'Hunger,' English Department's Common Context Program, Holds First Event Tomorrow

The first event for the English Department’s 2011-12 Common Context, “Hunger,” is tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 22. Students, faculty and staff are invited to join colleagues over the convocation hour at the UST Stewardship Garden behind Brady Educational Center. Participants will learn about urban gardening and food sustainability on campus. Student gardeners also will demonstrate how to make salsa from fresh tomatoes.

This year’s events are focused on numerous aspects of hunger and scarcity on a global and local scale, but they also are designed to inspire the consideration of related dimensions of hunger including desire, longing and the struggle for justice. All students in ENGL 121 Critical Thinking: Literature and Writing will examine at least one text that focuses on this theme of hunger.

Fall Common Context events:

  • 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 – Film: “We Feed the World,” co-sponsored by UST Libraries. Austrian filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer traces the origins of the food people eat. An interview with former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler guides viewers through the film. Location: Room 126, John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.
  • 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4 – Film: “A Screaming Man” (Une Homme qui crie), co-sponsored by UST Libraries. Mahamat Saleh Haroun’s 2010 Cannes Jury prize-winning film is set amid the current civil war in Chad. It focuses on the struggles of a 60-year-old former swimming champion, now hotel pool attendant, whose tensions with his adult son intensify when he loses his job to the younger man. Location: Room 126, John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.
  • 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25 – Film: “Our Daily Bread,” co-sponsored by American Culture and Difference and UST Libraries. To the rhythm of conveyor belts and immense machines, this film looks without commenting on the places where food is produced in Europe – monumental spaces, surreal landscapes and bizarre sounds – an industrial environment that leaves little space for individualism. People, animals, crops and machines play a supporting role in the logistics of this system that provides society’s standard of living. Directed by Nikolaus Gehyrhalter. The film will be followed by a Q-and-A session with Dr. Kanishka Chowdhury of the English Department. Location: Room 126, John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.
  • Noon Tuesday, Nov. 1 – Presentation: “Geography of Hunger in the Twin Cities: Exploring the Food Desert.” Poverty in the United States is associated with both expensive food and high obesity rates. UST geography students have studied this apparent contradiction by mapping the location of food deserts in the Twin Cities. This presentation by Dr. Paul Lorah of the UST Department of Geography focuses on their research and provides new perspectives on the links between poverty and place. Location: O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium.
  • Noon Tuesday, Nov. 8 – Food Issues panel discussion moderated by Todd Lawrence. Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer of Justice and Peace Studies, Simon Emms from Biology and student Aaron Hays discuss important issues related to food, hunger and justice. Location: O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium.
  • 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6 – Film: “Hunger” co-sponsored by UST Libraries. See Steve McQueen’s haunting prison drama depicting the last six weeks in the life of Irish Republican hunger striker Bobby Sands. Location: Room 126, John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1, through Friday, Dec. 23: “Food for Fines” food drive with UST Libraries for Francis Basket Food Shelf. Drop-off sites for nonperishable items: Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library and O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center.

These Common Context events are offered with assistance from UST Libraries, the American Culture and Difference program, the Geology Department, Justice and Peace Studies, the Biology Department, and Environmental Studies.

For more information email Todd Lawrence.