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Mission Statement

The Institute for Global Understanding promotes cultural literacy and citizenship through academic and arts programs, interdisciplinary research and events, community partnerships, and service at the local and global levels. The IGU fulfills Monmouth University’s broad mission of engaging students, faculty, and staff in fostering diversity, equality, global understanding, leadership, and social justice.

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Schedule of Events – Spring 2021

January 26: Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain – Virtual Panel Discussion

Join us for a World Cinema Series zoom discussion illuminating the theme “A Delicate Balance: Global Communities and the Natural World” by analyzing the message and impact of Ravi Kumar’s 2014 docudrama, Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain. Released on the 30th anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India on December 2-3, 1984, The discussion of the film will be led by Dr. Datta Naik, Professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Marina Vujnovic, Associate Professor of Communication, and a specialist on global communications. Free and open to the public but registration is required.

February 16: Tuesday Night World Music Record Club – Anoushka Shankar’s Love Letters

This event featuring Anoushka Shankar’s Love Letters will be hosted by Monmouth University Professor Meghan Hynson and is cosponsored by the Institute for Global Understanding. Free and open to the public but registration is required.

February 19: Global Ocean Governance Lecture Series Panel

The Monmouth University Institute for Global Understanding (IGU) and Urban Coast Institute (UCI) will host the free online panel talk “Global Perspectives on Adapting Marine Shipping Governance and Maritime Sovereignty to Respond to Climate Change” on Feb. 19. The event is the latest installment of the IGU-UCI Global Ocean Governance Lecture Series, which assembles international experts to discuss scientific and policy issues that hold important implications for coastal and marine ecosystems.

February 24: Ruth Awad, Lebanese-American Poet – Set to Music a Wildfire

Join us for a discussion and reading from a poetry collection that addresses the Lebanese Civil War and its legacy on the poet’s family, as well as issues of emigration/immigration, collective and personal identities, trauma, and memory.

February 24: World Cinema Series – The Odyssey

Photo image of flyer for Virtual Panel Discussion of the film The Odyssey with director Jerome Salle

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Virtual Panel Discussion with Director Jérôme Salle
7:30 p.m. via Zoom
The aquatic adventure of the highly influential and fearlessly ambitious pioneer, innovator, filmmaker, researcher, and conservationist, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, covers roughly thirty years of an inarguably rich in achievements life. The discussion of the film will be led by Dr. Jason Adolf, Endowed Associate Professor of Marine Science, and Tony MacDonald, Director of Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute. Free and open to the public but registration is required.

March 1: The Scholarly Speaker Series with Hélène Quanquin – 12 Noon via Zoom

Hélène Quanquin is a Professor of American Studies at the University of Lille (France). She studies 19th-century reform movements and activists. She is primarily interested in the mutual influence between the personal and the political and the different sites where political work is done and ideas are produced. She has published essays in European and American journals and books. Her book Men in the American Women’s Rights Movement, 1830-1890: Cumbersome Allies (Routledge, 2020) deals with male ally activism in the 19th century.

March 11: World Cinema Series – Honeyland

Photo image of flyer for Honeyland film screening and virtual discussion

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7:30 p.m. via Zoom
Virtual Panel Discussion
The last female beehunter in Europe must save the bees and return the natural balance in Honeyland, when a family of nomadic beekeepers invade her land and threaten her livelihood. Filmed in Macedonia, the film is an exploration of an observational Indigenous visual narrative that deeply impacts our behavior towards natural resources and the human condition. The discussion of the film will be led by Dr. Pedram Daneshgar, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, and Dr. Mihaela Moscaliuc, Associate Professor in the Department of English. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

March 22: Fulbright U.S. Student Program Information Session

Fulbright Student Scholarship Program Information Session Event Flyer

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Are you a student or recent graduate of Monmouth University interested in attaining enhanced global understanding? Do you seek cross-cultural experiences and the opportunity to aid the world through service, research, and teaching? If so, please join us for a national interactive Group Presentation Session (GPS) to learn about Fulbright awards, the application process, and tips for success in the 2022-2023 application cycle, which begins on April 1, 2021.

