Chestertown, MD, November 5, 2003 — Washington College's Goldstein Program in Public Affairs and the Daniel Z. Gibson/John A. Wagner Visitors Fund, along with the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, present “War and Peace in Africa as a Challenge to America: Political and Literary Perspectives,” a lecture by Dr. Mildred Mortimer, professor of French at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and Dr. Robert Mortimer, professor of political science at Haverford College. The free talk will be held Thursday, November 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Casey Academic Center Forum. The public is invited to attend.
In this joint lecture, Dr. Mildred Mortimer will discuss African literary texts that explore politics and examine the literary representations of the Rwandan massacres at Murambi. Dr. Robert Mortimer will then explore post-Cold War Africa and the breakdown of the relative peace that had prevailed on the continent until 1990, all the while posing the question of why the United States should be concerned—and feel implicated—in the civil strife in Liberia and its ramifications across West Africa. He will also discuss the role of the U.S. with respect to the war in Congo/Zaire, the difficult experiences of peacekeepers in Africa, and why he believes President Bush's trip to Africa was not a diplomatic success.
Dr. Mildred Mortimer received her B.A. from Brooklyn College, an M.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. She specializes in Francophone African literature, with a particular interest in the literature of the Maghreb. She is the author ofMouloud Mammeri, écrivain algerien (1982), Assia Djebar (1988) and Maghrebian Mosaic: A Literature in Transition (2001); and the editor of Contes Africains (1972) and Journeys through the French African Novel (1990). She currently serves as the Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of French and Italian at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Dr. Robert Mortimer received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D from Columbia University. Under Fulbright and other grants, he has taught and conducted research in France and several African countries. His scholarly work analyzes the role of African and other “Third World” states in the international political system. Interested in policy matters, he has testified before Congress and served as a consultant to the Department of State, the Council on Foreign Relations and other foreign affairs organizations. From January through July 1998, he served as director of the West African Research Center in Dakar, Senegal.