Smile Politely

Speakers in C-U: April 19—25

WHAT: “Tambora 1815: How Climate Change Shaped the Nineteenth-Century World,” Dr. Gillen Wood, UI Department of English

WHEN: Wednesday, April 20 @ 12 noon

WHERE: Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, One E. Hazelwood Dr., Champaign

From the event description: “What happens when the world’s climate reaches a sudden tipping point? The devastating two-year aftermath of the eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia in 1815 is the nearest historical case-study we have for better understanding the social, environmental, and economic impacts of abrupt climate change, as predicted by the 2007 IPCC Report for this century. Approaching the 200th anniversary of the massive eruption of Tambora, The Tambora Project reconstructs on a global scale, and in multimedia formats, the most destructive episode of worldwide climate change in modern history. 1816, the so-called year without a summer, disrupted monsoons in India that contributed to a new and devastating strain of cholera, while crop failure and famine crippled nations from China to Western Europe to New England, precipitating mass immigration of refugees and the wholesale destabilization of civil society.


WHAT: “The Flourization of Tortilla and the Neoliberal Corn Regime in Mexico,” Jose Peralta, PhD Candidate, Sociology

WHEN: Thursday, April 21 @ 12 noon

WHERE: 101 International Studies Building, 910 South Fifth Street, Champaign

From the event description: “In the early nineties, the industry of corn flour tortillas increased at the expense of the production of tortillas made with masa nixtamal in Mexico. Not only millers and tortilleros but also consumers had to adapt to the transformation brought about by this change in the everyday diet of Mexicans. This transformation was supposed to ease the transition from a system of subsidies on food production to one left to the forces of the market. In this paper, I discuss flourization as a move that involves the political work that enabled it and the mechanisms of its normalization.”


WHAT: “Crime and Punishment in China: A History of Penal Systems in the Twentieth Century,” Klaus Muhlhahn (Department of History, Indiana University

WHEN: Friday, April 22 @ 3 p.m.

WHERE: Absolutely no clue — I’ll update when I get more information




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 Tuesdays when classes are in session.

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