March 25-27: The Institute for Global Understanding Biennial Symposium

March 31: COVID-19 Impact on Migrant Workers Globally and Locally: Vaccine Access Equity?

Photo image of event flyer for COVID 19 Impact of Migrant Workers Globally and Locally_ Vaccine Access Equity?

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7:30 – 9 p.m. via Zoom
Virtual Panel Discussion
This esteemed panel will discuss the disproportionate impact that the COVID-19 virus has had on migrant populations globally and locally. Discussions will address the additional suffering that this already marginalized group of people has had to endure during this pandemic. A focus will be placed on vaccine nationalism and what this has meant for vaccine access in the migrant population. Register online.

April 8: Global Ocean Governance Lecture Series Panel

The Monmouth University Institute for Global Understanding (IGU) and Urban Coast Institute (UCI) will host the free expert panel discussion Global Fisheries Governance and Social Justice on April 8 from noon to 1:15 p.m. The panel will address the intersection of fisheries governance and social justice in different contexts around the world. Panelists will discuss the use of area-based management tools to support sustainable small-scale fisheries in Latin America, the response to illegal fishing in regional Indian Ocean governance, and how to promote social equity in ocean governance to help coastal indigenous communities adapt to environmental impacts to the oceans. The event will be held online via Zoom. Attendees will receive an email with the access link after submitting their registration. More information and online registration are available.

April 14: Human Rights & the Environment: Perspectives from India Panel

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9 – 10:30 a.m. via Zoom
Virtual Panel Discussion

Moderated by Prof. Randall Abate, this panel features experts on a wide range of emerging challenges that India faces at the intersection of human rights and the environment including climate justice litigation, the interplay between sustainable development and the rights of indigenous communities, climate change communication and climate migration, and the relationship between climate migration and human trafficking. The event is free and open to the public.

April 15: World Cinema Series – Women at War

9 – 10:30 a.m. via Zoom
Virtual Panel Discussion
Promotional Image for Women at War virtual panel discussion
Join us for a World Cinema Series zoom discussion illuminating the theme “A Delicate Balance: Global Communities and the Natural World” by analyzing the message and impact the 2018 film, Woman at War. Set in Iceland the film is a drama, with moments of whimsical comedy, about Halla, a 50-year old environmental activist determined to halt the construction of a new aluminum smelter near Reykjavik by destroying power lines and thwarting negotiations between the government of Iceland and a corporation and community eager to see the contracts awarded. Yet, it is her personal, ethical crisis that brings this drama, based on actual events, to a stirring conclusion. Free and open to the public, but registration is required.

IGU Statement Condemning Anti-Asian Violence

The Institute for Global Understanding “fulfills Monmouth University’s broad mission of engaging students, faculty, and staff in fostering diversity, equality, global understanding, leadership, and social justice.” Its core purpose is to educate people toward understanding each other, fully rejecting misinformed hateful ideologies, thoughts, words, bias, oppression, and marginalization, as well as their subsequent hateful consequences.

The heinous acts that have been and are being committed against our Asian, Asian American, Desi, and Pacific Islander communities are shocking and deplorable. We recognize the intersectional nature of the attacks, with Asian women and the elderly disproportionately targeted.

We at the IGU strongly condemn these intolerant, racist, xenophobic, and gendered acts and join President Leahy and the rest of the Monmouth community in proudly standing in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, Desi, and Pacific Islander community members. We invite all to join us in our work of promoting cultural literacy, anti-racist language, and citizenship, and of advancing our shared institutional values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

IGU Graduate Assistant Is Semi-Finalist for Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Photo of Victoria CattelonaVictoria Cattelona, a Monmouth University graduate student in the M.A.T. program and a graduate assistant to the Institute for Global Understanding (IGU), has been selected as a Semi-Finalist for the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program for 2021-2022. Her application for a Fulbright English-Teaching Assistantship to the Czech Republic has been endorsed by the U.S. National Screening Committee and recommended to the host country for further review.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

The IGU congratulates Victoria on this significant accomplishment and wishes her the best of luck in the final selection process!

Image announces Ruth Awad, Lebanese-American Poet, event of poetry reading and discussion on February 24, 20214

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Image of event flyer for IHelene Quanquin: click or tap to view and download

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