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LEWISBURG, Pa. -- A world-renowned human rights pioneer, a documentary filmmaker, and a top Asian studies scholar will visit Bucknell University this semester as part of the series "Historic Relationship, Contemporary Challenge: The Burma-Bucknell Connection at 150 Years and Why It Matters Today."

The University’s rich and historic relationship with the people of Burma began in 1858 with the enrollment of Maung Shaw Loo, the first Burma native to study in the United States.

"Bucknell has a unique responsibility by virtue of its historic affiliation with Burma to draw attention in appropriate ways to the challenges now facing the people of Myanmar," Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell said. "As a liberal arts community, we uphold the belief in the pursuit of truth and understanding in a free environment."

Speaker events
Jack Healey
, Thursday, March 20, 7 p.m., Trout Auditorium
"Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Burma Today"
A leader in the human rights movement for more than 25 years, Healey is executive director of The Freedom Campaign, founder of Human Rights Action Center, and former executive director of Amnesty International-USA. His talk will focus on the struggle for human rights around the world through the lens of current events in Burma. || Read story

Holly Fisher, Friday, April 4, 7 p.m., Elaine Langone Center Forum
"Kalama Sutta: Seeing Is Believing," a 90-minute documentary followed by Q&A
An award-winning independent filmmaker, Fisher directed "Kalama Sutta," a documentary that includes smuggled footage and narratives from exiled leaders in the struggle for indigenous rights and democracy in Burma. || Read story

David Steinberg, Thursday, April 17, 7 p.m., Elaine Langone Center Forum
"Bucknell-Burma:  The Dynamics of Changed Relations Over 50 Years"
Distinguished professor of Asian studies at Georgetown University and a specialist on Burma, Steinberg has authored 13 books, more than 100 articles and book chapters, and some 250 op-ed columns. He visited Bucknell in 1958 when Ambassador U Win presented the Burma-Bucknell bowl to the University on behalf of the president of Burma and his wife. || Read story

Other events
"Don’t Fence Me In: Major Mary and the Karen Refugees from Burma," Thursday, Feb. 21, 4 and 7 p.m. in Coleman Hall 151. This film will be presented by the Third World Film Series.

Burma-Bucknell exhibit, March 3 through April 7, Bertrand Library first floor. The exhibit will include archival photos, posters, and artifacts from Burmese students.

2008 Burma-Bucknell Award, April 8, at Bucknell’s Diversity Celebration.

The award is presented to a faculty member, staff member, or student who has made outstanding contributions to intercultural and international understanding. This event is open only to Bucknell students, faculty, and staff.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

Goals of the series
The "Historic Relationship, Contemporary Challenge" series was organized by a committee of students, including Burmese students, faculty, and staff, and is sponsored by the offices of the President and the Provost.

Its goals are to:

  • Celebrate the historic connection between Burma and Bucknell.
  • Examine Burmese culture, history, and politics within a global context.
  • Explore the ways in which educated citizens can respond to the situation in Burma and to issues of human rights and democracy around the globe.
  • Recognize the centrality of global exchange and dialogue to the liberal arts experience.

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted Feb. 18, 2008
Updated March 26, 2008
Updated March 28, 2008

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