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Center for International Studies (CIS)

Mortal Tongues, Immortal Stories

Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company will present Mortal Tongues, Immortal Stories is a multimedia dance project that bears witness and celebrates the lives of poets and artists lost to AIDS. Based on the anthology "Persistent Voices: Poetry by Writers Lost to AIDS", this evening-length performance brings together spoken word, artists, dancers, and stunning visual designs in short vignettes that create an imaginary world inspired by the poems.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, 2016, in Flanagan Theatre, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts. Tickets are required for this free event and are available at the Campus Box Office begin April 4.

The day before their performance, three members of Dakshina — Chris August, Daniel Phoenix Singh, and Gowri Koneswaran — will speak on the interdisciplinary nature of Dakshina’s work and how art can address social issues within the context of their upcoming performance of Mortal Tongues, Immortal Stories. The entire company of 11 will be present to contribute to the discussion and answer questions.

The event begins at noon, Friday, April 8, in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Room 152, and lunch provided.

Grinnell College's Artists@GrinnellDepartment of Theatre & Dance, Center for International Studies, and Center for Humanities are sponsoring the free, public events.

About Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company

Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company is an emerging dance company based in Washington D.C. They perform and present Indian dance forms, such as Bharata Natyam, and modern dance, mirroring the multiple identities of second generation South Asians. The group combines the arts with social justice issues by incorporating the themes into their work and partnering with local community centers and schools.

Cultural Immersion

Caleigh Ryan ‘17, an English major, spent her fall off campus in Madurai, India on the South India Term Abroad (SITA) program. In this video from SITA, Caleigh and the Syed family discuss the bonds and memories they formed with a home stay.



Carnival and Creativity

February 11-12, 2016 at Grinnell College

Queen ReesieOn August 23, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans. Roughly five years later, on January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake rocked the small island nation of Haiti.

These cataclysmic events, this shared experience of trauma, added a further layer of connection between these two regions, already linked by their shared African and French heritage, the legacy of colonialism, and the experience of slavery that made Louisiana and Haiti home to vibrant, thriving Afro-diasporic communities.

February 2016 represents the 10th and 5th anniversaries (respectively) of the first Pre-Lenten celebrations – Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Carnival in Haiti – to follow these social and environmental catastrophes.

Bennie Pete and Hot 8 Brass BandIn New Orleans and Port-Au-Prince alike, Carnival did what Carnival always does: it gave the community a chance to come together in solidarity in the face of struggle; it provided an opportunity to heal from trauma; and it offered a moment for people who are often ignored – especially within the upper echelons of global social and economic power – to give voice and movement to their struggles and their triumphs through song and dance and celebration.

These Mardi Gras and Carnival celebrations showed us the remarkable power that music, dance, and art have to heal and to empower individuals and communities.

On February 11-12, 2016, we will pay tribute to those individuals and communities with a series of events that mark the 10th and 5th anniversaries of the 2006 and 2011 Carnival celebrations:

Thursday, Feb. 11

4:30-6:30 p.m., Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Lawson Hall, Room 102
New Orleans Brass Band Workshop with Bennie Pete, tuba and co-founder, Hot 8 Brass Band
7:30-9 p.m., Bucksbaum Center, Lawson Hall, Room 152
"If You Don't Like What the Big Queen Says, Just...": An Evening With Queen Reesie (Cherice Harrison-Nelson, curator of the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame and Big Queen of the Guardians of the Flame Mardi Gras Indians)

Friday, Feb. 12

4:15-6 p.m., Bucksbaum Center, Lawson Hall, Room 152
Carnival and Creativity Roundtable Discussion
  • Gage Averill, University of British Columbia
  • Cherice Harrison-Nelson, Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame
  • Tess Kulstad, Grinnell College
  • Bennie Pete, Hot 8 Brass Band
  • Moderated by Mark Laver, Grinnell College
8-9:30 p.m., Bucksbaum Center, Sebring-Lewis Hall
The Grinnell Jazz Ensemble Plays the Music of New Orleans, featuring Bennie Pete and Cherice Harrison-Nelson. Directed by Mark Laver.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Music, the Center for Humanities, the Center for International Studies, and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.

International Faculty Development Opportunities

World Data Map

The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES Abroad) presents two international faculty development opportunities to teach or research abroad during the summer or fall of 2016.

Teach Abroad

IES Abroad invites academic deans and department chairs to nominate faculty members to teach at IES Abroad Centers during the summer or fall semester of 2016.

