Fall 2019 Events


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ECCE Speaker Series Community Event Schedule

All events are free and open to the public. Individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations should contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217/206-8507 or speakerseries@uis.edu in advance.

Students currently enrolled in UNI 301: ECCE Speaker Series should refer to the event schedule posted on their course Blackboard site.

Fall 2019 Community Event Schedule (PDF printable version)

A Tribute to Syria

Mariela Shaker

Tuesday, September 10 | 7:30 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Cosponsored by World Affairs Council of Central Illinois and NPR Illinois

Mariela Shaker, who began playing the violin at age nine, will share her harrowing story of escape from Syria through inspiring words and music. Her story has an Illinois connection.

Mariela Shaker, born 1990 in Aleppo, Syria, started playing the violin after joining the Arabic Institute of Music in Aleppo (1999). Since graduating from this Institute with honors, she has continued to win accolades and awards. Mariela taught violin at the Arabic Institute for Music for five years. She earned full-tuition scholarships at Monmouth College and DePaul University. She has performed with the Mesopotamian Symphony Orchestra at the California Theater, and she gave her debut recital at the Kennedy Center on June 20, 2015 in celebration of World Refugee Day. Mariela was named a Champion of Change for World Refugees by president Obama and she was honored at the White House in 2015. In 2017 Mariela was appointed UNHCR High Profile Supporter. In 2018 Mariela got the Anne Frank Promisekeeper Award. Mariela is also the peace ambassador for the World Council of Arameans.


Tinker vs. Des Moines School District – Landmark US Supreme Court Case

John Tinker

Thursday, September 12 | 7:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Cosponsored by Department of Legal Studies

In February 1969, John Tinker made history when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that First Amendment rights applied in school, thus reminding young people that they have a voice.  Tinker’s case started when, at age 15, he wore a black arm band to school protesting the Vietnam War. He was threatened with suspension and challenged the school district in his right to protest.

John Tinker is known for being the first-named petitioner in the landmark First Amendment case.  Since the Supreme Court decision, Tinker has remained a committed peace activist. He has held a variety of positions including a deckhand on a shrimp boat, a city bus driver, a database programmer, an information systems architect, and a radio and electronics engineer. Most recently John has built a non-profit community radio station in Fayette, Missouri, which he and his wife, Patricia operate with the help of volunteers from the community.  John is the president of the John F. Tinker Foundation, whose mission is to help to educate students, teachers and school administrators regarding the First Amendment rights of students, and to encourage the discussion of controversial issues across political boundaries.


NPR Foreign & Independent Film Series

Under the Same Moon

Film Screening and Panel Discussion 

Friday, September 20 | 7:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Cosponsored by NPR Illinois Foreign & Independent Film Series and the Office of Student Life

Under the Same Moon follows the struggles of a young Mexican boy who illegally crosses the U.S. border to find his mother, who is also in the country illegally.  In the story, the mother comes to the United States to earn money to provide a better life for her son, who was left in the care of his aging and ill grandmother.

Professor Adriana Crocker and Associate Professor Hinda Seif will lead a discussion, following the film, exploring the struggles faced by undocumented people and the current debate over illegal immigration.

Hinda Seif is an Associate Professor of Sociology/Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies at UIS. With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Seif wrote a report on Latino immigrant youth civic education and engagement. This was prepared for the Latino Migrant Civic and Political Participation Study of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Mexico Institute in Washington, D.C. She also serves as the advisor to the Organization of Latin
American Students (OLAS).
Adriana Crocker is a Professor and Presidential Fellow of Political Science. Adriana has a law degree (LLB) from the University of La Plata Argentina and a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University. She specializes in Latin American politics and has a strong background in international law. Her research interests include the study of gender quota legislation and other institutional mechanisms for women, and international and regional organizations, particularly those concerned with gender, such as the Inter-American Commission of Women (OAS).


Youth Sports in Crisis

F. Clark Power

Thursday, September 26 | 7:00 p.m. | Student Union Ballroom

Cosponsored by Notre Dame Club of Central Illinois

Organized youth sports in America have become increasingly expensive, competitive, and exclusive. There is little evidence, however, that they have become more effective in developing better athletes.  Notre Dame Professor F. Clark Power will lead a Hesburgh Lecture on how organized youth sports programs have become increasingly expensive, leaving poor children behind.  His presentation presents a researched-based approach to youth sports that advances the welfare and development of all children.

