Smile Politely

Speakers in C-U, Jan. 25 – 31

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.


WHAT: Sphere of Influence Exclusivity: The case of US Behavior Towards European Great Powers in Central and South America,” Konstantinos Travlos

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 25 @ 12 noon

WHERE: 229 CAB, 605 E. Springfield, Champaign

Please note: the calendar is pretty spotty about the date and time about this one, so I’m by no means positive that it’s happening today at noon. Maybe he’s doing it every day this week at noon. Maybe there are cookies. Who knows? Just don’t hold me responsible if you waste a lunch break trying to attend this lecture.


WHAT: Dealing with Embarrassing Ancestors: Modern Ibadi Muslim Writings on Kharijism,” by Valerie Hoffman, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 26 @ 12 noon

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge (room 1080), Foreign Language Building

Hey, we all have those distant, long since passed relatives that nobody likes to bring up at family gatherings. Usually they don’t end up being the subject of scholarly research, though. Kharijites were “is a general term embracing various Muslims who, while initially supporting the caliphate of the fourth and final “Rightly Guided” caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, later rejected him. They first emerged in the late 7th century AD, concentrated in today’s southern Iraq, and are distinct from the Sunnis and Shiites.”


WHAT: Why Did Icarus Fall from the Sky? Climate Change and the Political Economy of Vulnerability,” by Jesse Ribot, Professor of Geography, UIUC

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 27 @ 12 noon

WHERE: Beckman Institute Room 1005

I’ll answer that one for you, Dr. Ribot: he flew too close to the sun. I’m guessing he’ll be getting into a little more detail than that, though, and it sounds like an interesting angle at which to come at the global warming issue.

WHAT: Precipitation in the Midwest. Going to Extremes?” by Sara C. Pryor, Professor, Indiana University

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 28 @ 11 a.m.

WHERE: Room 201, Water Survey Research Center, 2204 Griffith Drive, Champaign

From the event announcement: “Coffee and cookies at 10:45 a.m. (emphasis mine) There is now unequivocal evidence for an anththrogenic forcing of climate change. Changes in the climate system on the global scale will inevitably have consequences that are regionaly specific. This presentation will focus on the Midwestern United States – a region that historically has experienced a high frequency of extreme precipitation events. Employing observational data and model simulations, the presentation will focus on changing precipitation regimes and discuss challenges and methods for providing more robust projections of possible future precipitation regimes.”


WHAT: India-US Relations from Bush to Obama: New Challenges,” by Baladas Ghoshal, Visiting Professor, Third World Studies Centre, Jamia Milia Islamia

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 29 @ 3 p.m.

WHERE: Music Room, second floor, Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana

I don’t have much to say about this, and neither does the event announcement, but the rise of the Indian middle class will certainly have an impact on the U.S. emplyment market for the coming generation, so relations between the two countries will likely become more complex.

More Articles