The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

March 21, 2006

NOTE: If you are looking for the release titled Iowa City Human Rights Coordinator To Speak At Careers For Change, click here. The links to this story and that one were inadvertently switched in the Tuesday, March 21, 2006 news digest. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Convocation Focuses On Globalization, Cosmopolitanism March 24-26

Globalization, its effects on cross-cultural understanding and the possibilities for a new cosmopolitanism will be the focus of the seventh annual University of Iowa Crossing Borders Convocation March 24-26 on the UI campus. The convocation is free and open to the public and will feature distinguished visiting speakers as well as panel discussions by Crossing Borders fellows and UI faculty.

The convocation begins at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 24 with a keynote lecture by John Tomlinson from the Department of Cultural Sociology at Nottingham University, United Kingdom. Tomlinson will address the themes of "Globalization, Identity and Cosmopolitanism." According to Paul Greenough, professor of history and director of the graduate Crossing Borders Program, these are key themes in modern international social theory that are explored in many of the Crossing Borders courses. A film screening of "Le grand voyage," a 2005 French-Arabic film with English subtitles, will follow at 7 p.m. Both events take place in Becker Communication Studies Building (BCSB) 101.

According to Greenough, the purpose of the convocation is to give students and faculty with an academic interest in globalization and its consequences an opportunity to exchange views and present research across the disciplines and about a variety of topics.

"The theme of cosmopolitanism - that is, the possibility of large-scale abandonment of patriotism to become a citizen of the world - winds in and out of many of the talks and papers," Greenough said. "Like globalization, cosmopolitanism is a constantly changing object of academic and practical concern."

On Saturday, March 25, there will be guest lectures and panels from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the John Pappajohn Business Building (PBB), 401. Lecturers include Frank Korom from Boston University and Jael Silliman from the Ford Foundation. Korom will discuss "Crossing Genres in Transnational Spaces: Bengal Scroll Painters Sing Modernity." The title of Silliman's talk is "Policing the National Body: An Update from the Frontlines."

Events on Sunday take place from 9 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. The convocation ends with a panel discussion, "How to Live a 21st-century Life," exploring the ethical dimensions of academic life under conditions of globalization.

The Crossing Borders Program was created eight years ago in response to the scholarly challenges brought on by globalization and has been holding convocations since 1998. The annual convocation serves as a commons for the presentation of research by UI faculty and graduate students, as well as invited lecturers.

The Crossing Borders Program is jointly funded by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education and by UI International Programs. The convocation is sponsored by the Crossing Borders Program, International Programs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate College, U.S. Department of Education and the National Resource Center in International Studies.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit the Crossing Borders Convocation website at or contact Leslie Aktan at International Programs, 319-335-3862. Those who need special accommodations to attend this convocation can contact Aktan as well.

Crossing Borders is affiliated with UI International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and to 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: Leslie Aktan, 319-335-3862,; Writer: Kelli Andresen