AFSOAS Alumni & Friends Trip: GHANA!
Jan
27
to Feb 6

AFSOAS Alumni & Friends Trip: GHANA!

Please join us for our first-ever American Friends of SOAS "Alumni & Friends" trip -- we are heading to GHANA!

JANUARY 27th - FEBRUARY 6th, 2019

ACCRA  *  HO  *  NKWANTA  *  KUMASI  *  CAPE COAST

$2500/person (exclusive of airfare & visa)

During this trip we will spend several days with Dr. Felix Ameka, a Ghanaian academic and collaborator with SOAS's Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) learning about the work to document critically endangered languages in Ghana and doing site visits with some of these communities (including Animere -& Adele-speaking communities). We will also enjoy a lecture at the University of Ghana - Legon, an exchange with the local alumni association in Ghana, and a full schedule of sightseeing, learning and cultural engagement as we travel through Accra, Ho, Nkwanta, Kumasi and Cape Coast!

Though this trip is intended for American alumni of SOAS and their family & friends, anyone with an interest in learning and travel is most welcome to apply. Space is limited to 20 persons though, so it is advisable to apply early.

The per person program fee is inclusive of all the following:

  1. Double room / shared accommodation for 10 nights at mid-range hotels.

    *A single room supplement is also available for an additional $500.

  2. All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and bottled water for the duration of the trip itinerary (11 days)

  3. Basic emergency medical evacuation insurance (through United Healthcare)

  4. All scheduled activities and related entry & participation fees

  5. Local transportation (through a privately hired vehicle & driver) for the duration of the trip itinerary (11 days)

  6. Essential tips for hotel and restaurant staff, drivers, guides, etc.

  7. A Trip Lead (ie: AFSOAS representative) who will manage all itinerary-related logistical arrangements and issues for the duration of the trip

The following are not included in the trip program fee and are the sole responsibility of the participant to cover:

  1. Roundtrip airfare (arriving at and departing from Accra International Airport) to and from the participant’s chosen departure airport

  2. Passport fees & immunizations

  3. Visa for Ghana (you are responsible for applying and securing your own travel visa to the country)

  4. Any travel, medical, or other insurance

  5. Excess baggage charges

  6. Alcoholic beverages

  7. Any personal shopping

  8. Any additional tips for any hotel or restaurant staff, drivers, guides, etc.

Please use the following links to download the application materials. When complete, please send your application materials and nonrefundable deposit of $500 (preferably a check made out to “American Friends of SOAS”) to: American Friends of SOAS, PO Box 2744, Orange, CA 92859. You may also email a copy of your application materials to afsoas1@gmail.com to further expedite the process of securing your spot, but we still require that you mail us the physical completed application materials with your original signature.

For any questions, please contact us at afsoas1@gmail.com.

afsoas ghana trip flyer.jpg
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Los Angeles: Private Tour of LACMA Exhibit Celebrating Sri Lanka's Independence
Mar
10
11:00 AM11:00

Los Angeles: Private Tour of LACMA Exhibit Celebrating Sri Lanka's Independence

“The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka”

Sunday, March 10th, 2019 (date subject to change)

Meet at LACMA Entrance no later than 11:00am

Lunch to follow at Commerson (788 S La Brea Ave., LA, 90036)

Please RSVP to Greg at afsoas1@gmail.com

Fellow alumni & Angelinos - please join us for a very special event on Sunday, March 10th at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). We have set up a private tour of a special exhibit celebrating Sri Lanka’s 70 years of independence. Our guides will be Mrs. Margaret Dodd, widow of Reg Van Cuylenburg (an artist and photographer whose black & white photographs of Ceylon in the 1950s will be on display), Mr. Ravi Gunewardena (the architect who designed the exhibit), and possibly Bindu Gude (exhibit curator).

Following the exhibit tour, we will head to Commerson Restaurant just down the street for lunch. It is about a 20-minute walk or 5-minute drive away. Please note that each guest will be expected to cover the cost of their own meal.

