Over the past four years, the foreign policy initiatives of the Bush Administration---particularly those involving the Middle East---have been heatedly debated throughout the world.
Are the administration's stated goals its true ones?
How does its chosen rhetoric---"the axis of evil," "the war against terror," "for us or against us,"---influence the debate? Has American policy made the world safer or are all at greater risk?
An international conference will be held at UC Santa Barbara this Friday and Saturday, April 23 and 24 to culminate a yearlong discussion of those questions.
"America and the Reshaping of a New World Order: Normative Implications, Cultural Constraints" will bring academics to present papers, participate in panel discussions and listen to two distinguished keynote speakers.
The conference begins at 9 a.m. Friday, April 23. All sessions are free and open to the public and will be held in Corwin Pavilion.
Co-sponsored by the Department of English's American Cultures and Global Contexts Center and the Program in Global and International Studies, the conference brings to a close a series of speakers, films, and academic meetings that began in fall quarter 2003 and that have explored the ramifications of recent U.S. foreign policy decisions. The "America and the Reshaping of a New World Order" series was administered by the Office of the Provost and the College of Letters and Science. Giles Gunn and Carl Gutierrez-Jones, both professors of English, are co-organizers of the event.
Ronald Steel, a professor of international relations at USC, will give the first keynote speech, "America's Mission: the Power and the Glory," at 9:30 a.m. on Friday. Steel studies American foreign policy in the mixed context of history, political science, sociology, psychology, economics, and political anthropology.
His books have focused on the impact of U.S. relations with other nations, particularly European ones.
Friday's panels included the topics "America and the Imaginary," "Institutions of Globalization," and "Transnational America."
Richard Falk, the Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and a Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at UCSB, will give the second keynote talk.
Falk will discus "Visionary American Leadership and the Remaking of World Order" at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Falk's recent books include "The Great Terror War" (2002), "Human Rights Horizons" (2002), and "Religion and Humane Global Governance" (2001). In 2001, he served on a three-person United Nations Human Rights Inquiry Commission in Palestine and previously served on a similar body in Kosovo.
Saturday's panels consider the topics "Religion, Civil Society, and World Order," and "New Imperialisms." A complete conference schedule can be found on line at http://acc.english.ucsb.edu/conference/NWO/schedule.asp.
The conference also includes entertainment.
Guillermo Gómez-Peña, a multi-disciplinary artist and entertainer, will perform in the McCune Conference Room (Room 6020) of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building at 7 p.m. Friday night.
The performance is free and open to the public.