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America and the Reshaping of a New World Order: Normative Implications, Cultural Constraints

This conference theme is prompted by the debate surrounding America's renewed desire, and some would say responsibility, others presumption, to reshape world order more nearly in accordance with its own beliefs and values as a result of September 11, 2001. This project in global governance has clearly met a decidedly mixed, and in many instances hostile, response both here and throughout the world. Still, we are particularly struck by how much the influence of the nation’s discourse about itself makes its appeal on the basis of assumptions that are often more ideological than geopolitical, military, or economic. Moreover, this project is framed in terms that are, before they are anything else, symbolic, aesthetic, and metaphorical. We wish to explore the ways such terms may distort, deform, disguise, or confuse, and also why and how they have come to exercise such primacy in framing the debate, both nationally and internationally, about America's role in the creation of a new world order. Our inquiry becomes even more crucial than ever as we head into our national elections and witness an increasing barrage of politically-motivated language about what America is, should, and could be.


Keynote Speakers

Ronald Steel
"America's Mission: the Power and the Glory"
Friday, April 23, 9:30-10:30

USC Professor of International Relations and Whitney Shepardson Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Steel researches American foreign policy through a hybrid lens of history, political science, sociology, psychology, economics and political anthropology. His books focus in particular on both the impact of U.S. relations with other nations, especially Europe, and the individuals who have driven world events: In Love With Night: The American Romance with Robert Kennedy (2000), Temptations of a Superpower (1996), Walter Lippmann and the American Century (1980), Imperialists and Other Heroes (1971), Pax Americana (1967), and The End of Alliance (1964).

Richard Falk
"Visionary American Leadership and the Remaking of World Order"
Saturday, April 24, 2:00-3:00

Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. One recent book, , considers the American response to September 11, including its relationship to the patriotic duties of American Citizens. In 2001 he served on a three person UN Human Rights Inquiry Commission for the Palestine, and previously, on the UN Independent International Commission on Kosovo. He is the author or co-author of numerous books, including The Great Terror War (2002); Human Rights Horizons (2002); Religion and Humane Global Governance (2001); Predatory Globalization: A Critique (1999); On Humane Governance: Toward a New Global Politics (1995); Explorations at the Edge of Time: the Prospects for World Order (1993); and, forthcoming, This Endangered Planet: Prospects and Proposals for Human Survival.



Special Friday Night Performance!

Guillermo Gómez-Peña of La Pocha Nostra
Friday, April 23, 7:00-9:30
UCSB McCune Room

An interactive, multidisciplinary and transnational performance installation, Ethno-techno examines the roles of global media in the construction of problematic images of people from immigrant communities and "third world" countries, and proposes complex notions of identity, nationality, language and media representation. It looks at the current appropriation of hybridity, "revolution-as-style" and "extreme behavior" by corporate multiculturalism and global media, and it examines why certain Others get demonized, while other Others get either romanticized or eroticized.

Ethno-techno is an interactive living museum of sacred monsters and artificial savages.
A performance and installation by Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Michelle Ceballos, Emiko Lewis and directed by Gómez-Peña.

The performance artists conceive the piece as an Experimental Ethnography Project and Living Museum. It takes the form of a series of "living dioramas," in which the artists construct multi-layered personas and display themselves as 'inter-cultural specimens', depicting fetishized, highly charged symbols of cultural difference.It is a living museum of those displaced and hybridized 'orphans of the developing world' who currently exist beyond and across nation states. In this sense it is a new chapter in the long-term dialogue between US Latinos and "other" European artists.


Conference panelists include David Palumbio-Liu, Gabriele Schwab, Simon Ortiz, Berndt Ostendorf, Eileen Boris, Ramon Gutiérrez, Carolyn Porter, Inderpal Grewal, John Carlos Rowe, Mark Juergensmeyer, Juan Campo, Helmut Anheier, Wade Clark Roof, Lisa Lowe, and Donald Pease.