EWS Faculty Have Major Impact on Weglyn Lecture Series


Thanks to work of Dr. Denise Lawrence of the College of Environmental Design, Dr. Mary Danico of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, and Dr. Patricia de Freitas of the College of Education & Integrative Studies (CEIS), Cal Poly Pomona experienced the “World in Motion” as the theme of a speaker series this year. Lawrence, de Freitas, and Danico form the committee for the Weglyn Endowed Chair of Multicultural Studies, known simply as the Weglyn Endowment.  The Endowment, established in the name of Michi Nishiura and Walter Weglyn, was funded for the purpose of hosting events that spark discussions and challenge opinions on multiculturalism, including gender, ethnicity, sexuality, race and class.

For the 2013-14 academic year, the Weglyn Endowment hosted a lecture series titled, “The World in Motion: Understanding the Interconnections between the Global and Local in the Shaping of our Contemporary World”. The committee chose to name the series “The World in Motion” because people often forget that the world is changing because of globalization. The series examined what globalization means and what its effects are on the world. De Freitas noted that CEIS and the Ethnic & Women’s Studies (EWS) Department has a responsibility “to be responsive to new movements, such as the events happening in the Middle East, and to look at how those movements are affecting people.” 

The CEIS Committee comprised of EWS faculty, Dr. Patricia de Freitas, Dr. Anita Jain, Dr. Jocelyn Pacleb, Dr. Anjana Narayan, from the Sociology Department, Dr. Hend Gilli-Elewy from the IGE Department,  Ms. Jami Grosser from the Pride Center, Dr. Mahmood Ibrahim from the History Department, Ms. Lorena Marquez from the Cesar Chavez Center, and Mr. Kraig Walkup from the International Center. 

In order too add a variety of perspectives to the conversation, de Freitas, in collaboration with Dr. Anneli Adams from the International Center applied for a Fulbright Scholar with an expertise to support the lecture series focused on international perspectives. De Freitas was delighted to invite Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Fatima Sadiqi to campus for the 2013-14 academic year. Sadiqi, an expert in gender studies from Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Morocco, was an integral part of the Weglyn lecture series. In addition, she taught courses in EWS Department on women’s issues in North Africa, participated in events in CEIS and International Center, and finished writing a book about Moroccan feminist discourse. 

In the Fall, Sadiqi kicked off the Weglyn lecture series with “The Arab World in Motion: The Fate of Multiculturalism and Women’s Rights in the Aftermath of the ‘Arab Risings’”. Sadiqi’s presentation and discussion of the Arab Spring focused primarily on how it affected women’s rights and roles in the Middle East. Her version gave the Cal Poly Pomona community a first hand account of what it was like to live in the Middle East during that time. The series continued throughout the year with presentations on “People in Motion: Journeys of Hope, Journeys of Peril”, “Indigeneity in Motion: Impact of and Response to Globalization by Indigenous Communities in the Americas, North Africa, and Pacific Islands”, and “Women in Motion-Mixing in the Kitchen: Entre Mujeres Feminine Translocal Composition.”

“The World in Motion” Lecture Series will continue in the 2014-15 academic year. Dr. Patricia de Freitas commented, “The two year lecture series is different than other events or lecture series at Cal Poly Pomona as the discussion does not end after one event is over, but continues to engage the Cal Poly Pomona community for two years in a constant dialogue about globalization and its effects.” When “The World in Motion” Lecture Series ends in 2015, it is the committee’s hope to create another two-year lecture series. To find out more about the events for the “The World in Motion” Lecture Series for 2015, please contactDr. Patricia de Freitas at (909)869-2080 or by email.