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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.

Chinese and Indian officials standing next to each other.The China-India Border Dispute: What's at Stake

Wednesday, September 24
with Owen Sirrs, Culture and Regional Studies, Defense Critical Language and Culture Program

A lot of attention has been devoted to China in recent years as that country flexes its muscles in the East and South China Seas.  Yet China shares a long – and conflicted – border with another rising great power in Asia:  India.  Both countries went to war over these borders in 1962, and to this day they have failed to resolve their dispute.  Moreover, China’s expanding commercial and naval interests in the Indian Ocean basin are aggravating Indian fears of encirclement by its larger neighbor.  At the heart of the India-China border dispute is power politics and the future of the Asian balance of power.

Group shot of a young Chinese sports team.

Youth Engagement Through Sports: Engaging Ethnic Minorities in China and the U.S.

Wednesday, October 1
with Suhan Chen, Executive Director, the Confucius Institute at UM

Chinese and American Fellows in the State Department SportsUnited program will use their personal experience in youth sports programs in the Miao and Mongol communities in China to demonstrate how sports can support youth development. Participants will also discuss supplementary programming emphasizing sports development for youth with disabilities.

Promoting Tourism Through Shared Culture in Southeast Asia

Wednesday, October 15
with Dr. Umaporn Muneenam, Lecturer and Researcher, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
and Dr. Norma Nickerson, Director, Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR), UM
A special offering of the U.S. Department of State Economic Empowerment Program

Dr. Muneenam works with rural communities to develop tourism in a sustainable manner that directly benefits the local community. She primarily engages women, seeking to empower them through increased incomes while preserving traditional cultural heritage. While in Missoula, she is working with Dr. Norma Nickerson of UM’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR). In her lecture, Dr. Muneenam will discuss how the shared culture of the Baba-Nyonya ethnic minorities in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore provides significant opportunity for cultural tourism development in these regions, thereby empowering local people and strengthening rural communities. Dr. Nickerson will share her experience working on similar projects throughout Montana.

Community Development Challenges and Opportunities: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Cambodia and Missoula

Wednesday, October 22
with Dr. Chhair Sokty, Policy Advisor, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia
and Mr. Dale Bickell, Central Services Director, City of Missoula
and Mayor John Engen, City of Missoula

A special offering of the U.S. Department of State Economic Empowerment Program

Preah Vihear is situated in northern Cambodia, bordering Thailand and Laos. Named the “Emerald Triangle” because of this transnational region’s rich natural resources, these provinces are also among the most remote and poor in their respective countries. As a Policy Advisor to Cambodia’s national parliament and a development practitioner, Dr. Chhair will share his experience addressing issues such as agricultural development, eco-tourism, and natural resource development.

Dr. Chhair will be working with the City of Missoula to compare development strategies in Cambodia and Montana. City of Missoula’s Mr. Dale Bickell will discuss the parallels between their work and strategies to reach shared goals.

Social Entrepreneurship

Wednesday, November 5: Davidson Honors College 119
with Paul Gladen, Director, Blackstone LaunchPad
Dawn McGee, Goodworks Ventures
and Jack Lawson, Missoula Federal Credit Union

Come join leading entrepreneurs and business leaders to discuss social entrepreneurship and how to apply innovative solutions to social problems. Speakers will discuss how social entrepreneurship impacts our community and how people can get involved. Paul Gladen, Dawn McGee and Jack Lawson will share their experiences and perspectives on how to launch new initiatives, how to get funding, best practices, common pitfalls, and some of the great examples of social entrepreneurship.

Alan WatsonMoving Toward Self-Determination for the Original People of Formosa: Claiming Authority for Ecosystems and Culture in the Republic of China

Wednesday, November 19
with Dr. Alan Watson, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute

Threatened by increasing tourism, lack of systematic planning, political powerlessness, and a history of repeated colonization, 500,000 indigenous people are rising up to re-claim what they’ve lost: identity, language, and authority over their traditional territories. This talk will introduce participants to tribes of the Original People of Taiwan based on Dr. Watson’s recent work with them through National Taitung University, the Tao Foundation of Lanyu and the Taiwan Forest Research Institute.

Past Brown Bag Lecture Series