Fifth International Academic Conference: March 23-24, 2012
BORDERS, BOUNDARIES, AND BARRIERS:
NEW PARADIGMS FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
Twenty years ago, as ideologies collapsed and borders shifted, a new era of globalization and economic freedom was heralded. However, entering the second decade of the twenty-first century, that dream of a new era remains largely unrealized; borders today are ever more ubiquitous and hostile. Beyond geopolitics, the freedom of technology—seemingly borderless—comes at the high price of personal privacy. Globalization erects new borders, separating humanity and isolating individuals. Nevertheless, new boundaries and barriers continue to collapse, allowing for the free exchange of ideas, disciplines—even entire industries. Boundaries between academic and professional disciplines are breaking down, as evidenced in such new fields as evolutionary psychology, behavioral finance, and neuroeconomics. Barriers between industries are dissolving, as the lines between media, technology, and entertainment blur. Borders between faith traditions are ever more permeable, giving rise to new expressions of both religious universalism and exclusivism. As geopolitical boundaries continue to collapse, the biblical question remains: who is my neighbor in a global age? As David Hume wrote, “The boundaries of justice still grow larger” (Hume, 1751), as the world becomes ever smaller through travel, communication, and trade.
These issues and more give rise to a formal, academic discussion on the role of borders, boundaries, and barriers, and the new paradigm they effect in the twenty-first century. Which borders remain? Which boundaries are dissolving? Which new borders have been erected? Which barriers are opening? How does a discussion of these issues affect the disciplines of education, politics, natural science, ecology, sociology, psychology, theology, philosophy, language, literature, and the arts?
Fourth International Academic Conference, 2011
Volunteerism and Philanthropy: Ideal or Ideology?
Across the globe there is growing interest and involvement in volunteerism and philanthropy resulting in the widespread distribution of necessary resources. Medical research, educational development and the flourishing of the fine arts have been indebted to patrons and benefactors. Nonetheless, volunteerism and philanthropy raise many theological, ethical, economic and sociological questions. What effect do the generous donations of the wealthy have on non-governmental organizations and governmental organizations? Why is it that, in general, volunteerism and philanthropy flourish in capitalist countries? Is it not odd that such generosity flows out of a system dependent on consumerism? Do the social democracies of Europe need the concepts of philanthropy and volunteerism? What are the benefits of spreading the ideals in central and eastern Europe and what is and should be the role of politics, the Church, and artists in this endeavour? How can volunteerism and philanthropy help solve social problems without emphasizing social differences? Are volunteerism and philanthropy modern concepts, or perhaps a by-product of the Protestant work ethic? Is the motivation for philanthropy and volunteerism the same for secular humanists as for Christians and other faiths? Volunteerism often has been the purview of missions and the religious. How has their work affected nations and cultural narratives? Likewise, how has literature participated in shaping our understanding of wealth and the philanthropic responsibilities it carries? With this topic this conference aspires to engender dialogue, reflection and new insights.
We accept papers from academic researchers and university teachers, as well as intellectuals working outside of academia. Students are also encouraged to apply and participate. The language of the conference is English but papers may also be presented in Lithuanian. Paper presentations will be no longer than 15 minutes, with an additional 5 minutes allocated for questions. Papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in the journal LCC Liberal Arts Studies.
June Michealsen, current board chair of LCC International University, lives with her husband Russ in Santa Barbara, California. Daughter of a university professor, she was raised to love questions. She continues to ask them as she teaches and leads.
Art DeFehr was part of the group that founded LCC in 1990. He is involved in business in Canada and several other countries. DeFehr has been involved in various activities relating to refugees and international development with the United Nations, Mennonite Central Committee and other groups in Africa and Asia. He has an MBA from Harvard. DeFehr is a member of the Trilateral Commission and various business groups. He has been honored with two honorary doctorates and the Order of Canada. Art is married to Leona and has daughters Shanti and Tara - all of whom have been or are involved in Lithuania or LCC over the years. Art and Leona are members of the Mennonite Brethren Church.
BIRUTĖ JATAUTAITĖ, PHD
Birutė Jatautaitė, PhD, holds an MS in Public Administration from New York University, and an Undergraduate Certificate in Donor Development Practice from London Metropolitan University. Until the end of 2008 she headed the Baltic-American Partnership Program in Lithuania, which was jointly funded by the US government and the Open Society Institute. The overall goals of the foundation were grant-making for NGOs and the development of the non-profit sector. At the end of the operation of the American foundation, she and a few colleagues established an indigenous foundation called Civic Responsibility Foundation, which aims at the development of philanthropy as well as the consolidation and strengthening of the non-profit sector. B. Jatautaite sits on a wide range of governmental and non-governmental advisory groups, and is a board member of several NGOs. She also consults various foreign institutions on issues of NGO sector in Lithuania.
