Macalester’s 20th Annual International Roundtable, Oct. 10-12

Katherine Ehrenreich '14 and Marlys Mandaville '15, Global Health, oil on canvas, 2013 (detail)

St. Paul, Minn. – Macalester College presents its 20th annual International Roundtable with the theme, “Global Health: Promoting Equity Within and Across Borders,” Thu. – Sat., Oct. 10 – 12, 2013, in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, Minn.  The Roundtable is sponsored by the Institute for Global Citizenship and is free and open to the public.

This academic year, 2013-2014, the Macalester community will examine global health. The International Roundtable will critically examine recent progress in light of existing and emerging challenges in global health through three main dimensions: health as a human right, reaching the poor through innovation, and public-private collaborations. Plenary sessions and student-led workshops will explore the multifaceted nature of health disparities around the world, examine the root causes of these disparities, and highlight innovative solutions to health priorities.

People who attend the Roundtable will be better positioned to:

  1. Understand the intricate links between health and socio-economic development
  2. Explore inequities and disparities in health, examining their social, political, financial, cultural and technical root causes
  3. Recognize the factors contributing to progress in some areas of global health, examine remaining and emerging barriers to progress
  4. Identify the contributions that can be made to improving global health by various disciplines and determine personal actions to promote health equity

Plenary speakers and schedule:

Thu., Oct. 10

Nafis Sadik, a national of Pakistan, is a former Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General with specific assignment as Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (2002-2011).  She served as Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) from 1987-2000, and was the first woman in the United Nations to head one of its major voluntarily funded programs. Sadik has consistently called attention to the importance of addressing the needs of women, and of involving women directly in making and carrying out development policy.  Born in Jaunpur, India, Sadik’s contribution to improving the health of women and children of the global community has brought her many international awards and honors. Full bio. 

* 9 – 10:40 a.m.  – Sadik’s talk is titled, “Improving Health, Empowering Women”

Sonia Shah is an investigative journalist and author of critically acclaimed and prize-winning books on science, human rights, and international politics. Her latest book, The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years, described by international malaria expert Malcolm Molyneux as “thrilling” and “astonishing,” and by the New York Times as “tour-de-force history,” is based on five years of original reportage in Cameroon, Malawi, Panama and elsewhere.  Shah has been featured on current affairs shows on outlets such as NPR as well as the BBC and Australia’s Radio National. Her writing on science, global health, and politics have appeared in a range of publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Le Monde Diplomatique to Scientific American and Foreign Affairs.  Full bio.

* 10:55 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. – Shah’s talk is titled, “Private Interests, Public Health: the role of corporations in the global fight against disease”  

* 12:30 – 1 p.m.Book Signing – Shah will sign copies of her latest book The Fever, John B. Davis Foyer, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center. Books courtesy of Common Good Books.

Fri., Oct. 11

Lawrence Gostin is the Linda D. and Timothy J. O’Neill Professor of Global Health Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he directs the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Gostin is the Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights. He is also Professor of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.  He has led major law reform initiatives in the U.S., including the drafting of the Model Emergency Health Powers Act (MEHPA) to combat bioterrorism. He is also leading a drafting team on developing a Model Public Health Law for the World Health Organization.  Full bio. 

* 10:50 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Gostin’s talk is titled, “Imagining Global Health with Justice”

Sue Williamson is a visual artist, a writer, and an activist living in Cape Town, South Africa. Williamson belongs to the pioneering generation of South African artists who vigorously opposed the apartheid regime. Working in installation, photography, and video, she continues to address social issues, mediating contemporary history through the voices of the people who are living through it. In recent years, she has also extended her art practice to projects in Egypt, Cuba, Zimbabwe, the United States, and Europe.  Full bio.

* 12:10 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. – Williamson’s talk is titled “AIDS, Activism, and The Arts”

To sustain the theme of global health in the community, other projects include: an art installation examining mental health and forms of expression; a poetry slam/soapboxing event exploring health in a global setting; empty canvases for community members to paint representations of equity and disparity; and a community-based learning class partnering with MN AIDS Project on public expressions of health.

There will also be 16 student-led workshops scheduled at various times Thursday afternoon, Friday morning, and Saturday afternoon. Students will be moderating discussions that will explore specific aspects of health and health disparities. In most cases, the sessions will include remarks by thought-leaders who will be joining by video and/or in person. For example, a physician from Pakistan who runs a free hospital, a midwife from Kenya who attends deliveries in slum areas near Nairobi, the director of WHO from the U.N. office in New York, and many others. Additional speakers include several other Macalester faculty and students.

Every October, Macalester hosts the International Roundtable, a community-wide and globally-focused forum exploring critical issues from a variety of perspectives. Macalester invites speakers, academics, practitioners, and performers to offer their work and experiences to galvanize student engagement and prompt global thinking through plenary sessions, workshops, and campus-wide activities.

Previous Roundtables have featured:

  • 1994 The International Community and the Emerging World (Dis) Order
  • 1995 Literature, the Creative Imagination, and Globalization
  • 1996 The Divided Self: Ethnicity, Identity, and Globalization
  • 1997 Nature, People, and Globalization
  • 1998 Globalization and Economic Space
  • 1999 Contending Gods: Religion and the Global Moment
  • 2000 International Feminisms: Divergent Perspectives
  • 2001 The Body: Meditations on Global Health
  • 2002 Prometheus’s Bequest: Technology and Change
  • 2003 Complex Contradictions: African, American, and Middle Eastern Perspectives
  • 2004 America and Global Power: Empire or . . . ?
  • 2005 Quixotic Offspring: The Global Legacy of Don Quixote
  • 2006 The United Nations Organization (UNO): What Future?
  • 2007 The Musical Imagination in the Epoch of Globalization
  • 2008 Whither Development? The Struggle for Livelihood in the Time of Globalization
  • 2009 Global Environment: The Eleventh Hour?
  • 2010 “My Sister’s and Brother’s Keeper? Human Rights in the Era of Globalization”
  • 2011 “Children of the World: The Dialectic of Promise and Vulnerability
  • 2012 Feeding the World: Globalization, Food, and Agriculture in the 21st Century

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,035 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

September 13 2013

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