Category: Uncategorized

Philip Gourevitch of The New Yorker Visits Madison

On November 9, 2017, Philip Gourevitch, staff writer for The New Yorker, and author, was interviewed for WORT Radio’s “A Public Affair” as a follow up to his recent visit to campus for a public lecture entitled, “Trump’s America in the World”. Gourevitch’s lecture took place at the Pyle Center and was attended by close to 175 individuals riveted by his ability to synthesize the last 150 years of US foreign policy, and how those pivotal historical moments relate to today’s political climate. LISTEN to his interview.

In addition to his campus visit, Mr. Gourevitch visited Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Studies, Thierry Cruvellier’s “Topics in Global Security: International Criminal Justice: Models and Practice” course. You can read more about his visit to Cruvellier’s class HERE.

And finally, he engaged in a visit to Middleton High School for a presentation and Q&A with students on October 24th.

Janel Anderson and Tim Davis, social studies teachers at MHS, brought around ninety of their students to the library for a lively and educational event.  A wide variety of topics was covered, including the Rwandan genocide, about which Gourevitch published a book in 1998, nuclear war, and current events.

“The kids and teachers were SPELLBOUND and INSPIRED!!! He was great and my expectations were blown. I think he convinced many kids in the crowd to go out and save the world by telling the truth, ” stated Janel Anderson.

Sarah Ripp, IRIS’ Assistant Director for Programming and Communications, and Nancy Heingartner, IRIS Assistant Director for Outreach, facilitated this event.

Nevine El Nossery, Director of Middle East Studies, Speaks to International Learning Community

Nevine El Nossery, Director of Middle East Studies and Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies, recently presented at the International Learning Community’s Fall 2017 Roundtable Series. She presented: “Poetics of Resistance: Egyptian Women’s 2011 Revolution” which covered contemporary topics in Egypt since the beginning of the Arab Springs such as “politically engaged women writers and artists” who “have increasingly come to characterize a key new direction in art production.”

Middle East Studies’ Director, Nevine El Nossery Earns “Honored Instructor Award” from University Housing

Middle East Studies’ Director, Nevine El Nossery Earns “Honored Instructor Award” from University Housing. “El Nossery regularly teaches courses that focus on Francophone and Middle Eastern culture and literature. She is the Director of the Middle East Studies Program.” Congratulations to Professor El Nossery!

Read more HERE.

Database & Website for Distance Learning of “Less Commonly Taught Languages” Under Development

Distance learning options offer greater opportunity for foreign and heritage language learners to study a broader range of languages.  UW-Madison is nationally known for its pioneering role in innovative language instruction. The Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes (WISLI), working together with the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, is current surveying what distance learning opportunities exist for the Less Commonly Taught Languages of Asia in Wisconsin and across the country.

Started in September 2017, the first phase of the project is the creation of a database which contains information on where Asian Less Commonly Taught Languages are offered, focusing on where distance learning options available, and gathering information on the course offerings, including frequency of courses, technology used, and fee structures.  The goal is to help promote national access to pedagogically informed LCTL instruction, already a hallmark of UW-Madison.

Working on this project is graduate student assistant, Emily Jorgenson.  Emily studied a semester of Thai at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an undergraduate student, and for two years, worked as a volunteer for English education in the Peace Corps in Indonesia.  Living in a village on the east side of Java, Emily learned Indonesian through immersion and daily use.  She is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Southeast Asian Studies and in addition to continuing studying Indonesian, she is also interested in learning Javanese.  Emily is excited to be working on the project, saying:

While I was in the process of finding schools that offered Southeast Asian Studies degrees, it was really important for me to find schools that offered Indonesian and potentially Javanese language classes. It was difficult to find a database of information online and something like this would have been very beneficial, so I understand how important this project is. I look forward to making a resource for students of all ages and backgrounds who want to pursue less commonly taught Asian languages in and outside of the classroom.

The database and website project will be debuted at the Association for Asian Studies Conference in Washington, DC in March 2018, during Katherine Bowie’s term as AAS President.  Dr. Bowie, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in the Anthropology Department, was director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies when the crisis in Title VI funding occurred.  This crisis catalyzed her commitment to the importance of preserving LCTL instruction.  Dr. Bowie stated

I am so pleased to see this national LCTL survey is finally happening.  At a time of budget cuts and the rise of butts-in-seats metrics, LCTLs are even more endangered than before.  I am hoping that with the development of fee structures, distance LCTL instruction can become a win-win for all involved.  Through distance technology, we can help generate revenue for those institutions with pedagogically informed language instructors while at the same time expand access to the full array of languages that individual colleges and universities are not able to provide their students otherwise.

The Director of the Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes, Dr. Felecia Lucht, is working with Dr. Bowie and Emily on the project and can be contacted with any questions at

Author and staff writer for the New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch, to speak on campus

On Monday, October 23rd, 2017, author and long-time staff writer for the New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch will present “Trump’s America in the World” in the Pyle Center’s alumni lounge (702 Langdon Street, Madison).

About the presentation: Last year’s U.S. presidential election delivered the most radical shock to the international order of any event since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The rise of Donald Trump marks the end of a post-Cold-war balance of power and ideology. Much of what America stood for, albeit inconsistently and often ineffectively – democracy, diplomacy, climate security, human rights, non-proliferation, institutional expertise – Trump stands aggressively against. The shift is not merely rhetorical. Long-time foreign correspondent, author and New Yorker writer, Philip Gourevitch asks: How did we get here? And how do we make sense of and respond to the crisis the Trump presidency represents in our world? 

