58th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies

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Contact person: Han Li

Rhodes will serve as the host institution for the 58th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (SEC-AAS).  The conference features 25 interdisciplinary paper panel sessions, a special exhibition on the history of Chinese Americans, a keynote lecture (titled: “Folktales and the Politics of Humor: The Case of the Vessantara Jataka in Thailand”) and a Saturday evening film screening of Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (an award winning 2016 documentary directed by Steve James about a Chinatown, New York bank that was the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis). 
 
The conference runs next Friday through Sunday (Jan. 18-20) and all proceedings will be held at the Fogelman Executive Conference Center on the University of Memphis campus.

Modern Languages and Literatures

Frank O. Mora Talk

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Contact person: Christy Waldkirch

Frank O. Mora, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is Director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) at FIU in Miami. 

He will visit campus on Friday 26 October at noon to talk about the current state of U.S. Latin American Relations and he will discuss graduate degree opportunities in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at FIU.

Professor Mora taught at Rhodes, in the International Studies Department, for 9 years.

Pizza!   

Modern Languages and Literatures

Hal Roberts presents Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics

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Contact person: Jackie Baker

Is social media destroying democracy? Are Russian propaganda or "Fake news" entrepreneurs on Facebook undermining our sense of a shared reality? A conventional wisdom has emerged since the election of Donald Trump in 2016 that new technologies and their manipulation by foreign actors played a decisive role in his victory and are responsible for the sense of a "post-truth" moment in which disinformation and propaganda thrives.

Network Propaganda challenges that received wisdom through the most comprehensive study yet published on media coverage of American presidential politics from the start of the election cycle in April 2015 to the one year anniversary of the Trump presidency. Analyzing millions of news stories together with Twitter and Facebook shares, broadcast television and YouTube, the book provides a comprehensive overview of the architecture of contemporary American political communications. Through data analysis and detailed qualitative case studies of coverage of immigration, Clinton scandals, and the Trump Russia investigation, the book finds that the right-wing media ecosystem operates fundamentally differently than the rest of the media environment.

The authors argue that longstanding institutional, political, and cultural patterns in American politics interacted with technological change since the 1970s to create a propaganda feedback loop in American conservative media. This dynamic has marginalized center-right media and politicians, radicalized the right wing ecosystem, and rendered it susceptible to propaganda efforts, foreign and domestic. For readers outside the United States, the book offers a new perspective and methods for diagnosing the sources of, and potential solutions for, the perceived global crisis of democratic politics.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception with a book sale and signing will follow in the foyer. 

Dia de los Muertos Celebration

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Contact person: Christy Waldkirch

Please join us in a celebration of this Pre-Hispanic cultural tradition. Experience altars made by your friends along with papel picado. Learn to construct paper flowers and have your picture taken in the photo booth. Join us for Pan de Muerto and delicious Mexican food.

Lecture: "Living the Farm Sanctuary Life" by Gene Baur

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Gene Baur has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by Time magazine. Since the mid-1980s, he has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our system of cheap food production.  A pioneer in the field of undercover investigations, Gene has visited hundreds of farms, stockyards, and slaughterhouses, documenting the deplorable conditions that exist. His pictures and videos exposing factory farming cruelties have aired nationally and internationally, educating millions about the plight of modern farm animals.

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Kinney Community Service Program


Deux jours, une nuit / Two Days, One Night

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Closing Reception, 6:30pm, Film 7pm

Arguably contemporary cinema’s greatest chroniclers of the workingclass, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne here join forces with one of the most talented performers working today, Marion Cotillard. The actress plays Sandra, an employee at a solar-panel factory in an industrial town in Belgium who took a leave of absence after suffering a bout of crippling depression. Although eager to return to work, the wife and mother of two young children is told that management is offering each of her colleagues a 1,000-euro bonus if they vote to make her redundant. Sandra, still emotionally frail, faces the daunting task of meeting with each of her 16 coworkers over the span of a weekend to convince them why they should forgo the cash and let her resume her position at the company. Each of these encounters reveals the Dardenne brothers’ signature compassion for characters torn asunder by the demands of late capitalism. The themes that dominate this unforgettable film—the fight for worker solidarity, the definition of sacrifice, the struggle to maintain self-respect—aren’t presented didactically but rather emerge organically as Sandra pleads, again and again, for the right not to be dismissed.

 

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Modern Languages and Literatures
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Bande De Filles / Girlhood

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Opening Reception, 6:30 p.m. / Film at 7 p.m.

Introduction by Prof. Evelyn Perry, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Rhodes College 

Girlhood, Céline Sciamma’s third feature, continues to probe what has been this perceptive writer-director’s abiding interest: female pubescence and adolescence, the stage when bodies and identities are still in flux. Set in the banlieues (low-income housing projects) that ring Paris and are home to many of its French-African citizens, Girlhood focuses on Marieme (Karidja Touré), a sixteen-year-old who assumes responsibility for her two younger sisters while their mother works the night shift; the teenager must also frequently absorb the wrath of her tyrannical older brother. School provides no haven from these hardships.  Having already repeated a grade twice, Marieme is told that vocational training is her only option. Rather than accept this indignity, she falls in with a triad of tough girls, abandoning her braids for straightened hair, her hoodie for a leather jacket—and learning the pleasures of raising hell at malls in Les Halles and impromptu dance-offs on the Métro. Led by the swaggering Lady (Assa Sylla), this crew—whose members are all played by charismatic first-time performers—boosts Marieme’s confidence. “You have to do what you want,” Lady exhorts her; patiently and astutely, Girlhood follows Marieme as she tries to put this mantra into practice while being repeatedly reminded of her severely limited options.

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Modern Languages and Literatures
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