Kishore Jayabalan is director of Instituto Acton, the Acton Institute's Rome office. He earned a BA in political science and economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, then worked as an international economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, DC, before graduating with an MA in political science from the University of Toronto.
Prior to joining Acton, Kishore spent five years serving as an analyst for environmental and disarmament issues at the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. He also worked for the Holy See at the United Nations in New York for two years. In 2005 Kishore became director of Istituto Acton, where he organizes the institute's educational and outreach efforts in Rome and throughout Europe.
ŠARUNAS LIEKIS, PHD
Šarunas Liekis, PhD, is dean of the Political Science and Diplomacy Faculty at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. Prof. Liekis studied at Vilnius University (habilitation, 2005), Brandeis University in Massachussetts (PhD, 1993–98), Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1995–96), and Oxford University and OCPHS in the UK (diploma, 1991–92). He has been the director of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute at Vilnius University since 2001 and a professor in the Department of Politics at Mykolas Romeris University since 2000.
Previously, Prof. Liekis was a Miles Lerman Research Fellow of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, assistant professor of history at Vilnius University, and director of programs at the Open Society Fund Lithuania. He has also served as an expert to the Lithuanian Government Department for Minorities, country deputy expert for the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance at the Council of Europe, and chairman of the board of the NGO Information and Support Center in Vilnius.
Third International Academic Conference, 2010
Responses to Cultural Homogeny: Engagement, Resistance, or Passivity
"Responses to Cultural Homogeny: Engagement, Resistance, or Passivity" In Plato's Apology Socrates is condemned to die by the united masses. Throughout history millions of individual voices have been silenced in the name of the State. In subtler ways mass corporations driven by consumerism have and continue to engulf difference. The many are so often sacrificed for the one, particularity for sameness, nationhood for globalization. Are the unique and particular "many" a nuisance? Is global "oneness" a desired good? Can the voices of the many stand out against the conglomerate one? Should they? Has post-modernity succeeded in securing the voices of the many, or have they been lost in a sea of relative sameness? Is the Church by nature of her mission a destroyer of particularity? Can the individualized small scale business survive in a globalized interconnected economic environment? Does the theoretical weakness that comprises cultural homogeny splinter our universities into multiversities, or does it provide the university with a univocal purpose?
PROF. LIGIJA KAMINSKIENE (LITHUANIA)
Cultural Homogeny: A Modern Myth of the Tower of Babel
Ligija Kaminskiene is a professor (Ed. Science) at the Department of Translation and Interpretation Studies of the Faculty of Philology, Vilnius University, Lithuania. Her interests include lifelong learning, development of professional and generic (transferable) competences, and student empowerment for the job market. She is on the list of experts of the Grundtvig Program at the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), Brussels. After the Restoration of Independence in 1990, she worked at the Ministry of Education and Culture and supported the founding of LCC International University. She spent two years at LCC, from 1996 to 1998, teaching and drafting documents for its founding and recognition.
PROF. RAJA S. TANAS (USA)
Responses to Cultural Homogeny: The Case of Palestine
Raja S. Tanas is Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington State (USA). He received his Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in sociology from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, after which he earned his Ph.D. degree in sociology from Michigan State University.
Dr. Tanas became a faculty member at Whitworth University in 1983, where he currently teaches in the sociology department. He has carried out extensive research in the area of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies. He was listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers in 1999 and 2000.
PROF. PRABHU S. GUPTARA (SWITZERLAND)
The Business Consequences of Globalization and Homogeny for Small and Middle Sized Companies
Prabhu S. Guptara is William Carey University Distinguished Professor of Global Business, Management and Public Policy (India), and a recognized authority on long-range global trends, on the impact of technology on strategy, on corporate social responsibility, on comparative and cross-cultural ethics, and on leadership issues. For the last 14 years, he has also been the Executive Director of Organization Development, at Wolfsberg - The Platform for Business and Executive Development (a subsidiary of UBS). His best-known research publication is: "Top Executives in the Global 100 Companies and their IT-Competence" (ADVANCE: Management Training Ltd., UK, and Wolfsberg, Switzerland, 1998); and he is included in Debrett's People of Today and in Who's Who in the World.
