International Lecture Series

Alworth Institute

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International Lecture Series

In addition to the Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Memorial Lecture, forums and conferences, the Institute provides a series of international lectures by local, national and international authorities on subjects of timely interest. The Alworth Institute draws not only upon the rich store of local academics with expertise in a variety of areas, but also visiting international faculty.

Spring 2018 Schedule

Thursday, February 1 – 7:00 p.m. - Bohannon Hall 90 - Iran: Images, Myths and Complicated Realities  – Presented by Jeremy Iggers, Publisher of the website,, the purpose of which is "to help to create a more vibrant and more inclusive Twin Cities, where residents have increased opportunities to engage across the boundaries of race, class and culture."  Iggers was a writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune where he won awards from won awards from the Overseas Press Club of America and the Columbia School of Journalism.  He was also the Executive Director for the Twin Cities Media Alliance, publishing the Twin Cities Daily Planet.  He currently serves as a term Assistant Professor for the University of Minnesota Twin Cities as well as an adjunct instructor in Master of Liberal Studies Program.  In 2016, he traveled through Iran, one of the safest countries in the Middle East.  He will discuss his visits to historical sites and reveal what he learned about the "real" Iran.   

Thursday, March 15 - 7:00 p.m. - Kathryn A. Martin Library 4th Floor Rotunda - CEDAW & Human Rights: Eliminating Discrimination Against Women Locally  and Globally - Presented by Dr. Ellen Kennedy, founder and Executive Director of World Without Genocide, a human rights organization headquartered at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.  Kennedy will discuss the substance and need for the ratification of this 1979 treaty in order to move toward the elimination of violence and discrimination against women around the world.  The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has been ratified by 189 countries; all but six: Iran, Palau, Somalia, Sudan, Tonga and the United States, have not ratified the treaty.  Kennedy will introduce efforts in Minnesota to rally support for CEDAW. Since December 2015, three major cities and a professional law organization have passed resolutions supporting CEDAW.  Kennedy would like to see cities across Minnesota and the country do likewise.

Wednesday, March 21 – 7:00 p.m. – Room TBA –  US/Russian Relations and the Role of Cultural Diplomacy – Presented by Thomas Hanson, Alworth Institute Diplomat in Residence and retired Foreign Service Officer for the US State Department

Wednesday, March 28 - 7:00 p.m. - Room TBA - The History of Self-Determination in the International System - Presented by Dr. Bradley Simpson, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut - Simpson will examine the global history of self-determination, exploring its political, cultural and legal descent through post 1945 US foreign relations and international politics. He will use contested history of self-determination claims to re-think contemporary notions of human rights, sovereignty and international order as they intersected with the processes of decolonization, Cold War conflict and globalization.  He will use the history of Southeast Asia as an example of his argument.   

Tuesday, April 3 - 7:00 p.m. - Montague Hall 70 - Persistent Turmoil in the Middle East: America's Perennial Policy Dilemma - Presented by Ambassador Stephen A. Seche, former US Ambassador to Yemen (2007-2010) and Executive Vice President of the Arab Gulf States Institute, Washington DC - Ambassador Seche will provide an analysis of the difficulty of forming US foreign policy in the Middle East.  He will look specifically at Arab states relationships to the US.    

Wednesday, April 4 - 7:00 p.m. - Solon Campus Center 120 - Yemen: The Forgotten War - Presented by Ambassador Stephen A. Seche, former US Ambassador to Yemen (2007-2010) and Executive Vice President of the Arab Gulf States Institute, Washington DC - Ambassador Seche will share his expert analysis of the causes of the conflict in Yemen, the grievances of the Houthis, the roles played by Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the reasons why this war has gotten so little attention internationally unlike the war in Syria.