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KU events this week: Sandra Fluke talk, Africa Windmill Project



Here's another entry in our list of events for this week, courtesy of the Hall Center for the Humanities: Andrew Preston, an American history lecturer at Cambridge University, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Hall Center about the role that religion has played in U.S. foreign relations through history. You can read about/listen to his appearance on NPR's "Fresh Air" last year if you'd like to know more.


Spring break may be over, and it may be freezing outside with snow all over the place, but look at all these KU events coming your way this week! Here's your weekly roundup:

• Women's rights activist Sandra Fluke will be at KU on Wednesday to give this year's Emily Taylor and Marilyn Stokstad Women's Leadership Lecture. That talk is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union.

The lecture is named for two leaders on women's rights issues at KU, and this installment, called "Making our Voices Heard," will address the need for women to speak up on issues important to them.

• Tuesday evening is another Dole Institute of Politics spring event: "Empowering and Sustaining Malawi: Africa Windmill Project," 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Dole Institute. John Drake, whose Africa Windmill Project helps provide farmers in Malawi with sustainable agricultural and clean drinking water, will talk about the project and how people can get involved.

If you can't make it to the Dole Institute, you can catch the event on Knology channel 31 or AT&T U-verse channel 99, or streaming online right here, courtesy of the KU School of Journalism.

• A married pair of scholars from Vanderbilt University will visit KU this week, with one giving a talk on African-American issues and the other signing copies of a book on being the parent of a son with bipolar disorder.

Houston A. Baker Jr., a distinguished professor at Vanderbilt, will give a talk Wednesday called "Why Are Black Public Intellectuals Afraid of the Ocean?: Slave Ships, Diaspora Literacy, and Cultural Erasures in the Age of Obama." It's part of the English department's American Lecture series, and it will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Big 12 Room at the Kansas Union. Baker is also a former president of the Modern Language Association, and he's written a number of books on African-American arts and politics.

And Charlotte Pierce-Baker will appear for a book signing and reception from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Jayhawk Ink in the Kansas Union. She's a professor of women's and gender studies and English at Vanderbilt, and she'll be signing copies of "This Fragile Life: A Mother's Story of a Bipolar Son," about confronting the reality of her high-achieving son's disorder.

• Another event on a busy Wednesday evening: A talk by Steve Rabson, a professor emeritus at Brown University, with the fairly self-explanatory title of "Compulsory Suicides of Civilians During the Battle of Okinawa."

It will address how the Japanese Imperial Army forced hundreds of Okinawan civilians to commit suicide rather than be captured by U.S. forces during World War II. That's 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Malott Room at the Kansas Union. It's the annual Grant Goodman Distinguished Lecture in Japanese Studies, sponsored by the KU Center for East Asian Studies.

• And finally, one more thing to put on your calendar for Wednesday: Heard on the Hill Office Hours, 9 a.m. to noon in the Media Crossroads at the Kansas Union. Come tell me what I should be writing about, what I'm doing that annoys you or when you're planning to send your KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com.

As always, if I missed anything, please add it onto the list via the comments below.

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