Events Calendar

Unbowed: A Discussion of Wangari Maathai's contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace

Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 02:30pm - 04:00pm

Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace." She was the first African women and first environmentalist to win the prize. Join us on April 16 to discuss the meaning and importance of Maathai’s work as it relates to African history, women’s rights, and sustainability. The panelists are:

  • Dennis Laumann, Associate Professor of History at the University of Memphis
  • Mark Behr, Associate Professor of English at Rhodes College
  • Shadrack Nasong’o, Associate Professor of International Studies at Rhodes College
  • Benjamin Jordan, Associate Professor of History at Christian Brothers University.

The panel will address the following questions:

  • What were the effects of colonialism on the Kenyan environment and culture?
  • Westernization: How did her experiences in America and Europe change her outlook?
  • Overall, does she see Westernization as a positive or negative force in Africa?
  • Sustainability: How does Maathai define it and work to achieve it? Does she regard it as a Western value, a traditional African value, or a combination of both? What forces does she think are working against it?
  • What does her story tell us about the status of women’s rights in postcolonial Kenya, and in what ways does she engage with this issue?
  • How does her story highlight some of the forces that have complicated and/or frustrated the efforts of Kenyans to achieve stable democratic institutions after independence? What does she think needs to happen for progress to be made in this area?
We look forward to seeing you then!

Contact  Dr. Neal Palmer at or (901) 321-3249

Location  CBU Living Learning Center Community Room


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