Faculty members with interests that align with those of IES Abroad can apply for one of these faculty development opportunities to teach in:

  • Barcelona,
  • Dublin,
  • Madrid,
  • Berlin,
  • the European Union Program,
  • Milan,
  • Rome,
  • Buenos Aires,
  • London,
  • Paris,
  • Vienna, or
  • Tokyo.

For faculty selected to teach through an IES Abroad program at any of these locations, IES will pay a stipend to teach one course, cover transportation, and the cost of housing, up to $2000 (summer) or $4000 (fall).

Research Abroad

Faculty members may also apply for a research associateship at any of the IES Abroad Centers for this summer or fall of 2016.

IES Abroad will cover the cost of transportation to the site and provides $1000 for housing. IES staff will also assist the associates with research and introduce them to faculty on site in areas of interest. IES typically arranges for associates to present a public presentation through a local university partner.

Deadlines and More Information

Deadline to apply for either opportunity is March 1, 2016.

Go to IES Abroad for more information on these international faculty development opportunities.

Lan-Chang Fellowship Opportunity

The purpose of the Lan-Chang Fellowship is to promote cultural understanding of China and award initiative, originality, and creative exploration. 

Two Grinnell College students shall be awarded support for the expenses of traveling to and from and living in China for six to eight weeks during the summer (each $3,500). Recipients will complete a Mentored Advanced Project (MAP) or other independent research project focused on China with a strong experiential component, requiring interaction with a variety of Chinese individuals and sites.

Students of any major who have completed their second year with at least one remaining semester to be completed on the Grinnell College campus before graduation are eligible. Knowledge of Chinese language or culture is not required; in fact, those without such experience are encouraged to apply. 

2015 recipient, Rosie O'Brien ’16 shares her experience: 

“My inquiry into rural  anesthetics was informative, life-changing, and successful. There are many ways to say that a thing is beautiful, and many ways to achieve a particular kind of beauty, but 21st—century China’s rate of exchange from rural to urban apace is too quick for artists and viewers to settle on any one of them. ... Thanks to the Lan-Chang Fellowship, I was able to center myself in the confusing world of contemporary art and the capitalist rhetoric of development and growth.”

Learn more about the Lang-Chang Fellowship (login required). 

Timbuktu at The Strand

Timbuktu, winner of seven Cesar Awards including Best Picture, will be shown at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at The Strand Theatre, 921 Main St., Grinnell. The screening is free and open to the public.

The film centers on proud cattle herder Kidane, who lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife, Satima, his daughter, Toya, and Issan, their 12-year-old shepherd. Their home is near the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu in the West African nation of Mali.

Jihadists determined to control the faith of Timbuktu residents have imposed a grinding interpretation of Sharia law. Music, laughter, cigarettes and even soccer have been banned. Kidane and his family have avoided the chaos that reigns in Timbuktu — but their destiny changes suddenly after a tragic accident.

A nominee for the 2015 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, Timbuktu also garnered seven of France's Cesar Awards. In addition to Best Picture, the film won Best Director for Abderrahmane Sissako, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound.

Timbuktu is rated PG-13 (for violence and thematic elements). Sponsors of the screening are the French and Arabic department, Center for the Humanities, Center for International Studies, Intercultural Affairs, and the Cultural Film Committee.

Gobabeb, Grinnell and the Namib Sand Sea

Mary SeelyMary Seely, a scientist with a history of work in environmental science, education and policy in southern Africa, will deliver a lecture at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 30, 2015, the Noyce Science Center, Room 2021.

Seely's lecture is titled "Gobabeb, Grinnell and the Namib Sand Sea: A Case Study in the Application of Science to Education and Public Policy in a Developing Country." In her talk, Seely will explore the evolution of the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre in Namibia, with a focus on Grinnell College's involvement with the Centre's success.

A visionary scientist and teacher, Seely served as director of the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia and the Gobabeb Research and Training Center. Gobabeb has hosted 32 Grinnell graduates since 2000 as they have completed a year of post-graduate service in the Grinnell Corps-Namibia program, contributing to the Center’s research and training mission.

Gobabeb has also hosted multiple visits of staff, students and faculty over the years. In recognition of her many contributions, Seely has received numerous awards for her work on desert research and conservation. She will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree at Grinnell's commencement ceremonies on Monday, May 18.

Seely’s visit is sponsored by the Center for International Studies and the Department of Biology.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. The Noyce Science Center has accessible parking in the lot across the street from the building east of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.