Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences Slates Symposium Against Indifference

Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences Slates Symposium Against Indifference

8/12/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - The Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences will present its biennial year-long Symposium Against Indifference this year, with the symposium titled “Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean."

All of the events are sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, along with other sponsors, and will take place during different dates throughout the academic year. A total of seven events will be held during the fall semester, and all are free except the theatre production.

The first fall presentation will be titled “Living on a Dollar,” presented by Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple on Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. This lecture is co-sponsored by the Honors Program and the Morgan Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

During summer vacation from college, Temple and Ingrasci, both economic majors, set out to live on just $1 a day for two months in rural Guatemala. Armed with only a video camera, they battled hunger, parasites and extreme financial stress. While there are no easy answers, their neighbors gave them resilient hope that there are effective ways to make a difference. Join Temple and Ingrasci as they speak about their experience creating the award winning documentary and social action campaign, Living on One Dollar.

The second presentation will be presented by Elizabeth Bell in the Schar College of Education’s Ronk Lecture Hall on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. Her presentation is titled, “’Our Culture is Not for Sale’: Maya Spirituality and the December 21st, 2012 Predictions in a Global Context.” This presentation is co-sponsored by the Foreign Languages Department.

What is Maya spirituality really about, other than New Age astrology and doomsday? What do the Mayas themselves say about the 2012 predictions? How do they attempt to decolonize their ancient systems of knowledge? Contemporary Guatemalan society can be portrayed as fractured and dissonant, as it is characterized by increasing religious plurality, economic and ethnic inequality, drug-related violence, and the legacy of military violence and discrimination. We will see how, when unable to achieve social and political representation and recognition in this highly stratified postcolonial society, the Maya population negotiates meaning and achieves legitimacy by using the very tool which sets them apart: their culture.

The third presentation is Ashland University’s very own theatre department, co-sponsoring and putting on the play, “Night Train to Bolina.” The play will take place in the Hugo Young Theatre from Sept. 26-28 and Oct. 3-5 at 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. On Oct. 4, Fabio Polanco, the play’s director and assistant professor of theatre, will be holding an “Inside the Season” pre-show talk at 6:45 p.m.

Night Train to Bolina by 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz is the story of two children, Mateo and Clara, who rely on each other and their imaginations to help them flee a violent world. Written in a masterful magic realist style, that is beautiful, moving and powerful, Night Train to Bolina shows all that the strength and resilience of youth in the most difficult of circumstances.

The fourth presentation will be on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Faculty Room of Myers Convocation Center. This presentation will be titled “Families Separated by International Borders” and presented by Susan Jacobs, special adviser for U.S. Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues.

Ambassador Jacobs assists parents, children and families in matters related to inter country adoption and international parental child abductions. Latin American countries are the most common destination of reported parental abductions, for example the Sean Goldman case that threatened U.S./Brazil relations.

The fifth presentation will be titled “CDCA -- Community for Development in Central America,” presented by Pat and Kathy Floerke. This presentation will take place on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Schar College of Education’s Ronk Lecture Hall. The presentation is co-sponsored by the Foreign Languages Department and the Ashland Center for Nonviolence.

The people of Jubilee House have worked for 20 years in the poorest communities of Nicaragua to develop community cooperatives that create jobs and strengthen families. They have helped develop an organic cotton growing cooperative, are working on a spinning coop, an organic coffee growing coop, and a worker-owned free-trade zone. They also have helped the community develop medical centers and other social services.

The sixth presentation will take place on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Trustees’ Room in Myers Convocation Center. This presentation is titled “The Contribution of U.S. Investment to Environmental Pollution and Health Impacts: A Case Study,” and presented by Perry Gottesfeld, executive director of Occupational Knowledge International. The presentation is co-sponsored by the College of Nursing.

U.S. corporate investment is often welcomed by countries looking to expand markets, modernize antiquated facilities, create jobs and improve productivity. However, disappointment often follows as companies continue to pollute the local environment. Companies also face criticism at home for not meeting U.S. standards for emissions and occupational health and safety. This talk will explore two case studies of U.S. investments in Peru and Mexico that have impacted environmental and public health.

The seventh and final presentation of the fall semester will take place on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Trustees’ Room of Myers Convocation Center. The presentation is titled “Sensing Literature from Latin America and the Caribbean” and the event is co-sponsored by the Foreign Languages and Art departments.

This presentation will include AU students who will interpret the sounds, atmospheres and realities created in literary masterpieces in collective multimedia performances.  Mixing readings with video, photography and lighting, the students will provide sensorial experiences of literature that intend to bridge the gap imposed by language and cultural difference.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###