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT

The first comprehensive survey of Sri Lankan art organized by an American museum, The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka presents some 250 works addressing nearly two millennia of Sri Lankan history. The image of a bejeweled isle, first invoked in Greco-Roman accounts of Sri Lanka’s precious gems, inspired numerous literary descriptions of the island’s wealth and tropical beauty. The Jeweled Isle includes precious decorative objects fashioned from gold, silver, and ivory, and 19th-century photographs documenting Sri Lanka’s extraordinary monuments, scenery, and flora. Several artworks convey the importance of sacred sites and relics in Sri Lankan Buddhist practice, while rare images of Hindu gods attest to the long and constant interaction between Sri Lanka and South India. Exquisite ivories, textiles, and furnishings further reflect nearly four centuries of European colonial presence in Sri Lanka and the dynamic interaction between local and foreign visual traditions. Featuring LACMA’s rarely displayed collection of Sri Lankan art—one of the finest and most extensive in the U.S—the exhibition presents a timely exploration and celebration of a geographically complex, ethnically diverse, and multicultural South Asian hub. This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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California: Festive Season Party for SOAS Alumni & Friends
Dec
9
12:00 PM12:00

California: Festive Season Party for SOAS Alumni & Friends

  • Cupertino, CA 95014 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

We are thrilled to invite all of our California-based alumni to an "At Home" festive season party hosted by the AFSOAS Vice-President, Dr Bharti Kansara in Cupertino, CA on Sunday December 9th 2018 from 12-3pm.

A lunch of Indo-Persian cuisine and mulled wine will be provided.

Both Jessica Adomako and guest Saprina Panday, an International multimedia storyteller passionate about feminism and intersectionality, will be giving talks.

kumasi.jpg

This will be an opportunity to gather with other local SOAS alumni and hear more about the winter alumni tour of Ghana planned for January 27th 2019. Alumni will be travelling through Ghana with Dr Felix Ameka, Professor at the University of Leiden and the purpose of the trip is to learn about the work to document critically endangered languages in Ghana and site visits with some of these communities (including Animere -& Adele-speaking communities). We will also enjoy a lecture at the University of Ghana - Legon, an exchange with the local alumni association in Ghana, and a full schedule of sightseeing, learning and cultural engagement as they travel through Accra, Ho, Nkwanta, Kumasi and Cape Coast.

Whilst this trip is intended for American alumni of SOAS and their family & friends, anyone with an interest in learning and travel is most welcome to apply. Space is limited to 20 persons though, so it is advisable to apply early.

From this trip, it is our goal to provide 2 prospective Ghanaian students with scholarships to undertake a 2-week intensive course on the Endangered Language Documentation Programme ELDP at SOAS next fall.


FESTIVE SEASON PARTY - TICKETS:

 

$90 for those in the private sector

$50 for those in the public

$25 for students

*All proceeds benefit the Ghana Endangered Languages Scholars Fund

Please register for this event direct at AFSOAS1@gmail.com and you'll then be given contact details and the address of the event in Cupertino. We hope to see you there!

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DC: Alumni Mixer
Nov
1
6:00 PM18:00

DC: Alumni Mixer

Come get to know some of your fellow SOAS alumni at a mixer on Thursday, November 1st @ 6:00pm at Local 16 Restaurant (1602 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009), and learn more about our upcoming (first-ever!) “AFSOAS Alumni & Friends Trip” to GHANA this January 27th - February 6th, 2019!

For any questions and to RSVP, please contact Whitney (DC Alumni Ambassador) at whitney.purdum@gmail.com or send us an email at afsoas1@gmail.com. Thanks and see you there!