F. Clark Power has been teaching in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame for more than 30 years. He is also the founder of the Play Like A Champion Today Program, which serves children, particularly from economically distressed urban communities, through youth sports organizations. He received an Ed.D. in human development from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in 1979. His research and writing focus on moral education in sports and schools.


Tinderbox – The Untold Story of the Upstairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation

Robert Fieseler

Monday, September 30 | 6:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Cosponsored by Brookens Library, Friends of Brookens Library, and Gender and Sexuality Student Services 

Forty-three years before the Pulse nightclub shooting became the largest mass murder of gays in the United States, an arsonist set fire to the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans, killing 32 people. Author Robert Fieseler, a Naperville native, will share excerpts from his book, which recounts the tragic fire that happened June 24, 1973, with survivor interviews and extensive research to weave a story with memorable characters living in a closeted, but thriving, world that was thriving before the fire. Fieseler’s story of the forgotten history also reports the political and societal change that followed the fire with a supported and emerging gay rights movement.

Robert W. Fieseler is a journalist and nonfiction author whose debut book, Tinderbox is a finalist for the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction and the Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime. Fieseler graduated co-valedictorian from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is a recipient of the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship. His essays and feature stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and recognized in roundups of best nonfiction by The Atlantic. He writes about marginalized groups and overlooked people who make the world better for themselves. As such, his heroes tend to be exiles and outcasts seeking their own forms of freedom.

#MeToo in Muslim America

Saba Fatima

Wednesday, October 9 | 4:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Cosponsored by New Voices in Racial Justice Series, Diversity Center, Women’s Center, and Women and Department of Women and Gender Studies

Learn why the experiences of Muslim women within the #MeToo movement matter to achieving its goals of empathy, support, and change! Saba Fatima examines the significance of an intersectional lens to establish the unique and specific challenges facing Muslim American Women within the #MeToo movement. She investigates religious justifications used to hinder the progress of #MeToo, such as appeals to the establishment of an ideal society, segregation of sexes, and unity within the Muslim ummah (nation) at the expense of Muslim women. Fatima also explores how the movement is hijacked and co-opted within a Western political context toward a neoliberal agenda that ultimately harms women in communities of color. However, #MeToo places particular importance on ameliorating the harms of sexual violence in Black communities and communities of color. Thus, shaping #MeToo into a movement that can better realize its vision depends on intersectional insights.

Saba Fatima, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, focuses her research on topics involving identities, especially issues of social and political significance to Muslims. Her research interests include non-ideal theory; social and political issues within prescriptive Islam; Muslim/Muslim-American issues within a framework of feminist & race theory, virtue ethics, and more recently, medical ethics. Fatima earned her PhD in Philosophy from Social, Political, Ethical, & Legal (SPEL) Philosophy Department at Binghamton University, NY.

Lincoln, Immigration, and Citizenship

Jason Silverman and Mark Steiner

Tuesday, October 15 | 7:00 p.m. | Student Union Ballroom

Cosponsored by Center for Lincoln Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and College of Business and Management

This year’s Lincoln Legacy lecture will focus on Lincoln, Immigration, and Citizenship.  Professors Jason Silverman and Mark Steiner, scholars in the field of Lincoln studies will discuss Lincoln’s views on immigration and citizenship. Dr. Michael Burlingame, the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies will moderate and provide an overview.

Jason Silverman, Palmer Professor Emeritus, recently retired from the faculty at South Carolina’s Winthrop University, where he taught history for over three decades. He specializes in the history of the old South and the Civil War. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his graduate degrees from Colorado State University and the University of Kentucky, he taught history at Yale for four years before joining the faculty at Winthrop. The author or editor of 11 books, including “Lincoln and the Immigrant” and “Immigration in the American South,” he has won numerous awards for his teaching and three of his books have been nominated for national book awards. He is currently working on a study of President Lincoln’s reputation in 19th century Europe.
Mark Steiner, Professor of Law at the South Texas University School of Law in Houston, specializes in immigration law and American legal history. He was twice selected as a Fulbright Scholar and taught law at the University of Latvia and the College of Law at National Taiwan University. He is the author of “An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln “ and Lincoln and Citizenship,”, soon to be published by the Southern Illinois University Press as a volume in its Concise Lincoln Library. For years he served as an editor on the Lincoln Legal Papers Project with UIS Professor of History Cullom Davis.

