A talk by Paul Rusesabagina, the inspiration behind
the film Hotel Rwanda, will open the 2008
Foreign Affairs Symposium, a
student-run series that for the past 10 years as brought
to the Homewood campus a celebrated group of high-powered
speakers to address matters of global importance.
This year's slate of panel discussions and lecturers
will focus on the theme A Decade of
Discussion, an examination of the major changes and
continuities in politics, economics, human rights,
war and technology over the past 10 years. Specific topics
to be addressed include Islam, global
health, climate change, Iran, Iraq, the world economy and
U.S. national security.
Paul Rusesabagina, Feb. 5
Rusesabagina's own story is one of remarkable courage
and compassion in the face of
unspeakable terror. During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which
left more than 800,000 people dead in
just over 100 days, the hotel manager risked his own life
to shelter more than 1,000 fellow Rwandans
targeted for murder.
Since then, the man now referred to as the "Oskar
Schindler of Africa" has dedicated himself
to putting an end to all instances of genocide. In 2005, he
founded the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina
Foundation, which provides financial assistance to children
and women affected by the genocides in
Rwanda and other African nations. In 2005, President George
W. Bush presented Rusesabagina with
the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House
ceremony. Author of An Ordinary Man: An
Autobiography (Penguin, 2006), Rusesabagina will
discuss his life and mission at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb.
5, in Shriver Hall Auditorium.
The Foreign Affairs Symposium was founded in 1998 with
the merging of the Woodrow Wilson
International Studies and the International Studies Forum
symposia. It seeks to bring distinguished
individuals to campus who can talk on matters of global
concern to a large and diverse audience.
The list of former speakers includes such notables as
Sonia Gandhi, George Mitchell, Noam
Chomsky, Ralph Nader, Newt Gingrich, Russell Feingold,
Thomas Friedman, Chris Matthews, Dennis
Ross and Francis Fukuyama.
Kimberly Dozier, April 14
In addition to Rusesabagina, the 2008 symposium will
feature Mike McConnell, U.S. director of
National Intelligence and former Navy admiral (March 12);
Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winner and
former chief economist of the World Bank (April 8);
Kimberly Dozier, a CBS news correspondent who
was wounded in Iraq (April 14); and Robert Baer, a former
CIA operative and the inspiration for the
film Syriana (date TBA).
The 2008 Foreign Affairs Symposium is being run by
four student co-chairs — Elizabeth Caudle,
Katie Collins, Pamela Lachman, Anne Smedinghoff — and
a staff of 14 other undergraduates. The group
began meeting over the summer to schedule the speakers,
recruit staff and raise the necessary funds,
which come from a variety of sources, including academic
departments, dean's offices and local
Caudle said that the goal each year is to foster
intellectual discussion through topics that will
appeal to a diverse audience.
"We're trying to engage students, faculty and the
Baltimore community with what is going on in
the world right now," said Caudle, an international studies
major. "It's an opportunity for people to
come together and to broaden people's opinions about these
ideas and issues."
Caudle said that the milestone anniversary compelled
the symposium organizers to host a large
number and wide variety of events this year.
"I believe this will be the largest symposium to
date," she said. "We wanted something big and
grand to mark our anniversary."
Thomas Lovejoy, March 11
The first panel discussion will be "Perceptions of
Islam in the Western World," scheduled for 5
p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Glass Pavilion.
Participating will be Peter Sanders, a photographer;
Farah Qureshi, a JHU undergraduate and former president of
the Muslim Students Association;
Manal Omar, Middle East manager for Oxfam; and Dominic
Martin, a counselor on political and public
affairs with the British Embassy.
"Energy Conservation and Sustainability: The Impending
Climate Crisis" will feature Thomas
Lovejoy, a principal with the Heinz Center for Science,
Economics and the Environment; Terry Maple,
co-author with Newt Gingrich of A Contract With the Earth
(JHU Press, 2007) and president of the
Palm Beach Zoo; and Scott Brown, CEO of New Energy Capital
Corp. The March 11 event begins at 8
p.m. in the Glass Pavilion.
Other panel discussions will be "AIDS, Tuberculosis
and Malaria: Contemporary Global
Epidemics" on March 26, "Nuclear Proliferation in Iran" on
April 1 and "The Rise of Socialism in Latin
America" on April 9. All will take place in the Glass
Other events scheduled for this year's symposium are a
debate between the College Democrats
and College Republicans on March 4 and "Island in Britain's
Green and Pleasant Lands: The Art of
Integration," an exhibiton commissioned by the British
Embassy. It will run from Feb. 14 to 20 at the
For a complete list of events, times and locations, go
to www.jhu.edu/fas or
check The Gazette calendar each