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Stanford University: Talk by Prof. Edward Simpson - "A Road Trip through the Heart of Modern India"
Oct
25
12:00 PM12:00

Stanford University: Talk by Prof. Edward Simpson - "A Road Trip through the Heart of Modern India"

Title of Talk: “State Highway 31: A Road Trip through the Heart of Modern India”

Speaker: Professor Edward Simpson, Director of the South Asia Institute, SOAS

Venue: Stanford University campus, Encina Hall West, Room 219

Sponsors: Stanford Center for South Asia

RSVP: By sending an email to afsoas1@gmail.com

*Lunch with alumni to follow event

Talk Abstract
"State Highway 31: A Road Trip through the Heart of Modern India"

This talk follows the route of State Highway 31 through western Madhya Pradesh, central India. The research was part of a larger project looking at the ideas behind the production of infrastructure in South Asia. This journey takes us through landscapes of sex work and opium, some of the oldest nationalist networks in the country, and along the fault-lines of long-running tensions between local communities. The road was one of a series built as a public private partnership and, as such, speaks of the reconfiguration of state relations with private capital and business. Toll booths become places of company ethos, education and for the creation of new kinds of citizens. The nexus of government and private enterprise takes us on a dizzying journey through the world’s tax havens and onto the decks of luxury yachts. Exploring the broader political economy of the road and the organisation of institutions and travellers that sustain it encourages questions about the nature of governance and power in the country.

Speaker Bio
Edward Simpson is a Social Anthropologist and Director of the South Asia Institute at SOAS University of London. He is currently interested in the relationship between infrastructure, automobility and the global-sustainability agenda. From previous research he wrote: The Political Biography of an Earthquake: Aftermath and Amnesia in Gujarat, India. (Hurst 2013). He is the Principal Investigator on a five-year project funded by the European Research Council looking at infrastructure across South Asia. This work is being undertaken in partnership with the Mumbai-based artists CAMP.

*Please RSVP to afsoas1@gmail.com if you plan to attend

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UC Berkeley: Talk by Prof. Edward Simpson - "A Road Trip through the Heart of Modern India"
Oct
24
12:00 PM12:00

UC Berkeley: Talk by Prof. Edward Simpson - "A Road Trip through the Heart of Modern India"

Speaker: Edward Simpson, Social Anthropologist and Director of the South Asia Institute, SOAS

Sponsors: Institute for South Asia Studies, Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies

Location: UC Berekely campus, Stephens Hall, 10 (ISAS Conference Room)

RSVP: By sending an email to afsoas1@gmail.com

Talk Abstract
"State Highway 31: A Road Trip through the Heart of Modern India"

This talk follows the route of State Highway 31 through western Madhya Pradesh, central India. The research was part of a larger project looking at the ideas behind the production of infrastructure in South Asia. This journey takes us through landscapes of sex work and opium, some of the oldest nationalist networks in the country, and along the fault-lines of long-running tensions between local communities. The road was one of a series built as a public private partnership and, as such, speaks of the reconfiguration of state relations with private capital and business. Toll booths become places of company ethos, education and for the creation of new kinds of citizens. The nexus of government and private enterprise takes us on a dizzying journey through the world’s tax havens and onto the decks of luxury yachts. Exploring the broader political economy of the road and the organisation of institutions and travellers that sustain it encourages questions about the nature of governance and power in the country.

Speaker Bio
Edward Simpson is a Social Anthropologist and Director of the South Asia Institute at SOAS University of London. He is currently interested in the relationship between infrastructure, automobility and the global-sustainability agenda. From previous research he wrote: The Political Biography of an Earthquake: Aftermath and Amnesia in Gujarat, India. (Hurst 2013). He is the Principal Investigator on a five-year project funded by the European Research Council looking at infrastructure across South Asia. This work is being undertaken in partnership with the Mumbai-based artists CAMP.

PARKING INFORMATION
Please note that parking is not always easily available in Berkeley. Take public transportation if possible or arrive early to secure your spot.

This event is FREE and OPEN to the public. Please RSVP to afsoas1@gmail.com if you plan to attend.