To Name It is to See it: Identity and Misrecognition

Huong Ngo

Thursday, October 24 | 5:30 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Cosponsored by by UIS Visual Arts Gallery

Artist, Huong Ngo, will present a visual lecture that explores her identity as a refugee in the American South and examine the challenges of being “othered” within a community. She will discuss these topics through the lens of her interdisciplinary artistic practice. Ngo will show examples from multiple bodies of work, including both visual art and performance, to articulate her perspectives. She will explore issues of colonialism, immigration, citizenship, intersectionality, marginalization, and resistance in her lecture – as she does in her art practice.

Huong Ngo is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice connects the personal and the political, giving material form to histories which have been rendered invisible and interrogating the ideological origins of their erasure. Her work is largely influenced by her past growing up as a refugee in the American South. She holds a BFA in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2001), an MFA in Art & Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2004), and was a studio fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program (2012). She was awarded the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant in Vietnam (2016) for her research that examines the colonial history of surveillance in Vietnam and the anti-colonial strategies of resistance vis-à-vis the activities of female organizers and liaisons. She is currently Assistant Professor in Contemporary Practices at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

This lecture will coincide with an exhibition and reception of Huong Ngo’s work in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery that will emphasize a survey of her practice in support of the lecture content.

Salome’s Image Throughout History as an Example of Myths’ Creation about Women

Rosina Neginsky

Monday, October 28 | 6:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Cosponsored by Department of Art, Music, and Theatre

The story of Salome has long been linked to the beheading of John the Baptist, as described in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, since Salome was the supposed catalyst for the prophet’s execution. Evangelists have used the story throughout history to define the “essence” of women’s evil nature. The history of the myth describes the process by which that myth was created, the roles that art, literature, theology and music played in that creation, and how Salome’s image as evil varied from one period to another according to the prevailing cultural myths surrounding women. UIS Associate Professor Rosina Neginsky will discuss the major cultural, literary and artistic works which developed and propagated it as an example of the creation of myths about women and developing the ideology that had been determining women’s place in society.

Rosina Neginsky teaches comparative literature and art history at UIS. She is the president and founder of the international interdisciplinary organization Art, Literature, Music in Symbolism and Decadence (ALMSD), the author of a several books, including Salome: The Image of a Woman Who Never Was (2013, 2018), and of a forthcoming book Mikhail Vrubel: Philosophy of Images. She published several books of poetry, of which the most recent is In the Garden of Luxembourg, and edited and co-edited a number of books on Symbolist movement, of which the most recent is Mental Illnesses in Symbolism and the forthcoming is Angst in European Symbolism. She is a recipient of the UIS Scholars award.

Free Frank’s New Philadelphia, Illinois: First U.S. Town Founded by a Black Man

Gerald McWorter and Kate Williams-McWorter

Tuesday, November 5 | 6:00 p.m. | Student Union Ballroom

Cosponsored by Black History Month Academic Ad Hoc committee, Brookens Library, Department of History, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Department of African American Studies, Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum, Capital Scholars Honors Program, the Diversity & Inclusion Center and UIS Archives

Learn of the personal history and living legacy of Free Frank McWorter, who founded New Philadelphia, an abolitionist town just 20 miles from slavery, and purchased 16 family members from slavery, starting with his pregnant wife and then himself. Gerald McWorter & Kate Williams McWorter will discuss their recent publication, “New Philadelphia” (2018). Gerald McWorter is the great-great-grandson of “Free” Frank. New Philadelphia was inhabited for more than 100 years. Its location is now on the National Register of Historic Places and under consideration to become a designated National Park. As Barack Obama said, “New Philadelphia is a site of national importance as the first town known to be founded and platted by an African American. Platted in 1836 by Frank McWorter, a former slave, New Philadelphia thrived as a biracial community during a period of extreme racial tension.” Against all odds, this is an important story of community creation and family unification.

