Smile Politely

Listen Up: Sept. 10–16

WHAT: Islam in Europe Lecture Series: Religion and Political Participation of Muslims in the West (It is not what you think),” Jocelyne Cesari, Islamic Studies, Harvard University

WHEN: Monday, September 10 at 12 noon

WHERE: 1090 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright St, Urbana

From the event announcement: “In Europe and more recently in the US, the perception of Islam in public spaces (mosques/dress code) has been increasingly deciphered as lack of civism. The assumption is that visible Islamic identities are inversely correlated to civic and political loyalties. Such an assumption is actually invalidated by surveys and data collected by the Harvard based Islam in the West program. This talk will present these data and analyze them in the international context of The War on Terror and the domestic contexts of socio‐economic crisis,
that are both affecting Muslims condition in Europe.”


WHAT: Argentina: From the economic recovery to the Malvinas issue. History, Policies and Challenges,” Marcelo Suarez Salvia, General Consul of Argentina

WHEN: Monday, September 10 at 12 noon

WHERE: 1090 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright St, Urbana


WHAT: Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Square and Twitter, fields questions from UIUC students and faculty

WHEN: Tuesday, September 11 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: 2405 Siebel Center, 201 North Goodwin Avenue  Urbana





WHAT: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” Community Cinema Series

WHEN: Tuesday, September 11 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Robeson Rooms A & B, Champaign Public Library

From the event announcement: “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a four-hour PBS primetime documentary film and national broadcast event inspired by the widely acclaimed book of the same name by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Filmed in 10 countries, the film follows Nicholas Kristof and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls.”

WHAT:Green grabbing: new appropriations of nature, new carbon political ecologies/economies in West Africa’s forest margins,” Melissa Leach, University of Sussex

WHEN: Wednesday, September 12 @ 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Tower Room 2269, Beckman Institute, 405 North Mathews Avenue, Urbana

From the event announcement: “‘Green grabbing’ — the appropriation of land and resources for environmental ends — is an emerging process of deep and growing significance, whether linked to biodiversity conservation, biocarbon sequestration, biofuels, ecosystem services, ecotourism or ‘offsets.’ Building on well-known histories of colonial and neo-colonial resource alienation, it involves novel forms of valuation, commodification and markets, and an extraordinary new range of actors and alliances. Linking theorisation with cases involving West African soils and forests, this talk will ask: To what extent and in what ways do ‘green grabs’ constitute new forms of appropriation of nature? How and when do circulations of green capital become manifest in actual appropriations on the ground — through what political and discursive dynamics? What are the implications for ecologies, landscapes and livelihoods — who is gaining and who is losing?”


WHAT: While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era,” Russ Feingold, former WI Senator and founder, Progressives United

WHEN: Friday, September 14 @ 12 noon

WHERE: University YMCA, 1001 South Wright Street, Champaign

From the event announcement: “For eighteen years, Russell D. Feingold represented Wisconsin in the United States Senate. He was the only senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act, was the first senator to propose a timetable to exit Iraq, and believes we need a timetable to leave Afghanistan. In addition, he has always fought against unfair trade agreements like NAFTA and fought against financial deregulation. He is author and sponsor of McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. Russ is also the author of The New York Times bestseller While America Sleeps, about what America has done wrong both domestically and abroad since the terrorist attacks of September 11, and what steps must be taken to ensure that the next ten years are focused on the international problems that threaten America and its citizens. Lunch reservations required for this talk. This lecture is part of the University YMCA’s fall series, Beyond the Rhetoric: Key Issues in the 2012 Elections. This semester’s free, public lectures will feature expert views on vital policy questions and shed light on local, state, and national races as they unfold. Lectures take place September 14, November 2, every Friday at 12 noon. All lectures are free and open to the public. Lunch available by reservation only ($6.25/3.00 student). To reserve lunch, visit: or call Carol Nunn at (217) 337-1500.”


You live near a major university and a community college. There are smart people that come here every week to talk to the general public about interesting topics. Perhaps you were not aware of this fact, or were overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities for possible enlightenment. If that’s the case, Smile Politely understands and is here to help. Here are several events going on in town this week. Check out one or more of them if you have time. Get your learn on, as they say, and join the cognoscenti. It’s free, you know. Plus, sometimes there’s free food, too!

If you have a community event, speaker, or film event that you’d like to see featured on Listen Up!, send the event information to joelgillespie [at] smilepolitely [dot] com by Friday the week prior to the event. Listen Up! runs on Mondays when classes are in session.

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