WCSU to celebrate International Education Week with lectures, film
‘Hershey’s Cuba,’ Elysee Treaty and Kenyan Nobel laureate among featured topics

DANBURY, CONN. — Lectures about international economics, trade and diplomacy and a film about a Kenyan Nobel laureate will highlight a series of programs presented as part of the “Change Your Latitude!” International Education Week celebration from Nov. 18 through 21, 2013, at Western Connecticut State University.

The lectures by WCSU faculty members and film presentation will be in Warner Hall Room 102 on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited to attend all International Education Week events, sponsored by the Western International Center.

The Hershey Company’s enduring impact on Cuban industry and culture since founder Milton Hershey’s purchase of abandoned sugar plantations and establishment of a sugar mill and refinery in the Caribbean island nation a century ago will be the theme of “Hershey’s Cuba: Empires of Chocolate, Sugar and Rum,” a lecture by Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Galina Bakhtiarova at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

“I will explore the history and the consequences of Hershey’s involvement in Cuba and its impact back home,” Bakhtiarova said. Drawing upon her original research conducted in Cuba as well as materials from the Hershey archives, she explained her studies “point to multiple connections and cross-fertilization between Hershey enterprises and the Cuban sugar, rum and tourism industries even today.”

The historical legacy and contemporary significance for postwar Europe of the Elysee Treaty signed between France and Germany half a century ago will be the subject of a lecture by Associate Professor of History Dr. Michael Nolan at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20. “The Elysee Treaty at 50: Franco-German Partnership Bringing Europe Together” will explore the treaty signed in 1963 by French President Charles de Gaulle and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, which marked a watershed in Franco-German relations after recurring conflict and three wars during the previous 100 years.

The treaty provided the framework for continuing cooperation and face-to-face meetings between leaders, ministers and diplomats of the two nations, as well as a commitment made by the two governments to consult with each other on all important questions of foreign policy. Specific treaty provisions focused on three primary areas of cooperation including foreign affairs, defense, and education and youth. Cooperation between the governments of the two nations has been viewed widely in both countries as a cornerstone for peace and prosperity in postwar Europe. Since the founding of the European Union, France and Germany — which together account for 28 percent of total EU population and 36 percent of the overall EU economy — have faced new challenges to their cooperative relationship as the EU has struggled to cope with financial crises in member states.

These International Education Week programs also will be featured at WCSU:

  • “The Bronte Sisters in Other Worlds,” a lecture by Professor of English Dr. Shouhua Qi at 11 a.m. on Nov. 19 about the 19th century English novelists Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte.

  • “Trade is Sublime,” a presentation by Assistant Professor of Social Sciences Dr. Christine Hegel-Cantarella at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 about her design of a video installation that “responds to and engages with ethnographic research on the World Trade Organization undertaken by a team of American and European anthropologists.”
  • “Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai,” a documentary by Vermont filmmakers Lisa Merton and Alan Dater about the Kenyan woman whose environmental conservation work in promoting tree planting in her native land earned recognition as the recipient of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. The film will be shown at 3 p.m. on Nov. 19, and Merton will appear for a “Meet the Director” discussion hosted by Dean of Students Dr. Walter Cramer following the showing.    

Other activities planned as part of International Education Week will include information sessions about the International Student Exchange Program, the Peace Corps, fellowship programs and other study and research opportunities abroad, as well as a seminar about issues related to undocumented Americans. Internationally inspired dinners will be served during the week at the Midtown Student Center dining hall. 

For more information, call the Division of Student Affairs at (203) 837-9700 of the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.



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