Events


JAN
17
Date:
Thursday, 17 Jan 2019
Time:
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location:
Room 303, International Center
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Talk Title: Same Sex Marriage In The Constitutional Court Of South And The U.S. Supreme Court**
 
About the Speaker:
On turning six, during World War II, Albie Sachs received a card from his father expressing the wish that he would grow up to be a soldier in the fight for liberation. And so he did. In May of 2018, Judge Sachs was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Law from MSU College of Law. In between, he has had a remarkable life and career.
 
His career in human rights activism started in 1952 at the age of seventeen, when as a second year law student at the University of Cape Town, he took part in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign. Three years later he attended the Congress of the People at Kliptown where the Freedom Charter was adopted. He started his law practice as an advocate at the Cape Bar at age 21. The bulk of his work involved defending people charged under racist statutes and repressive security laws. Many faced the death sentence. He himself was raided by the security police, subjected to banning orders restricting his movement and eventually placed in solitary confinement without trial for two prolonged spells of detention.
 
In 1966 he went into exile. After spending eleven years studying and teaching law in England he worked for eleven years in Mozambique as law professor and legal researcher. In 1988 he was blown up by a bomb placed in his car in Maputo by South African security agents, losing an arm and the sight of an eye.
 
During the 1980s while in exile, he worked closely with the ANC's Oliver Tambo to help draft the organization's Code of Conduct as well as its related statutes. After recovering from the bomb blast he devoted himself full-time to preparations for a new democratic Constitution for South Africa. In 1990 he returned home and as a member of the Constitutional Committee and the National Executive of the ANC took an active part in the negotiations which led to South Africa becoming a constitutional democracy. After the first democratic election in 1994, he was appointed by President of South Africa – Nelson Mandela – to serve on the newly established Constitutional Court from which he retired in October 2009. As one of 11 green-robed judges, Justice Sachs has been at the center of some of the Courts landmark rulings.
Many of his best-known judgments cross a variety of areas of law: fighting against discrimination, providing HIV-positive pregnant women with drugs to reduce the risk of transmission to their newborn babies, setting labor laws in place, helping to overthrow South Africa's statute defining marriage as between one man and one woman, all with the common theme of the promotion of an individual's right to equality and dignity.
He has been heavily engaged in the fields of art and architecture, playing an active role in the development of the Constitutional Court building and its art collection on the site of the Old Fort Prison in Johannesburg. In addition to his work on the Court, he has traveled to many countries sharing South African experience in healing divided societies. He is currently engaged in writing a series of four books on the writing of the South African Constitution and Bill of Rights with his co-author, noted South African historian, Dr. Andre Odendaal.
 
**This special Eye on Africa is part of a unique 1-credit course offered during the first 3 weeks of Spring semester January 2019 co-sponsored by MSU African Studies and MSU Law College. To enroll: MSU Graduate Students & MSU Honor Students go online and search for LWG 849C: Special Topics in Comp Law, section 001, section ID 97MZXR, 1 credit, pass/no grade [MSU Honor Students may be asked to get an 'over-ride' from the Graduate School]; MSU Law Students go online and search for
LAW 549C: Special Topics in Comp Law, section 001, section ID 97MZXN, 1 credit, pass/fail

 

JAN
18
Date:
Friday, 18 Jan 2019
Time:
3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Location:
Law College Boardroom, 3rd Floor Law College Building
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Scenes of South Africa's Fight for Freedom and
Democracy 1994 ... as seen through the eyes of the
renowned photojournalist — Leonard Freed

Leonard Freed was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1929 to a working-class Jewish family. An aspiring painter, Freed discovered his passion for photography while on a trip to Europe in 1953. Later, while working in Germany in 1962, Leonard Freed noticed a black American soldier guarding the divide between East and West as the Berlin wall was being erected. It was not the partition between the forces of communism and capitalism that captured Freed's imagination, however. Instead what haunted him was the idea of a man standing in defense of a country in which his own rights were in question at home. is experience ignited the young photographer's interest in the American civil rights movement raging on in the US. Later, he began to photograph the life of other people ghting for freedom and democracy across the world. He quickly found
that his interests lay not in recording the progress of the civil rights movement or the many other struggles for freedom and democracy, but in exploring the diverse, everyday lives of communities of people that had been marginalized under repressive regimes.
 