Gerald A. McWorter (Abdul Alkalimat), PhD., professor emeritus, African American Studies & iSchool, UIUC. Abdul Alkalimat (Gerald A. McWorter) is a founder of the field of Black Studies and author of many books and papers about Black liberation. He wrote the first college textbook for the field, Introduction to Afro-American Studies. A lifelong scholar-activist with a PhD from the University of Chicago, he has lectured, taught, and directed academic programs across the U.S., the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and China.

Kate Williams-McWorter, PhD Michigan, is associate professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Her scholarship makes use of five interrelated ideas: community, social capital, public computing, cyberpower, and the informatics moment. She focuses her attention on communities that use information technology rather than on technology itself as a social intervention. By identifying the informatics moment, she shifts attention from the structural deficit model implied in the concept of the “digital divide” to a model of self-reliant community transformation.

Terror Capitalism: Uyghur ‘Reeducation’ and the Chinese Security Industrial Complex

Darren Byler

Friday, November 8 | 7:30 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Cosponsored by World Affairs Council of Central Illinois, NPR Illinois, Global Studies, Department of History, Department of Sociology Anthropology, Division of Student Affairs, International Student Services, and the Diversity Center

A new system of control, made up of a multi-billion dollar industry of computer-vision technologies, militarized policing, and the mass mobilization of Chinese civil servants and Han industrialists,  is attempting to transform Uyghur and other Turkic minority societies in Northwest China. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the Uyghur region, this talk describes the history which produced these forms of surveillance and demonstrates the quotidian experience of their effects in Uyghur society. It argues that this system of “reeducation” is, in fact, a social engineering system that works in concert with a Chinese form of illiberal capitalism. As it is implemented, it has the effect of partitioning and radically disempowering those already marginalized within national and international global systems. It shows that these new automated forms of surveillance, coercive Han-centric education systems, as well as new modes of state-enforced capitalist discipline amplify the power of those who engineer and implement these systems while rapidly disintegrating minority social systems.

Darren Byler received his PhD from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington in 2018. His research focuses on Uyghur dispossession, culture work and “terror capitalism” in the city of Ürümchi, the capital of Chinese Central Asia (Xinjiang). He has published research articles in the Asia-Pacific Journal, Contemporary Islam, Central Asian Survey, the Journal of Chinese Contemporary Art and contributed essays to volumes on ethnography of Islam in China, transnational Chinese cinema and travel and representation. He has provided expert testimony on Uyghur human rights issues before the Canadian House of Commons and writes a regular column on these issues for SupChina. In addition, he has published Uyghur-English literary translations (with Mutellip Enwer) in Guernica and Paper Republic. He also writes and curates the digital humanities art and politics repository The Art of Life in Chinese Central Asia, which is hosted at livingotherwise.com.

Community Based Environmental Justice and Beyond

Kim Wasserman

Wednesday, November 13 | 6:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Cosponsored by Department of Environmental Studies, Students Allied for a Green Earth (SAGE), UIS Campus Senate Committee on Sustainability

Kim Wasserman, executive director of Chicago’s Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), Chair of the Illinois Commission on Environmental Justice., and 2013 winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize for North America will speak on her experiences as a community organizer. For twenty years Wasserman’s group has turned anger into positive energy in a series of successful grass-roots campaigns addressing issues including safe schools, public transportation, youth empowerment, community gardens, Superfund site remediation, open space, and the closure of two polluting coal fired power plants. Wasserman’s work addresses crucial questions for society, including “what does it mean to organize within communities”, and “how can communities support each other?”

Kim Wasserman is the Executive Director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), where she has worked since 1998. Kim joined LVEJO as an organizer and helped to organize community leaders to successfully build a new playground, community gardens, remodel of a local school park and force a local polluter to upgrade their facilities to meet current laws. As Executive Director of LVEJO, she has worked with organizers to reinstate a job access bus line, build on the recent victory of a new 23 acre park to be built in Little Village, and continue the 10 plus year campaign that won the closure of the two local coal power plants to fight for remediation and redevelopment of the sites. Mrs. Wasserman is Chair of the Illinois Commission on Environmental Justice. In 2013, Mrs. Wasserman was the recipient of the Goldman Prize for North America.