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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 11, 2004

Migrant Workers' Struggles In South Korea Are Focus Of Nov. 18 Talk

Indonesian migrant workers' struggles for legalization, labor rights and basic human rights in South Korea will be the focus of an upcoming Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) luncheon Thursday, Nov. 18. Mimi Harvey, a Presidential Fellow completing her doctorate in communication studies at the University of Iowa, will discuss "Strangers in a Dangerous Time: A migrant-worker labor union in South Korea," at noon in the Rockwood Fellowship Hall, Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St. in Iowa City.

"The 'dangerous time' I refer to in the title of my talk describes this past year in South Korea as public anger over government policies, both Korean and American, and the growing fear of terrorism have had a direct and often dire effect on 'strangers' such as the half million migrant workers who live and work in South Korea," Harvey said.

Harvey recently returned from 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork thanks to a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship. She spent a year in South Korea and two months in Indonesia. Her research is focused primarily on immigrants and marginalized groups in the larger context of globalization forces. Harvey's master's research involved a year of fieldwork in Indonesia collecting the stories of women accessing higher education through a distance education university.

This program will be catered by Thai Flavors.  This luncheon is made possible with the support of Teccs, Inc. and The Credion and is co-sponsored by the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS) and International Programs. For those unable to attend the program, WSUI-AM will broadcast it on Friday, Nov. 19 following the noon news.

Please send reservation forms with a check to: ICFRC, 38 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242-1802.  Reservations for the Harvey luncheon should be received in the office by noon, Tuesday, Nov. 16. Reservations are $7 for members and $8.50 for non-members.

For more information on this program or the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council, contact Tom Baldridge at 319-335-0351.

This lecture is part of International Education Week activities. To view a complete schedule of events, visit:

ICFRC is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

ICFRC is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of International Programs (IP), these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Tom Baldridge, 319-335-0351,; Writer: Kent Nguyen