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Contact: Victor Bailey, Hall Center director (785) 864-7822

Hall Center announces Edwards Campus lecture series on globalization

OVERLAND PARK -- The Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas has announced a lecture series on issues of globalization and empire building.

The four lectures, scheduled for this fall and spring, will be at Regnier Hall on KU's Edwards Campus in Overland Park.

The series, inspired by modern political discussion and from books such as Niall Ferguson˙s "Empire" and Clyde Prestowitz's "Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions," focuses on whether America, the supreme economic and military power, stands on the brink of a new global empire. All the lectures, which are free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The schedule:
-- Oct. 12: Clyde Prestowitz, founder and president of the Economic Strategy Institute, a Washington think tank influential in international trade policy and specialized economic change. His lecture will be based on his book, "Rogue Nation," and will address how the United States' perception of its place in the world is different from perceptions in other nations.

-- Oct. 26: Stephen Kotkin, director of the Russian Studies program at Princeton University, will present "Rise and Demise of the Russian Empire," which will focus on the history of Soviet expansion and how its downward spiral began. The Soviet Union, Kotkin argues, did not begin to collapse in the late 1980s but as early as 1970.

-- Feb. 24: Tara Welch, assistant professor of classics at KU, will speak on "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire." Her lecture will focus on how the Romans persuaded conquered countries to buy into their ideological and sociological systems and how those mechanisms later failed to be effective in holding the empire together.

-- March 10: Donald Worster, Hall distinguished professor of American history, will present "Ecological Imperialism," which addresses the roles that non-native plants, animals and, most importantly, diseases play in helping an invading force gain control of a native society, whether through traditional colonialism or through expansion of a globalized economy.

-- March 31: For the final lecture in the series, Victor Bailey, professor of modern British history and director of the Hall Center, will present “Churchill and His Forty Thieves.” He will examine the burst of imperial activity that took place under the banner of a League of Nations mandate that created Iraq. Iraq emerged from the Cairo Conference in March 1921, called together by Winston Churchill, British colonial secretary. The United States now faces choices in Iraq similar to those faced by Britain between 1918 and 1922.


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