*Lunch with alumni to follow event

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Los Angeles: "Pints with the Prof" @ Tuck Room Tavern
Oct
21
6:00 PM18:00

Los Angeles: "Pints with the Prof" @ Tuck Room Tavern

Alumni & Prospective Students - join us for a meet & greet with visiting SOAS Professor and Director of the South Asia Institute, Prof. Edward Simpson, at the The Tuck Room Tavern (near UCLA) on Sunday, October 21st @ 6:00pm!

Prof. Simpson will give a summation of his current research & studies and other happenings at the SOAS South Asia Institute.

For prospective students, this is also a great opportunity to meet and ask questions of a SOAS professor and SOAS alumni.

As space is limited with our current reservation, please RSVP to Greg at afsoas1@gmail.com to secure a seat. Guests welcome.

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NYC: "Pints with the Prof" @ Harlem Tavern
Oct
16
7:30 PM19:30

NYC: "Pints with the Prof" @ Harlem Tavern

Alumni & Prospective Students - join us for a meet & greet with visiting SOAS Professor and Director of the South Asia Institute, Prof. Edward Simpson, at the Harlem Tavern (near Columbia University) on Tuesday, October 16th @ 7:30pm!

Prof. Simpson will give a summation of his current research & studies and other happenings at the SOAS South Asia Institute.

For prospective students, this is also a great opportunity to meet and ask questions of a SOAS professor and SOAS alumni.

As space is limited with our current reservation, please RSVP to Brent at brentwsiegel@gmail.com or to afsoas1@gmail.com to secure a seat.

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Documentary & Movie from Ghana and Nigeria - Silicon Valley African Film Festival
Oct
6
5:30 PM17:30

Documentary & Movie from Ghana and Nigeria - Silicon Valley African Film Festival

5:30pm - Introduction to the African Film Festival by talented Alumnus Federico Olivieri (who helped organize the first African Slum Film Festival in Nairobi, Kenya)

6:00pm - 35-minute documentary from Ghana: "Oku - The Herbalist and Sculptor," which features Dr. Oku Ampofo - Ghanaian physician, herbalist and sculptor.

Afterward, we will enjoy a delicious African meal at the Festival or at a nearby restaurant.

8:00pm - 77-minute feature film from Nigeria: "The Lost Cafe," which is about a girl's decision to rise above dark family secrets & culture shock and live her life abroad.

For details and to purchase a day pass, see Silicon Valley African Film Festival.

If you plan on joining our AFSOAS group, please RSVP to Bharti Kansara at bkansara@yahoo.com or to afsoas1@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you there!

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The Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF) was founded to confront the sad reality that after over 50 years of post-colonial rule in Africa, most of Africa’s narrative is still presented to the world through a foreign lens with narratives that have created blurred interpretations and perceptions of Africa and Africans. The affordability of filmmaking tools in the last few decades; prompted an exponential growth of the African film industry with African filmmakers eager to share the true stories, hopes and dreams of Africa with the global community. For African filmmakers, substantive issues of the day are, through a wide range of narrative, aesthetic and thematic strands, more common concerns than escapist and sensationalist fares. In this, African cinema challenges not just the complex networks of ignorance, prejudices and stereotypes underpinning Africa’s pernicious misrepresentation as a place of turmoil, deprivation and ambiguity. SVAFF presents Africa through the African Lens!

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Alumni Happy Hour & Networking - Philadelphia
Sep
26
6:00 PM18:00

Alumni Happy Hour & Networking - Philadelphia

Join us for a fun and insightful evening at Harper's Garden on Wednesday, September 26th from 6-9pm. In addition to a short talk by a guest speaker, we will be sharing all the details of our upcoming alumni trip to GHANA scheduled for January 27th - February 6th, 2019, as well as our plans to establish a strong SOAS alumni network in Philadelphia. If you are interested in getting involved or learning more, we strongly encourage you to attend.

Drinks and refreshments will be served.

Suggested minimum donation of $20. All donations will support our efforts to bring 2 scholars from Ghana to receive training at the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme at SOAS in Fall 2019, in an effort to help them document and preserve their respective communities' languages.