It was while on this journey that Freed found himself in South Africa photographing the lives of those living under a system of apartheid. Freed's work always communicates the fabric of daily existence; it portrays the common humanity of a people persevering in unjust circumstances. His combined works are a journey – his journey – to become America's leading pioneer in the genre of social conscious photojournalism.
 
Special Reception
Friday, January 18th at 3:45-5:15pm
Law College Boardroom 3rd oor Law College Building

This is a special reception to view this exhibition and to visit with Visiting Law College Professor, Albie Sachs. Albie was part of the long struggle for freedom and democracy in South Africa in the early 1990s. After the first democratic election in 1994, he was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to serve on the newly established Constitutional Court from which he retired in October 2009.

All are welcome but please R.S.V.P. at mercuro(at)law.msu.edu by January 11th ... for any questions on the exhibition please contact Professor Nicholas Mercuro, MSU College of Law.
 
JAN
24
Date:
Thursday, 24 Jan 2019
Time:
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location:
International Center, Room 201
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About the Talk:

Modern African food markets are in transition, and MSU researchers, are working with their collaborators to understand the changes, the effects those changes have on the economy, and on diets of urban and rural populations. Demographic changes underpin many of the changes, with migration and urban population growth as well as rising incomes.  Even in rural areas, Africans are buying and eating more processed foods. How can markets transition to continue to meet the demands with local and regional production, marketing and processing?

On the consumption side, shifts in demand may be contributing to increasing threats to health from malnutrition, with nutrient deficiencies, over nutrition, and lack of dietary diversity. Legumes provides one example where reversing the negative consumption trends are tied to a series of investments from breeding to storage to processing, to marketing, and finally to home preparation and consumption. Shifts in the legume food systems demonstrate how transitions in food systems can provide a positive shift to healthy food choices, in urban and rural areas. 

About the Speakers:

Since 1981, Cynthia Donovan has been involved with agricultural research, training and outreach in developing countries. She is currently Deputy Director of the Feed the Future Legume Systems Research Innovation Lab, as well as an Associate Professor in International Development in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) and a member of the Core Faculty of the African Studies Center at Michigan State University. She is a long term member of the Food Security Group in AFRE. She has previously worked with the FAO, IFPRI, and West African Rice Development Association (now Africa Rice).  With the Innovation Lab Director, she currently manages a $13.6 million program to fund multidisciplinary competitive grants in Central America and West Africa.  She focuses on key issues in development including production economics and technology adoption, market development for smallholder participation (especially legume market development), market information systems, and impact assessment of policies and shocks on rural households. She has lived in Senegal and Mozambique, with substantial research in Rwanda, Zambia, and other sub-Saharan African countries. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay and has professional competency in Portuguese, French and Spanish languages.  

David Tschirley is Professor, International Development in the Department of Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University, and Co-Director of the department's Food Security Group. He has over 20 years of experience in applied food security research, mentoring of developing country researchers, and active policy outreach.  His work emphasizes three main areas: 1) agrifood system transformation in Africa focusing on diet change and its implications over a range of policy and programmatic issues, including employment, midstream and upstream change, and nutrition; 2) the intersection of food aid, staple food markets, and emergency response, including extensive work on monetization, local and regional food aid procurement, and the role of food trade and government policy in emergency response, and 3) institutional approaches to linking smallholder farmers to cash crop markets such as cotton and fresh produce.  He is the author of over 20 journal articles, several book chapters, one edited book volume, and dozens of working papers and policy briefs.  Dr.  Tschirley has consulted for and otherwise served the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., InterAmerican Development Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, The MasterCard Foundation, USAID, World Bank, and World Food Program.  Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Dr. Tschirley has had long-term assignments in Ecuador (1987-1990) and Mozambique (1995-98) and works most actively now in East and Southern Africa.

JAN
31
Date:
Thursday, 31 Jan 2019
Time:
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location:
International Center, Room 201
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About the Speaker:

Dr. Msia Kibona Clark is an Associate Professor in the Department of African Studies at Howard University. Her work has focused on popular culture, migration, and gender studies in Africa. Dr. Clark has written numerous scholarly publications on hip hop culture's intersections with social change, gender, and politics in Africa. She has published several scholarly books, articles and book chapters on hip hop in Africa. Her published books include Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati (2014) and Hip-Hop in Africa: Prophets of the City & Dustyfoot Philosophers (2018), the first solo-authored book to address hip hop culture across Africa. She also teaches the Hip Hop & Social Change in Africa course at Howard University, and produces the Hip Hop African blog and monthly podcast hosted at hiphopafrican.com.

