Culture in Global Affairs

CIGA Seminar Series

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Fall 2009 – Spring 2010

Working the Night Shift: Women in India's Call Center Industry
April 22, 2010
Dr. Reena Patel, Ph.D. in Geography, University of Texas at Austin

Drawing on her newly released book, Working the Night Shift: Women in India's Call Center Industry (Stanford University Press, 2010), Reena Patel spoke about how call center employment in Mumbai affects the lives of women workers, specifically the anxiety of Indian families related to social concerns about women going out at night, earning a good salary, and being exposed to western culture. From remarks such as "call center job equals call girl job!" to worry about how night shift employment will affect a young woman's worth in the arranged marriage market, Patel explored the ironic and, at times, unsettling experiences of women who enter the spaces and places made accessible to them through call center work.
Co-sponsored by the GW Global Women's Initiative

Female-Selective Abortion as Genocide: The Situation in India
March 24, 2010
Sabu George, independent researcher, New Delhi, India
Co-sponsored by the GW Global Women's Initiative

Film Screening and Panel: Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy
March 8, 2010
Mark Schuller, Co-producer and Co-director of Poto Mitan; Assistant Professor of African Studies and Anthropology, City University of New York
Julie Meyer, Director, Lambi Fund
Leigh Carter, Executive Director, Fonkoze USA
Co-sponsored by the GW Global Women's Initiative

Conflicts in Israeli Feminism and the Question of Palestine
February 24, 2010
Dr. Smadar Lavie, Associate Professor of Studies in Women and Gender, University of Virginia

Professor Lavie explored the conflicts inside the Israeli feminist movements. What is largely known outside Israel, and in English, as "Israeli feminism" is the feminism of the minority European-Jewish elite. It bears little or no appeal to the grassroots — the Mizrahi ("eastern," Hebrew) majority of Israeli women, who are of Middle Eastern origins. Most Mizrahi vote for right-wing parties partially because left-wing parties are associated with the Ashkenazi elite. The deep commitment of the general Mizrahi population to Zionist ideology places Mizrahi feminists, critical of Ashkenazi Zionism, in a predicament.

Risk, Suffering, and Response: The Haiti Earthquake Crisis 2010
January 25, 2010
A multidisciplinary panel discussing the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake crisis
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Moderator: Dr. Barbara D. Miller, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, The Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University

Dr. Robert Maguire, Randolph Jennings Senior Fellow, United States Institute for Peace, and Associate Professor of International Affairs, Trinity University
"Assessing Damage and Moving Forward"

Ms. Kyrah Daniels, Junior Curator, National Museum of American History
"Haiti: Spirits Unbroken"

Dr. Erica James, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Dilemmas of Humanitarian Assistance in Haiti and in the Haitian Diaspora"

Dr. Julia Frank, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, The George Washington University
"Buffering the Emotional Impact of Disasters: How to Avoid Making Things Worse"

Dr. Drexel G. Woodson, Associate Professor of Applied Research in Anthropology, University of Arizona, "Shaky Ground(s): Will the Earthquake Prompt Haitians and Foreigners to Negotiate a Pact for Sustainable Reconstruction?"

Co-sponsored with the International Development Studies Program in the Elliott School of International Affairs and the Department of Global Health in the School of Public Health and Health Policy

Sharia and Gender in the Malay-Muslim Corporate Workplace
November 20, 2009
Dr. Patricia Sloane-White, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Delaware

This talk explored how in Malaysia, the growing muscularity and masculinity of sharia (Islamic law) in personal and domestic settings has been reproduced as corporate policy in many Malaysian companies. What Sloane-White calls "personnel sharia" increasingly defines and regulates Muslim women's positionality and vulnerability vis-à-vis men in the Malaysian corporate workplace, providing insight into how Malay-Muslim women's corporate roles are being reconfigured in an increasingly sharia-ized Malaysia.

Customary Justice and Legal Pluralism in Post-Conflict and Fragile Societies
November 17-18, 2009
24 panelists from around the world
Co-sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace, the World Bank, and the GW African Center for Health and Human Security

Euthanasia, Social Death and U.S. Health Care Reform: Policy Lessons from The Netherlands
October 30, 2009
Dr. Frances Norwood, Director of Research, Inclusion Research Institute and Research Professor, Department of Anthropology, The George Washington University

Dr. Norwood is a medical anthropologist. Her talk was based on extensive fieldwork in The Netherlands which led to a book called The Maintenance of Life: Preventing Social Death through Euthanasia Talk and End-of-Life Care — Lessons from The Netherlands (Carolina Academic Press, 2009). Dr. Norwood discussed her findings about end-of-life care in The Netherlands and its implications for U.S. health care reform.

Omar McDoomWhy They Killed: Security, Authority, and Opportunity in Rwanda's Genocide
September 17, 2009
Dr. Omar McDoom
Lecturer in Political Science, London School of Economics
A graduate of the Elliott School of International Affairs M.A. program in International Development Studies, Omar McDoom conducted intensive fieldwork in Rwanda focusing on two groups of Rwandans: those who had killed (they were in prison at the time of the interviews) and those who were related to people who had been killed. McDoom linked macro and micro levels in explaining why the Rwandan genocide occurred and its distinctive patterns.

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