To RSVP: please email us at afsoas1@gmail.com

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Alumni Happy Hour @ Kapoor Galleries - NYC
Sep
25
6:00 PM18:00

Alumni Happy Hour @ Kapoor Galleries - NYC

Join us for a fun and insightful evening at the beautiful Kapoor Galleries. Drinks and refreshments will be served, and we will be sharing all the details of our upcoming alumni trip to GHANA scheduled for January 27th - February 6th, 2019!

Suggested minimum donation of $20. All donations will support our efforts to bring 2 scholars from Ghana to receive training at the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme at SOAS in Fall 2019, in an effort to help them document and preserve their respective communities' languages.

About Kapoor Galleries
Since 1975, Kapoor Galleries Inc. has played an instrumental role in educating the public about Ancient and Classical Fine Arts of India and the Himalayas and encouraging interest in Indian art among collectors and institutions. Kapoor Galleries Inc. is consistently the privileged custodian of top-quality bronzes, sculptures, miniatures, and thangkas, many of which are now part of the collections of major museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, The San Diego Museum of Art, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

To RSVP: please email us at afsoas1@gmail.com

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Gathering of American Alumni in London
Aug
16
7:00 PM19:00

Gathering of American Alumni in London

All SOAS American alumni & students are invited to join us for drinks at the Marquis Cornwallis (near campus at the Brunswick Centre) to learn more about AFSOAS, get to know our current President (Greg Buie) and Vice President (Bharti Kansara), and hear details of our first-ever AFSOAS alumni trip to Ghana scheduled for January 2019!

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San Francisco: "After the Thrill is Gone: Fashion, Politics and Culture in Contemporary South African Art" @ Museum of African Diaspora
Aug
12
12:00 PM12:00

San Francisco: "After the Thrill is Gone: Fashion, Politics and Culture in Contemporary South African Art" @ Museum of African Diaspora

Do you like fashion? Did you study politics at SOAS? Were you ever affiliated with any boycott, divestment, or sanctions movement? What do these three topics have in common? Join us for the first time as we explore the answer at the Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) in an exhibit titled "After the Thrill is Gone: Fashion, Politics and Culture in Contemporary South African Art". Following the exhibit join us for lunch at Amawele's South African Kitchen.

The exhibit titled "After the Thrill is Gone: Fashion, Politics and Culture in Contemporary South African Art" features fourteen artists who read the political climate of post-apartheid South Africa through fashion’s embrace of the “new.” Signalling an end to race-based legislation and the often violent, discriminatory practices of apartheid and its colonial antecedents, Nelson Mandela’s victory in the 1994 elections marked the transition toward a new South Africa.

This will be a great opportunity to meet other alumni in the area and hear news from SOAS. We try to host a few events throughout the year. This is a very casual event focused on reaching out to new alumni as well as our wonderful alumni base to make new friendships and renew existing ties.

Please register for this event HERE.

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An Evening with Alumni in Addis Ababa
Aug
8
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with Alumni in Addis Ababa

One of AFSOAS's priorities this year is to forge stronger relations with students & alumni from across Africa, so that we can learn from & support each other and create bonds between SOAS alumni here in North America with our counterparts in countries throughout Africa.

We are thrilled to announce we will be hosting an alumni gathering in Addis Ababa on the evening of Wednesday, August 8th at The Vault Lounge. Please join us for a drink, networking, and conversation with fellow alumni & friends. We will also be sharing plans for our upcoming alumni trip to Ghana in early 2019.

We look forward to seeing you!

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Los Angeles: "Silk, Slaves, and Stupas: The Many Pasts of China’s Future in Central Asia"
May
15
7:30 PM19:30

Los Angeles: "Silk, Slaves, and Stupas: The Many Pasts of China’s Future in Central Asia"

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In her new book, "Silk, Slaves and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road," scholar and traveler Susan Whitfield (a SOAS alumna) tells the stories of 10 very different objects. She considers their interactions with the peoples and cultures of the Silk Road—those who made, carried, received, sold, worshipped, and, in more recent times, bought, conserved, collected, and exhibited them—thereby revealing the cultural diversity and interaction along these trading routes of Afro-Eurasia. UCLA distinguished professor Peter Sellars joins Whitfield in conversation.