FEB
14
Date:
Thursday, 14 Feb 2019
Time:
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location:
International Center, Room 201
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About the Talk:

This talk is based on my recently published book, Cooking Data: Culture and Politics in an African Research World. Drawing on long term ethnography with demographic survey research projects in rural Malawi, the book tells the life story of quantitative health data, tracking and analyzing their transformation from pencil marks recorded on a survey page into statistics consumed by policy makers, researchers and the public. In this talk, I trace how demographers' scientific investments in pure, clean data—symbolically represented in surveys that act as a recipe for data collection—are made and unmade by Malawian fieldworkers' practices and processes on the ground. First, through close analysis of everyday data collection practices, I illustrate how frictions between epistemological metrics for data and the particularities of everyday fieldwork produce—and come to validate—the numerical evidence we use to understand the AIDS epidemic in Malawi. I focus, in particular, on the cultural translation of survey concepts such as probability, the techniques used by fieldworkers to uncover the truth of rural Malawian social realities, and researchers' efforts to harmonize encounters between fieldworkers and research participants. Standards of data collection, I show, make stability and fixity in numerical representation possible, not despite but because of, their customization by fieldworkers in the field (here, I counter racialized suspicions that fieldworkers are liabilities and center their indispensability to making good numbers). I conclude by gesturing toward connections between my past and present research and reflecting on what anthropology might contribute to critical data studies in the age of Big (and small) Data.

About the Speaker:

Cal Biruk is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Oberlin College. Cal is the author of Cooking Data: Culture and Politics in an African Research World (Duke U Press, 2018) and numerous articles in venues such as Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Journal of Modern African Studies, Critical Public Health and Critical African Studies. Her research and teaching interests are at the intersection of medical anthropology, critical data studies and queer studies. Her second book project, Fake Gays: Metrics, Ethics and Authenticity in African Aid Economies, draws on long term ethnographic work with an LGBT-rights NGO in Malawi to capture the relations and transactions that constitute diverse political, identity, and economic projects that play out within aid geographies in the global South. Fake Gays melds insights from queer theory and critical data studies to show how numbers and quantification become unlikely resources in queer projects on the ground.

FEB
21
Date:
Thursday, 21 Feb 2019
Time:
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location:
Room 201, International Center
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Global Health Alliances Across Nations, Agencies (NIH/NSF/NASA), and Institutions To Build Capacity in Africa


Desire Tshala-Katumbay, MD, MPH PhD
Professor of Neurology
University of Kinshasa and the Oregon Health and Sciences University
E-mail: tshalad(at)ohsu.edu

Michael J. Boivin, PhD, MPH
Professor of Psychiatry and of Neurology & Ophthalmology
Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
E-mail: boivin(at)msu.edu 

Esperance Kashala-Abotnes, MD, PhD
Lecturer and Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Kinshasa and University of Bergen
E-mail: Esperance.Abotnes(at)uib.no

ABSTRACT
Our Michigan State University Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) project builds upon an existing global health alliance of US, EU, Australia, and African institutions; alliance of which the focus evolved around the issues of climate variations, food and water insecurities, and impact on child development. This partnership is embedded within a NIH-sponsored research program for scaling up a community-based intervention to prevent konzo, a neurological disease affecting impoverished women and children, and caused by cyanide toxicity from poorly processed cassava.  Our leadership team will share various challenges faced and lessons learned over the years as they pertain to the three pillars of the AAP program namely transforming lives, transforming institutions, and building bridges. The present partnership brought opportunities for team leaders to deepen and expand on collaboration for high-impact intervention research in the DRC, where only few American and European universities have sustained partnerships. Speakers will share challenges faced and lessons learned as she has facilitated resource sharing and capacity building between early childhood caregiver training research used pertaining to neurodevelopmental needs in children from konzo-stricken areas. Although highly beneficial, a number of language, cultural, and logistical barriers make such global collaborative partnerships challenging and difficult.

FEB
28
Date:
Thursday, 28 Feb 2019
Time:
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location:
Room 201, International Center
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Details Forthcoming

MAR
14
Date:
Thursday, 14 Mar 2019
Time:
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location:
Room 201, International Center
Read Event Details

Details forthcoming

MAR
21
Date:
Thursday, 21 Mar 2019
Time:
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location:
Room 201, International Center
Read Event Details

Details forthcoming

MAR
28
Date:
Thursday, 28 Mar 2019
Time:
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location:
Room 303, International Center
Read Event Details

Details Forthcoming.