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The Mid-Maine Global Forum contributes to the local community’s understanding of issues of global significance by organizing and disseminating informed public presentations and discussion. To become a member or be put on our mailing list, email Global Forum  

   February 16

at the Colby Art Museum 12:30

Assistant Professor Marta Ameri

The Role of Seals in the Ancient World

Marta Ameri received her Ph.D. in Art History and Archeology from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in 2010. She is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Art History at Colby College where she teaches courses focusing on Ancient, Medieval and Islamic Art. Her research focuses of the role the seals play as markers of identity and as indicators of intercultural exchange in the Ancient Near East and South Asia. Her dissertation catalogued and examined a group of seals and seal impressions found at the Chalcolithic site of Gilund in Western India. Her current research focuses on the visual analysis of seals of the Indus Valley Civilization. She is also co-editing a major volume which examines the production, use and iconography of seals in the Ancient World, from the Aegean to South Asia. She has excavated in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, India and Oman.

In the ancient world, stamp and cylinder seals were one of the primary tools of administration and played a significant role as markers of social and individual identity. They could be use to identify the carrier, sign documents, seal containers, and lock doors. Like cell phones today, a person could feel lost or naked without his or her seal. At the same time, however, most seals were also extraordinary examples of art in miniature, carved with everything from the seal owner’s name and position to entire mythological scenes featuring numerous gods and goddesses. This lecture will focus on the ancient Mesopotamian seals, tablets and sealings on loan to the Colby College Art Museum for the Spring 2016 semester. By examining both the artistic and functional aspects of these objects, it is possible to develop a deeper understanding of the practical and ideological concerns of the people of Ancient Mesopotamian, and how these may still be relevant in the modern world. 

No registration is required for this event. There is a snack bar in the museum but food and drinks cannot be taken into the gallery. This is the first time the Global Forum has collaborated with the Colby Art Museum as we reach out to diversify our programs.

For directions go to:Colby College

March 4

Reza Jalali

12 Noon

at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center UMA Augusta

New Mainers: Portraits of Our Immigrant Mainers


Immigration to Maine has been part of the American narrative for past few centuries. America, as a nation of immigrants, has historically, with a few exceptions, welcomed the world’s persecuted by offering them safety and a chance to start a new life. Maine’s recent immigrants, most of them refugees fleeing wars, religious and political persecution, arrive war-torn countries such as Somalia, Sudan, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda, to name a few. The Book, New Mainers, Portraits of Our Immigrant Neighbors tells the stories of 29 New Mainers. Reza Jalali will discuss the book and the need to tell the stories of today’s immigrants.

     Reza Jalali is a writer, educator, and a community activist, who has taught at the Bangor Theological Seminary and the University of Southern Maine (USM) as an adjunct faculty. Jalali has written the Foreword to New Mainers (©2009, Tilbury House, Publishers) a book on immigrant’s lives in Maine. His children’s book, Moon Watchers has received a Skipping Stones Honor Award for Multicultural Book. Jalali’s short story collection, Homesick Mosque and Other Stories was published in 2013. His play, The Poets and the Assassin, which is about women in Iran and Islam, was published in 2015. He has been a storyteller in the National Public Radio’s nationally-acclaimed The Moth Radio Hour. He coordinates the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at USM and advises Muslim students at Bowdoin College.

This program is presented in partnership with the Holocaust and Human Rights Center attached to the library at the University of Maine in Augusta. More details about the program and the lunch choices will be posted closer to the event.

April 7

12 Noon REM Center

Kyle Knight

LGBT Human Rights Movement Around the World

Here’s a bio: https://www.hrw.org/about/people/kyle-knight

     Knight will be about the global LGBT human rights movement and how the uptick in support from some governments has been met with backlash elsewhere–and what those of us who care about human rights can do about it in such turbulent political times. (http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/spark).. as an example of how gay rights work has very little to do with the wealth of a nation and far more to do with courage and creativity at a local level.
More details about registering and lunch will be posted closer to the event.

 May 3

9 am Messalonskee High School

“The Civil Rights Movement in the United States”

12 Noon Rem Center

“South Africa Today”

Prexy Nesbitt

Rozell “Prexy” Nesbitt was born and raised on Chicago’s West Side. After graduating from the Francis Parker School in Chicago, Nesbitt enrolled at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. After graduating from Antioch in 1967, Nesbitt continued his education, attending the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania; Northwestern University; and Columbia University.

Even before completing his Ph.D. in 1975, Nesbitt was highly active in labor and equality movements; by 1976, he had become the national coordinator and field organizer for the Bank Withdrawal Campaign for the American Committee on Africa. Two years later Nesbitt was named the director of the Africa Project at the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. In 1979, Nesbitt became the program director and secretary for research at the World Council of Churches, based in Geneva, Switzerland. Nesbitt returned to Chicago in 1984, where he continued his work as a labor organizer. In 1986, Chicago mayor Harold Washington named Nesbitt as a special assistant. The following year, the government of Mozambique appointed Nesbitt to serve as a consultant to help them represent their interests to the United States, Canada, and Europe; he remained in this post until 1992.

In 1990, Nesbitt took a post as a lecturer with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, and in 1993, became the senior program officer with the Program on Peace & International Cooperation with the MacArthur Foundation. Nesbitt remained with the MacArthur Foundation until 1996, when he was named the dean of community engagement and diversity. In addition to his foundation work, Nesbitt worked as an African and American history teacher at his high school alma mater, Francis W. Parker School. Nesbitt also taught African History at Columbia College, and served as a consultant on diversity for the Francis W. Parker School; the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools; and the East Educational Collaborative in Washington, DC. In 2001, Nesbitt became the South African representative of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the interim director for the American Friends Service Committee Africa Program. From 2003 on, Nesbitt worked as the Senior Multiculturalism and Diversity Specialist for the Chicago Teachers Center at Northeastern Illinois University.

Nesbitt has lectured both in the United States and abroad, and has written extensively, publishing a book and articles in more than twenty international journals. Nesbitt also served as a co-writer on the BBC production of The People’s Century programSkin Deep, about racism in the United States and South Africa. Over the course of his career, Nesbitt made more than seventy trips to Africa, including trips taken in secret to apartheid torn South Africa; his work has garnered him numerous awards throughout his career.

Making the Road

The History Makers

More details will be made available this spring.