Please indicate your interest in attending HERE.

Schedule of Events:

6:30-7:00 p.m.: Public Reception with light appetizers and beverages

7:00-8:00 p.m.: Lecture followed by Q&A

There will be an opportunity to purchase Gourevitch’s books and have them signed after the event.

Co-sponsored by the Madison Committee on Foreign Relations, International Division, the UW Law School, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison, A Room of One’s Own Bookstore.

IRIS Fall 2017 Open House

IRIS Assistant Director for Outreach, Dr. Nancy Heingartner, Spoke at the National Air & Space Museum, in Washington, DC

On Friday, September 15, Dr. Nancy Heingartner, IRIS Assistant Director for Outreach, gave a talk at the National Air & Space Museum, in Washington, DC.

As part of the Air & Space Museum’s year-long commemoration of World War I, she was invited to speak about her great grandfather, Alexander Heingartner, who served as U.S. Consul in Liege, Belgium during World War I.  As the highest-ranking U.S. official in Liege at that time, Heingartner played a critical role in making sure that American humanitarian aid that was sent to rescue the Belgians from starvation was distributed into the hands of the people in his area who were in need of it.

Visiting Professor Thierry Cruvellier to Teach Fall 2017 Course on Criminal Justice

Thierry Cruvellier to teach Fall 2017 Course on International Criminal Justice 

This fall, Thierry Cruvellier will be teaching IS 601: Topics in Global Security: International Criminal Justice: Models and Practice.

IS 601 will focus on international courts and war crimes tribunals.  Specifically, over the past two decades, a dozen international or internationalized war crimes tribunals have been created in Europe, Africa and Asia. Such courts have become a familiar feature in the field of human rights as well as in world politics. How have these courts actually responded to their own claims and to the expectations they have raised? How have their functioning and practices evolved over time? Are some of their models better suited than others to achieve certain goals and, if so, based on what evidence? What is their judicial efficiency and how useful are they as political tools? How do they serve victims’ interests? What have they changed in the conflict-affected societies? Through a series of case studies, thematic sessions and creative views, using documentary films as well as a diverse range of readings from the legal, political, human rights and journalistic perspective, we will ground our discussions in the practical realities of the life of contemporary war crimes courts, with a critical mind and a comparative approach.

Thierry Cruvellier is an international journalist and author whose specialty is international criminal justice, especially the workings of international justice systems after war crimes and atrocities. He is the only journalist in the world who has attended and reported on all of the important post-Cold War international tribunals. Mr. Cruvellier is the author of three books: Court of Remorse: Inside the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2010);The Master of Confession (2014), which chronicles the trial of a Cambodian Khmer Rouge commander; and, coming out later this year, The Richest Poor Man — Stories from Sierra Leone. Writing in The New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch has called him, “a deeply informed and deeply thoughtful observer of the legal, political, moral, and psychological complexity of his subject. He is an elegant, understated writer, with a keen and rigorous intellect, and a wry, quiet wit.”

Mr. Cruvellier, who has a master’s degree in journalism from the Sorbonne, will spend Fall semester 2017 in residence in the UW-Madison’s Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS). While here, consulting with faculty, working in the library, and writing, he will teach an undergraduate course: International Studies 601, “International Criminal Justice: Models and Practice. If you are interested in learning more about Mr. Cruvellier’s work with UW-Madison click here and for his recent work in the New York Times click here.

Please note, Mr. Cruvellier will be the keynote speaker at the UNA-USA Dane County Chapter’s annual fall luncheon “Human Rights in a Time of Conflict”. This event will take place on October 29th and more details/registration will be forthcoming. Please contact Sarah Ripp at with any questions.

WISLI 2017 Student Conference

On Saturday, July 22, the Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes (WISLI) hosted its 2017 student conference to showcase the original research of undergraduate students, graduate students and independent scholars.  The conference is held in conjunction with its summer language institutes: APTLII (Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Language Immersion Institute), CESSI (Central Eurasian Studies Summer Institute), SASLI (South Asia Summer Language Institute) and SEASSI (Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute).

There were a total of 39 presentations in 13 different panels exploring topics related to:

  • Art and Identity in Vietnam
  • Arts, Crafts and Commerce
  • Arts: Culture, Ethnomusicology, Performance
  • Arts: Film, Performance & Literature
  • Human Rights and International Relations in the Post War Era
  • Language and Ethnicity
  • Language and Literacy Criticism
  • Linguistics and Literature
  • Migration
  • Monarchy, Nation and Empire
  • Nutrition, Health and Environment
  • Religion: Buddhism, Gender and Politics
  • Women: Imagery and Public Spaces

The keynote presentation for the conference was given by Dr. Christi-Anne Castro, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Castro’s talk, “Music, Language and the Aesthetics of Virtuosity” used three case studies to examine virtuosity as a language of access via performance aesthetics.

WISLI would like to thank Dr. Christi-Anne Castro for the wonderful keynote presentation, the Institute coordinators and assistants for their hard work in organizing and facilitating the event, and the moderators, presenters and attendees for the dynamic sessions and discussions.