Second International Academic Conference, 2009
Crisis: Catalyst for Creativity and Innovation
Throughout history people have faced enormous, even catastrophic crises. The human spirit is resilient, strong and creative. What has the human race done in the past to overcome crisis? What might the human race do in current crises to find solutions? What events cause crises and what sorts of literature, economic solutions, religious movements, humanitarian efforts, political changes, educational reforms or scientific breakthroughs have occurred in response to these crises? It is recognized that not all solutions and movements have been positive. Have people been wise in constructing positive solutions to crisis? The conference is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary and accepts papers relating to these topics, both current and historical. [When history looks back on the new millennium what will they say about it? Is it, as economists, peacemakers, humanitarian workers, theologians, ethicists or academics might say it is, a crisis?] We invite papers from across the disciplines and across all national borders, within and beyond the EU.
PROF. ANDRIUS BIELSKIS (LITHUANIA)
Crisis and Virtue: Non-Kierkegaardian Reflections on the Meaning of Life
Prof. Bielskis' research interests lie in virtue ethics and how it can be utilized in constructing alternative political, economic and institutional order in post-modern world. He is also interested in visual arts (especially film) and their impact on forming our self-perception and the perception of the world. Using Nietzsche's and Foucault's theories he coined the term the "genealogy of kitsch" and has argues that genealogy can be applied to analyze different forms of cultural kitsch vis-a-vis the dominant political and social institutions of consumer capitalism. Prof. Bielskis has been a professor of political theory at ISM since 2006. He is the chairman of ISM Academic Quality Assurance Committee and a Member of ISM's Senate.
AGNĖ GENIUŠAITĖ (BRUSSELS)
The European Fiscal Policy Respose to the Current Economic Crisis
Agnė Geniušaitė is currently working as an economist at the European Commission. She holds five Master degrees - Master in Fine Arts from Vilnius Academy of Arts, Master in Management, Business Administration and European Economic Integration (all three from the Free University of Brussels) and Master in Research Economics from Catholic University of Louvain.
PROF. ROGER TWEED (CANADA)
Personal Resilience in the Midst of Crisis: Empirical Findings from Positive Psychology
Dr. Tweed has wide ranging academic interests. The two dominant themes of his research are psychological well-being and culture. In regard to culture, he has examined cultural influences on strategies for coping with stress, on student behaviors, and on beliefs about life satisfaction. He has also focused on best practices for using psychological methods to study culture. He has completed an interview study of predictors of positive life change among people who are homeless. Dr. Tweed is currently teaching at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, BC, Canada.
First International Academic Conference, 2008
Culture and Dialogue: An International Conference on Interdisciplinary Research and the Future of Higher Education
We are currently seeking abstracts for academic presentations on any topic within the broadly conceived theme of "culture and dialogue." In accordance with the charge for interdisciplinary dialogue and the re-examination of culture and cultural discourses, we propose a set of organizing categories that bends away from the standard academic disciplinary model. In conjunction with the topics of the Brussels debates on culture to be held through the Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, please select one or more of the following identifying tags for your paper from the following options: media, arts and heritage, the workplace, inter-religious dialogue, education and youth, migration and integration.
DR. EUGENIJUS GENTVILAS, (LITHUANIA/BRUSSELS)
White spots with the energy of Black Holes: Interaction of histories, religions, and cultures
Dr. Gentvilas received his academic degree in the natural sciences, but has made his career as a popular and respected Lithuanian politician, intellectual, and public persona. He has worked at both the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and Klaipeda University, and has been actively involved in politics at the municipal, national, and European levels.
Dr. Gentvilas is a signatory of the 1990 Lithuanian declaration of renewed independence from the Soviet Union. He has been the Mayor of Klaipeda, served as a Member of Parliament, held the post of Minister of Economics, and been a provisional Prime Minister. For many years he chaired the Lithuanian Liberal Union political party. Since 2004 he has been a Member of the European Parliament and a member of the alliance group of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
He has written nearly 500 various texts on such topics as environmental protection, politics, culture and administration.
DR. SERGEI KRUKS, Riga Stradins University (LATVIA)
Pragmatics of Business Communication: Our tacit rules that others don't know
DR. MARTHA TOWNSEND, University of Missouri (USA)
Writing Around the Globe: Literacies of Awareness and Growth
Marty Townsend teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in rhetoric and composition. She is a fellow of the Bryn Mawr Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration, a former literacy consultant to The Ford Foundation, and directed MU's Campus Writing Program from 1991-2006. Author in ten books and many journal articles on writing-across-the-curriculum, she is the recipient of a Gold Chalk award for training and mentoring graduate students. Her work in writing in academia has also taken her to universities across the world in Europe, Asia, and South America. She sits on the Editorial Board of WPA: Journal of the Council of Writing Program Administrators and has consulted on writing and general education for over sixty colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad.