Humanities Institute Difficult Dialogues: "The Future of Global Education"

Wed, February 13, 2013 | Santa Rita Suite - Texas Union, 3.502

7:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Humanities Institute Difficult Dialogues:


Nancy Abelmann, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, and Richard Handler, University of Virginia.





Nancy Abelmann is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and the Harry E. Preble of Anthropology, Asian American Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Abelmann specializes in the Koreas and Asian America. Her research interests include class, mobility, education, family, migration, mental health, and gender.




Richard Handler is Director of the Program in Global Development Studies, an interdisciplinary social science major in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. A cultural anthropologist who studies modern western societies, Dr. Handler previously served as dean of the University’s undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences. He received his doctorate from the University of Chicago.



This panel addresses the complex relationships that arise when educational aspirations and opportunities move into the global context. It features two university administrators involved in developing global initiatives on their campuses. Nancy Abelmann will explore the motivations and experiences of families and children participating in “an educational exodus” taking them from South Korea to the United States. Richard Handler, looking the other direction, will consider the tensions between disciplinary scholarship and U.S. students’ attraction to interdisciplinary studies, such as global development. He will examine student assumptions about development and about the interdisciplinary knowledge they think they need to understand it; outline a critical pedagogy to respond to student ideas about development; and sketch the cultural assumptions and bureaucratic structures that work to marginalize interdisciplinary programs. The presentations will be followed by discussion, in which students will be asked to share their own perspectives on global education.


This event is free and open to public. 


For more information, please visit


Sponsored by: The Humanities Institute, Center for East Asian Studies, The Holloway Centennial Lectureship, and the POSCO Korean Studies Endowment

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