International Lunch Talks (formerly the International Brown Bag Series) have been an integral part of the Alworth Institute's programming since its inception in 1987. In the fall of 2013, it was renamed to honor Martha B. Alworth, the spouse of Royal D. Alworth, Jr. It provides the audience the opportunity to share in the international travel experiences of numerous individuals from the University, local, national and international communities. Many presentations are travelogues; some are reflections of the current issues confronting a country's people; others capture the cultural character of distant societies; but, each allows a unique insight into places many would never have the opportunity to visit.
The objectives of these talks are to:
- help fulfill the overall objectives of the Alworth Institute;
- introduce students, staff and the wider community to interesting aspects of foreign culture, society and history;
- raise awareness of political life and conditions in diverse parts of the world;
- create opportunities for sharing insights developed during professional and leisure interest travel and other programs of study abroad;
- create opportunities for visiting faculty to share relevant topics with the wider University;
- involve students, staff and community members in exchanging ideas and reflecting on international and any related domestic policy issues.
If you are interested in proposing a topic for discussion, finding a qualified speaker, or co-sponsoring a lecture; check the suitability of the topic and the speaker against the objectives above and contact the Alworth Institute at [email protected] or (218) 726-7753.
Spring 2023 Schedule
Wednesday, January 25 - 12:00 pm - KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - War & Drought: Norway’s Role in the 2022 European Energy Crisis - Presented by Dr. Afton Clarke-Sather, Associate Professor of Geography at UMD - Dr. Clarke-Sather specializes in water, energy, and environmental politics. This talk is based on his work as a participant in a 2022 Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad in Norway.
Thursday, February 2 - 12:00 pm - KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - Stories about the Beauty and Diversity of Morocco - Presented by UMD Faculty and Staff - You can experience a beautiful country rich in history, colors and sun, captured through the eyes of several people visiting very different places full of contrasts and magic. Besides the narrative and impressions of the presenters, you will have the rare opportunity to witness the beauty through traditional 2D images and videos and also through much more realistic 360 degree still and video images available through your mobile devices and Virtual Reality (VR) goggles.
Thursday, February 9 - 12:00 pm - Virtual only via Zoom - Tutoring Without Borders – Helping to Educate Kids in Time of War – Presented by Dr. Michael Waxman, Professor, Natural Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin Superior and co-founder of Tutoring Without Borders- Register or sign in at z.umn.edu/TutoringS23 - Dr. Waxman will discuss the history of developing this online platform. He will describe its evolution and its achievements in reaching various groups of Ukrainian youth and tutors. In particular, he will talk about his most recent work with gifted Ukrainian pupils, winners of various international, national, and regional math and science Olympiads.
Thursday, March 2 – 12:00 pm – KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - The Twenty-Ninth Day: Surviving a Grizzly Attack in the Canadian Tundra – Presented by Alex Messenger, Communication Specialist, UMD Marketing & Public Relations, and author of book by the same title - For Alex Messenger, a 600-mile canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness is a seventeen-year-old’s dream adventure, but after he is mauled by a grizzly bear, it’s all about staying alive. Alex Messenger shares his experience surviving a grizzly attack 29 days into a remote canoe trip in 2005. It’s now a bestselling memoir, by the same title, and will be sold at the event by the UMD store.
Thursday, March 16 - 12:00 pm - Virtual only via Zoom - Summer 2022 Legal Internship in Bangkok - Presented by James (Jay) Segee-Wright, Second-year law student at the University of Wisconsin Law School - Segee-Wright studied at UMD from 2014 to 2016 as a PSEO student with a special focus on world languages and cultures. This past summer, he interned at a law firm in Bangkok, Thailand through a collaboration with the University of Wisconsin East Asian Legal Studies Center and Thammasat University. This talk will be about his experience working in Bangkok, his research on sustainable energy development projects in Southeast Asia, and his travels around Thailand during the trip.
Thursday, March 23 - 12:00 pm - KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - My Life in China: Study, Work, Lockdown and a Heavy Metal Band - Presented by Nathan Paul, UMD Alum, Political Science and Communication Majors - Paul spent ten years in China studying language, teaching English, attending graduate school, and performing in a band. He will share his experiences including living through China's strict lockdown policies.
Monday, April 3 - 12:00 pm – KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - The Battle for Thermopylae between Modern Historians and the International Far Right - Presented by Dr. Jeffrey Rop, Associate Professor of History, UMD - The Battle of Thermopylae is one of the most famous engagements of antiquity and an inspirational story of self-sacrifice. Dr. Rop will discuss scholarly responses to and complicity in its appropriation by far right hate groups in the United States and Europe.
Thursday, April 13 – 12:00 pm – KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - The Irish Origins of North American Catholic Education – Presented by Dr. Elizabethada Wright, Professor, Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies - Dr. Wright will discuss two of her projects and how they concern Ireland. One project, examining Mary Ward, the founder of a religious order that followed the tenets of the Jesuits, tells of how the order moved to Ireland in the nineteenth-century--before it moved to the United States. The other considers the Native American Boarding School that became the University of Minnesota Morris. The founder of this school was from Ireland, and the consideration of Ireland looks at the nineteenth-century's "Great Hunger" and how that may have shaped the founder and the school.
Thursday, April 20 - – 12:00 pm – KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - My Adventures Living and Learning in Costa Rica - Presented by Britta Swanson, UMD Cultural Entrepreneur Major and 2022 Alworth Institute Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient - Swanson studied in Costa Rica during the 2022 fall semester. She will discuss the classes she took, including cultural psychology and ecotourism in Costa Rica; living with a gracious host family; the awkward transition to living in a different country and communicating in not quite fluent Spanish; building confidence when uncomfortable and lonely in an entirely new country; and, what she would do differently next time. She will share how she sought out adventure away from the typical tourist attractions: bushwacking trails, sharing hostels with 15 different nationalities, taking cooking classes, going to the local climbing gym, and just taking the time to chat with locals.