Book signing to follow.

This event is free to attend!

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San Francisco: SOAS-Cambridge Mixer
May
15
6:30 PM18:30

San Francisco: SOAS-Cambridge Mixer

You are invited to join Alumni Ambassador Bharti Kansara (PhD South Asian Studies) and other alumni in San Francisco for an informal SOAS-Cambridge mixer. This will be a great opportunity to meet other alumni in the area and hear news from SOAS and other UK universities.

Get your tickets / RSVP here: https://www.soasworld.org/soas-cambridge-may-mixer

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CISD Mini-Lecture & Alumni Mixer (Washington, DC)
Apr
26
7:00 PM19:00

CISD Mini-Lecture & Alumni Mixer (Washington, DC)

Calling all Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) alumni -- please join visiting SOAS staff and fellow CISD alumni for a mini-lecture by Dr. Ashley Cox (Convenor - History and Future of the United Nations), followed by a reception at the beautiful W Hotel overlooking the White House.

Please RSVP by clicking HERE

 

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Bay Area: Dinner w/ Dr. Ashley Cox
Apr
7
5:00 PM17:00

Bay Area: Dinner w/ Dr. Ashley Cox

We are delighted to invite you to a special dinner with SOAS' Dr Ashley Cox (Centre of International Studies and Diplomacy). The evening will be a chance to hear about his work and research, and hopefully prompt a stimulating debate over good food, and with great company.

This is a great opportunity to connect with SOAS alumni in San Francisco and meet Dr. Ashley Cox. We look forward to welcoming you to the event. Please RSVP by 5pm (PDT) Thursday, April 5th: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/san-francisco-dinner-with-soas-dr-ashley-cox-7-april-great-china-restaurant-tickets-44803067180

Ashley Cox has completed his PhD at the University of Leicester examining the Wilson motivations for American Conflicts. Having completed an MA in International Security and a Bachelors degree in Contemporary History and a Fulbright Sponsored course In American Studies at New York University.

*Please note that we kindly ask all alumni to cover their own costs

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NYC Alumni Happy Hour & Networking
Mar
26
6:30 PM18:30

NYC Alumni Happy Hour & Networking

Please join AFSOAS President Greg Buie (M.A. International Studies & Diplomacy - 2007) & Vice President Dr. Bharti Kansari (PhD, South Asian Studies - 1975)for a memorable evening of learning and exchange.

We are delighted to have Dr. Tom Grunfeld (M.A. Far East Area Studies - 1973) with us to share his insights on recent current events in China & North Korea.

We will also be sharing some exciting new updates about AFSOAS, including plans for our first-ever "Alumni & Friends Trip," for which we will be heading to...GHANA!

Wine & appetizers will be served.

Tax-deductible donations in any amount for the John Loiello Scholarship and the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (with a focus on Ghana this year) will be gladly accepted.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Meet the New AFSOAS Board + Reflections on Alumni Experiences in Ethiopia & Kenya
Mar
1
6:30 PM18:30

Meet the New AFSOAS Board + Reflections on Alumni Experiences in Ethiopia & Kenya

suny new paltz trip 2016.jpg

Our AFSOAS Vice President Bharti Kansara (PhD, South Asian Studies - 1975) and Secretary Jessica Adomako (Study Abroad - 2012) invite you to join us for a special get-together at the beautiful University Club in San Francisco on March 1st, 2018.

Our new AFSOAS President Mr. Greg Buie (MA, International Studies and Diplomacy - 2007) will be on-hand to share his insights about the future of AFSOAS and how you - our fellow alumni & friends - can stay connected to the university, fellow students & alumni, and lifelong learning opportunities. Greg will also be speaking about his experiences running a nonprofit organization in Ethiopia, where his organization Visions Global Empowerment seeks specifically to help promote the development of Deaf civil society.

