us Meaning”
Pulitizer-prize winning journalist and author Chris Hedges, who spent two decades as a war correspondent, most of them with The New York Times, will address the pathology of modern warfare. He will examine the rise of industrial and total war in World War I and how it has shaped the modern battlefield, distorting civil society, turning civilians into the primary victims and transforming nations into perpetual war machines. Industrial warfare has also brought with it the psychosis of permanent war, used to shut down all radical and popular dissent, silence anti-war movements and disempower a citizenry in the name of national security. Hedges will draw on historical examples of modern warfare, as well as his experience covering conflicts in Central America, Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Humanities and the Rosenfield Program.
A Muslim Saint in Iowa: Interreligious Dialogue and the Legacy of the Emir Abd el-Kader - September 21 – 23
September 21 – 23
Contact: Jan Gross (grossj[at]grinnell[dot]edu)
A Muslim Saint in Iowa: Interreligious Dialogue and the Legacy of the Emir Abd el-Kader commemorates the United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21, 2014 as reflected in the life of the Emir Abd el-Kader (1808-1883). An exemplary Muslim, a celebrated military hero of Algeria in opposing French colonization, and an international peacemaker (savior of 12,000 Christians in Damascus), the Emir Abd el-Kader was hailed as "one of the few great men of the century" (NY Times).
Three events will highlight the influential role of religion and Islam as a font of humanist thought, dialogue, and humanitarian action, as well as the Emir's ongoing legacy in the Iowa town of Elkader.
- Sunday, September 21 at 2:00 p.m., Strand theatre
The feature film Of Gods and Men (2010 Grand Prize at Cannes, French/Arabic, English subtitles) will be shown at the Strand theatre, with an introduction by John Kiser, author of The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love, and Terror in Algeria (book used as source for the film), followed by a Q&A.
- Monday, September 22 at 7:30 p.m., JRC 101
John Kiser, author of the definitive biography Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader, and Jan Gross (French/Arabic) will discuss the past and present significance of the Emir Abdelkader in "From Abdelkader to Elkader: Stories of Connection to Iowa, Islam, and Algeria."
- Tuesday, September 23 at 10:00 a.m., Drake Library
Designed to involve town and campus participation, "Creating Educational Outreach: the Abdelkader Education Project, Elkader, Iowa" will offer an off-campus presentation by John Kiser and Kathy Garms (Executive Director of the Abdelkader Education Project - AEP)
- Tuesday, September 23 at 4:15 p.m., JRC 101
A panel featuring Harold Kasimow, Gisela Webb, Rashed Chowdhury '03, Katie Chowdhury '05, and John Kiser will discuss examples of enduring voices of "Interreligious Dialogue in Action: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives."
- (TBA) Alumni Scholars Rashed Chowdhury ('03) and Katie Chowdhury ('05) will share their work on campus.
- John Kiser, author of Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader and The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love, and Terror in Algeria, International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, Center for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia (adjunct fellow), and the Abdelkader Education Project
- Harold Kasimow, George A. Drake Professor emeritus of religious studies, Grinnell College;
- Gisela Webb, Professor of religious studies, Seton Hall University, Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations (faculty fellow)
- Jan Gross, Seth Richards Professor in Modern Languages, department of French and Arabic, Grinnell College;
- Rashed Chowdhury '03, Sessional instructor, department of history, University of Manitoba;
- Katie Kiskaddon Chowdhury '05, writer, interfaith ministry.
- Kathy Garms (Executive Director, Abdelkader Education Project - AEP), Elkader, Iowa
Program begins with a showing of the film Of Gods and Men in the presence of John Kiser, author of The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love, and Terror in Algeria, primary source of the film.
Outreach events scheduled in town include exchanges with Kathy Garms (Executive Director of the Abdelkader Education Project - AEP) and AEP co-founder John Kiser.
Co-sponsored by the French & Arabic Department, Center for the Humanities, Center for International Studies, Rosenfield Program, Center for Prairie Studies, Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice, Alumni Scholar, Religious Studies Department, Peace Studies Program, and the Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement.
Richard Fogarty: “Visions of Race and Empire in France during the Great War” - October 6
Richard Fogarty, Associate Professor of History, University at Albany, SUNY
Monday, October 6, 7:30 pm, JRC 101
“Visions of Race and Empire in France during the Great War”
Professor Fogarty will speak about visual culture and French history related to the First World War. Please refer to his personal website for further information.
Priya Satia - November 4
Priya Satia , Associate Professor of Modern British History, Stanford University
Tuesday, November 4
Professor Satia will speak about British and Middle Eastern History related to the World Wars. Please refer to her personal website for further information.