Brown Bag Lecture Series

The International Brown Bag Series has been an integral part of the Alworth Institute's programming since its inception in 1987. In the fall of 2013, it was renamed the Martha B. Alworth International Brown Bag Series. 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 this series 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.

Fall 2022 Schedule

Thursday, September 8 - 12:00 pm - KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - Setting Sail to End Nuclear Weapons - Presented by Helen Jaccard, Project Manager and crew member, The Golden Rule sailboat, and David Logsdon, President, Chapter 27 of Veterans for Peace, Twin Cities - Jaccard and David Logsdon will speak about an upcoming ambitious voyage of the sailboat to raise awareness and support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2017. The Golden Rule, a 34-foot ketch, is slated to set off on its voyage this fall from Minneapolis down the Mississippi, along the Gulf Coast, around Florida and up the intercoastal waterway to the northeast and back to the Midwest through the Great Lakes. The voyage is expected to take 15 months. 

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Thursday, September 22 - 12:00 PM - KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - Malawi: Its Wealth is its People - Presented by Mia O’Brien, MA, Executive Office & Administrative Specialist, UMD Department of History, Political Science & International Studies - O'Brien will share impressions and takeaways from volunteering in the summer of 2022 in a kindergarten in Malawi. She made this trip to make a meaningful contribution in the country and also to escape, for a short time, our society's pressing problems. She will explain how that worked out while she learned about family and community life, worked with the non-profit organization Community Forum (COFO), and experienced the wildlife in the area.  

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Thursday, October 6 - 12:00 PM - KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - Public Humanities and Placemaking in Contemporary Spain - Presented by Dr. Jennifer Brady, Associate Professor of Spanish, UMD Department of World Languages and Cultures - Spain in the 21st century is a fertile ground for public humanities planning and placemaking. In this talk, Brady will define public humanities; explore what types of public projects are taking place; how they are developed, funded, and carried out; and, what are the potential outcomes and consequences of such projects. She will share several examples of public humanities placemaking initiatives in Spain in recent years—one small scale intervention, one larger, and one megaproject--as she explores the following questions: In what ways are public cultural projects in Spain in the 21st century responding to social needs for more just communities, the greater good, and deeper civic engagement? Are the initiatives meaningful? Do they create positive change for communities, or, do the public projects act as performative placeholders disguised in social change that substitute real, authentic change for the greater good?

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Wednesday, October 12 - 12:00 PM - KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - Nordic Art and Design: HC Andersen, Lego, IKEA Carl and Karin Larson, Sustainable Design and more! - Presented by Dr. Alison Aune, UMD Professor and Area Chair of Art Education/Museum Education, Department of Art & Design, and Cheryl Reitan, Associate Director, UMD University Marketing and Public Relations - Aune and Reitan will share highlights from the Nordic Art and Design 2022 Study Abroad trip to Denmark and Sweden and will offer updates for the next trip May 2023! They will discuss the program's art workshops, tours, and lectures on Danish art and design from Odense, Koldinghus, Aarhus, Billund, and Copenhagen, Denmark. While in Sweden, the focus was on sustainable design in Duluth’s Sister City of Växjö, Swedish folk art in Falun, and workshops with contemporary artist Anna Sörenson in Stockholm. They will illustrate how UMD students' creativity was fostered by discovering the traditions and innovations of Nordic Art and Design.

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Thursday, October 20 - 12:00 PM - Women’s Health and Policy in EuropePresented by Isabel Dokhanchi and Sara Hildreth, UMD Alums - Dokhanchi and Hildreth, recent UMD graduates, participated in the June 2022 UMD Study-Abroad program focusing on women's health. The program took them to Amsterdam, Berlin, and Prague where they met with organizations that provide services and work on policies in the areas of midwifery, sex work, and reproductive care. They will discuss what they learned from these organizations and reflect on the differences across countries and with the US. They will also share their experiences as tourists in these cities, as well as the additional places they visited as they extended their travels before and after the program.  

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Monday, November 7 - 12:00 PM - KAM Library 4th Floor Rotunda - Experiencing Italy: Art & Art History: Reflections on our May Term 2022 Adventures – Presented by Betsy Hunt, Assistant Professor UMD Digital Art, Department of Art and Design, and Dr. Jennifer Webb, Associate Professor, UMD Art History, and Art & Design Department Head - During May term of 2022, Professors Jefferson Campbell, Betsy Hunt, and Jennifer Webb co-lead a study abroad program in Italy. Together with students from across UMD, they explored cities in central-and-northern Italy; their time together concluded with several days in the city of Rome. Through the program students were invited to create art, study music, and also to learn about the visual culture and built landscape of Early Modern Italy. In this presentation, Professors Hunt and Webb will reflect on the program and the "experiences" they shared with the thirty students who participated.

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Check back for future presentations!