Mansfield Center Brown Bag Lecture Series

Every semester, the Mansfield Center Brown Bag Lecture series draws on members of the University and Missoula communities and on visiting foreign scholars and fellows to create a series of talks on a wide variety of topics, from international development, to exchange opportunities, to public policy and ethical dilemmas. All lectures are free and open to the public and run from 12:10 pm to 1:00 pm in the Mansfield Center Conference Room unless otherwise noted.

Spring 2015

Terry WeidnerPolitics Under China's "New Mao": The Good, The Bad, and The Downright Ugly

Wednesday, February 18 at 12:10 pm in University Center Room 333

with Dr. Terry Weidner, Professor of Chinese Politics, UM

Since coming to office in 2013, new Chinese leader Xi Jinping seems to have accumulated more power than any modern Chinese leader since Mao, presiding over a newly assertive foreign policy and suppressing human rights, but also launching an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign that some say is a vital precedent for economic leveling and reform. This talk will look at some of the key challenges facing Xi and assess the complex motives that may currently be at play in his political maneuvers.

Mara Menahan and two Vietnamese study a mangrove grove in VietnamDeep in the Delta: Studying Climate Change in Vietnam

Wednesday, March 11 at 12:10 pm in the Mansfield Center, Mansfield Library 4th floor

with Nicky Phear, Climate Change Studies Instructor and Program Coordinator, UM
and Mara Menahan, UM study abroad student participant

The Mekong Delta is Vietnam's most important agricultural region and home to a growing, dynamic economy. Yet it is one of the most endangered places on the planet due to the twin threats of climate change and sea level rise.  Dr. Phear and Ms. Menahan will address these challenges while giving an overview of UM's 4-week Wintersession in Vietnam program.

Phyllis Ngai with Cambodian Rural Development Team staff membersSustainable Rural Development in Cambodia: Participatory NGO Approaches and Student Internship Opportunities

Tuesday, March 17 at 4:00 pm in the Payne Family Native American Center Room 105

with Dr. Phyllis Ngai, Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, UM, in partnership with the International Development Studies Program.

How does the global rhetoric of sustainable development translate in Cambodia?  This presentation explores local Cambodian NGOs’ interpretations of the participatory approach to rural sustainable development.  Students who are interested in internship opportunities in Cambodia, come and find out how you can help local NGOs carry out their mission!

JET Program Logo"JET to Japan!" - Working in Japan with the Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program

Tuesday, March 24 at 3:00 pm in University Center Room 326

with Matthew Niemi, Media Relations and Public Outreach Specialist, and JET Program Coordinator, Consulate General of Japan in Seattle

The JET Program is an opportunity for college graduates to work in Japan as Assistant Language Teachers or Coordinators for International Relations. Participants are employed by either private or public elementary schools, junior high and senior high schools, or local government offices.  Come learn more about the program from Matthew Niemi,  a JET alumni who worked as a Coordinator of International Relations at the Yamagata Prefectural Government Office from 2005-2007 on the program. He has over 12 years of experience living and working in Japan and has been coordinating the JET program since last year for the Consulate General of Japan in Seattle. 

Profile photo of Owen SirrsThe Houthi Rebellion in Yemen

Wednesday, April 15 from 12:10 – 1:00 pm in University Center Room 333

Speaker: Owen Sirrs, Adjunct Professor of Culture and Regional Studies, Defense Critical Language and Culture Program at the Mansfield Center

This lecture examines Yemen’s al-Houthi rebellion in light of Yemen’s turbulent domestic political scene as well as its regional and international dimensions. What started out as one of Yemen’s seemingly interminable civil conflicts has, in recent months, expanded into a battlefield where the region’s heavyweights – Iran and Saudi Arabia – are waging their cold war.  The lecture concludes by exploring the future of Yemen as a viable, unified state.

Past Brown Bag Lecture Series

Spring 2014

Spring 2013

Spring 2012

Spring 2011

Suhan Chen speaking to a large audience