March 31, 2014

The intersection of coffee, communities, and conservation in Latin America

The fourth and final event in this year’s Environmental Lecture Series will be a presentation by Dr. Amanda Rodewald from Cornell University. That will be Thursday, Apr. 3 at 7:30 pm in the Ronk Lecture Hall, COE.

In the broadest sense, Dr. Rodewald’s research program seeks to understand how human activities influence ecological systems and the services they provide. Her current study systems are deciduous forests of eastern and central U.S. (urban, agricultural, and managed forest landscapes) and montane forests of Central and South America.

The coffee-growing regions of the Central and South American Highlands are intensively used and the deteriorating quality of these forests threatens the ecosystem services upon which human communities rely. The reality is that little forest completely escapes pressure from cultivation or grazing. There is a need to identify ways that human activities can be made more compatible with conservation. Shade-grown coffee farms are especially well suited to simultaneously meet a variety of economic, social and ecological needs. They provide a variety of forest products (e.g., coffee, fruits, firewood, lumber, and medicines), while at the same time maintain forest cover, support biodiversity, and reduce erosion and chemical use compared to other intensive agricultural systems, such as sun coffee and pasture for cattle grazing.

Perhaps no other group better highlights the positive role that shade-coffee can play in conservation than Neotropical migratory birds, which heavily use shade-coffee farms. In this talk, Rodewald will discuss how shade-coffee and other agroforestry practices can support bird conservation, ecosystem protection and ultimately human communities in Latin America.

March 18, 2014

Screening and Discussion of Lo Que Me Tocó Vivir / The Life I Got To Live

Presenter: Veronica Barrera, Filmmaker and Human Rights Scholar and Activist

Wednesday, March 26 at 7 p.m.
Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium

The Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences' Symposium Against Indifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean hosts a film screening of Lo Que Me Tocó Vivir/The Life I Got To Live on March 26 at 7:00 PM in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium.  A discussion with the film's director, human rights scholar and activist Dr. Veronica Barrera, will follow the screening. The event is free and open to the public. 

This film recounts Seattle resident Alicia Barrera’s life growing up in rural Chile and the dramatic turn the lives of all Chileans took on September 11, 1973. With her husband wounded the day of the coup, and later imprisoned and tortured by the Pinochet regime, Barrera’s story unfolds as one common, yet often untold, experience lived by thousands of women who suffered, struggled, and persevered in the face of extended family rejection, a wider public paralyzed by fear, the terrorist brutality of a CIA-funded dictatorship, and the alienation of political exile. With contributions from an international array of photojournalists, artists, and musicians, Lo Que Me Tocó Vivir – The Life I Got to Live, both personalizes the political lens and widens the narrative scope of ineffable memories created in the struggle for human rights.

March 13, 2014


The Location of Peoplehood
Presenter: Justin Ashworth, theologian from Duke University
Monday, Mar. 17 at 7 p.m.
Ridenour Room, Dauch College of Business and Economics
War on Democracy film screening
Tuesday, Mar. 18 at 7 p.m.
Ronk Lecture Hall, Schar College of Education

The Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences' Symposium Against Indifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean hosts back to back events this coming Monday and Tuesday, March 17 and 18. Both events are free and open to the public.

On Monday at 7 p.m. in the Ridenour Room of the Dauch College of Business and Economics, Justin Ashworth, a scholar of theology and race from Duke University, offers his presentation titled The Location of Peoplehood:  A Theological Contribution to Immigration Debates. The program is co-sponsored by the Department of Religion. Ashworth believes that immigration debates in the U.S. are opportunities for churches to contribute a unique perspective to social analysis and to rethink the meaning of peoplehood in less racialized ways.  He contends that if Christian theology carefully addresses questions of belonging such as: Who's in?  Who's out?  On what basis?-it may be good news for immigrants and natives alike. 

On Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall of the Schar College of Education, the Ashland Center for Nonviolence will screen the film "War on Democracy" followed by a panel discussion. The award-winning film by John Pilger takes a provocative look at U.S. relations with Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, and Chile. Using archive footage sourced by Michael Moore's archivist Carl Deal, the film shows how serial U.S. intervention, overt and covert, has toppled a series of legitimate governments in the Latin American region since the 1950s.