Presenting SFF.jpg

We are also delighted to have Dr. Federico Olivieri (MA, Global Media and Postnational Communication - 2009) with us to share about his experience in organizing the Slum Film Festival in Nairobi, Kenya.

A Q&A session will follow these presentations, along with time for socializing & networking. We hope you can join us!

 

 

6:30 - 7:00pm: Welcome and Meet & Greet with your new AFSOAS Board

7:00 - 7:30pm: "Allies in Development: Reflections on Running a Nonprofit in Ethiopia" - Greg Buie

7:30 - 8:00pm: "Digital Storytelling and Development from the Urban Margins: The Slum Film Festival in Nairobi" by Dr. Federico Olivieri

8:00 - 8:30pm: Q&A and Socializing/Networking

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What’s the Future for Human Rights and Democracy in a Post-Western World?
Dec
8
6:30 PM18:30

What’s the Future for Human Rights and Democracy in a Post-Western World?

A Talk by SOAS Professor Stephen Hopgood

Please join us for an exciting talk with Stephen Hopgood -- Pro-Director (International) at SOAS & Professor of International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Studies.

As Pro-Director, Dr. Hopgood is responsible for enhancing SOAS’s international profile, especially in developing partnerships with higher education providers, businesses, governments and NGOs, in all areas of research and education. In terms of publications, most recently he was co-editor (with Jack Snyder and Leslie Vinjamuri) of the book Human Rights Futures (Cambridge University Press, 2017) in which he has a chapter titled: ‘Human Rights: On the Road to Nowhere.’ He is the author of The Endtimes of Human Rights (Cornell University Press, 2013) and Keepers of the Flame: Understanding Amnesty International (Cornell University Press, 2006). In addition, he has published on US foreign environmental policy, the future of humanitarianism and the Responsibility to Protect. For recent online posts, see ‘Fascism Rising,’ openGlobalRights, Nov. 9, 2016, available at: https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/stephen-hopgood/fascism-rising, and ‘Losing the battle for hearts and minds,’ openGlobalRights, Oct. 10, 2017, at: https://www.openglobalrights.org/Losing-the-Battle-for-Hearts-and-Minds/?lang=English.

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Tales of Transformation: Comparing the Metamorphosis of Ancient Indian and Greek Epic Heroes
Oct
29
11:00 AM11:00

Tales of Transformation: Comparing the Metamorphosis of Ancient Indian and Greek Epic Heroes

A Talk by SOAS Vice President Bharti Kansara (PhD - Political Studies)

Greek and Indian civilizations interacted through Indus Valley trade, Alexander’s conquests and the spread of Hellenism to India with its concept of the cosmopolis. This talk will depict, through analysing dramatic verse, mantra and bardic singing, and visual representation, the forces shaping the struggles of Indian epic heroes Sahastra Arjuna, Parshurama and Alarka of the classic compendium, the Dutta Mahatmya, compared with the forces shaping the great Homeric heroes Hector, Achilles and Odysseus. These forces include the role of destiny (daiva), karma and individual suffering and responsibility, showing the interplay between spiritual and humanistic thinking in shaping the hero’s moral consciousness, and how male and female energies contribute to cathartic resolution as seen in the story of Renuka.

Dr. Kansara is Author and Educator at FlashpointInteract.com, which seeks to empower High School students in the study of the Humanities, so they can rise to their full potential through the use of interactive content and methods. Her past experience includes being an editor in academic publishing at the Open University in England, one of the first educational institutions to pioneer long-distance teaching through interactive media; member of the BBC’s General Advisory Council; co-director of the Academy of Indian Dance, sponsored by the Greater London Council. Dr. Kansara is also Vice President of American Friends of SOAS (SOAS, University of London). She also writes a blog at www.theyoganature.com. She holds a BA (Cantab) and PhD (SOAS, University of London).

For more information you can contact 415.668.1559 or email culturalfellowship@sbcglobal.net. You can also visit www.culturalintegrationfellowship.org.

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