Global Awareness Lecture Series

The Global Awareness Lecture Series is a program of guest speakers on international relations topics that has been conducted at Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict since 1982. Since the beginning it has been organized and administrated by Gary Prevost in the Political Science Department. Funding for the program has come primarily from the Office of Academic Affairs with additional monies from the student-led International Affairs Club and The Minnesota Humanities Commission. On some occasions programs are co-sponsored by other academic departments and programs.

The topics covered and the regions of the world explored are multiple. The programs are often integrated directly into the curriculum of political science and other courses. The speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds including academics, political activism, journalism, and consulting. Listed below are some of the topics and speakers that have been featured in the last five years. All speakers give public lecture open to all and in some cases the visitors speak in classes and meet informally with students.

Fall 2018

Thursday, October 11th 2018 – Dr. Christopher Butler, The University of New Mexico

Thursday, October 18th 2018 – Fermina Zarate Domínguez,an Indigenous Mixteca farmer from Oaxaca, Mexico

Tuesday, November 6th 2018 – Dr. Leticia Robles-Moreno, All the Streets Are a Stage: Performing Transnational Artivisms in the Americas (co-sponsored with LLAS) 

Monday, November 12th 2018 – Documentary Film Screening – Frontline: “The Wounded Platoon” (Veterans Day)


Spring 2019

January 31st – February 1st (with Asian Studies)

Dr. Jenny Town, M.I.A

U.S.-Korea Institute, John Hopkins, School of Advanced International Studies

Jenny Town is the Assistant Director of the US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and manages programs on North Korea, nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, and energy security in Northeast Asia. She is the Managing Editor and Producer of “38 North,” a web-journal providing analysis on events in and around the DPRK. She is also an expert reviewer for Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Index, where she previously worked on the Human Rights in North Korea project.

Prior to working in Korean affairs, she was the Communications Director for Peace X Peace; the Director of the Washington (DC) Office/Special Projects Manager for Government Relations at the College Board; and a Project Manager at Clarity Coverdale Fury Advertising, Inc. She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies and International Relations from Westmar University and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is a Senior Fellow of the Melton Foundation and sits on the Board of Directors for Korean Focus.


Thursday, March 14th – Christina Xydias – “Unboxing Gender on the Right: Global Patterns in Conservative Politics.”

Christina Xydias, Associate Professor of Political Science / Institutional Review Board Chair at Clarkson.

Xydias has published on women’s political representation in the Bundestag and in the European Parliament; on the opening of combat roles to women in Germany; on the importance of civil society organizations to promoting the rights of marginalized women in Germany and Guatemala; and on political attitudes in pre- and post-transition Poland. Her current book project examines variation in right-leaning parties’ advocacy for women in Germany and the United States.


Tuesday, April 16th – Emily Block – “Designing Service Learning and Scholarship that ACTUALLY Serves: Lessons from the field.”

Emily Block is the Eric Geddes Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Organization.  Her research focuses on value conflicts in and around organizations. She currently teaches undergraduate negotiations and Leading at the Frontiers of Business, an MBA elective that explores the role of business in conflict prevention and economic development. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, a background in consulting, a PhD from the University of Illinois and has volunteered her time working with Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, World Vision and theUS Army Special Operations Command.