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Nordic education and the Sápmi region

Jeremie Smith, Outreach Coordinator at the Center for Global Studies (CGS), is collaborating with University of Illinois’ alum, Betty Trummel, to develop a new College of Education study abroad course, Nordic Models of Education.  The study abroad course, designed especially for pre-service teachers and other College of Education students, will debut during the Spring of 2018.

This course development is supported by the Center for Global Studies, the European Union Center, and the College of Education. Jeremie and Betty are currently on a course-planning trip in Sweden, Finland, and Norway.  Jeremie will write blog posts during the course development trip to share his experiences and preview the course.

Read the full blog post at the European Union Center Teachers’ Corner blog


Nordic education and the Sápmi region

by: Barbara Myers, M.A. European Union Studies
Program Coordinator, Center for Global Studies

Jeremie Smith is currently traversing the Sápmi on a course-planning trip, in search of conversations, connections, and experiences that will inform the development of a new study abroad course. The Sápmi region, which spans across Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Russian Kola Peninsula, is the home of the indigenous Sámi people. Smith is visiting the Nordic countries of the region to meet with scholars and experts on Sámi culture and education. The Sámi are a semi-nomadic community, with a total estimated population of 70,000 to 100,000.[1] They have traditionally relied on a close relationship with nature to support their hunting, fishing, gathering, trapping, and reindeer herding enterprises, and their semi-nomadic lifestyle revolves around the seasons.

Residents of the Sápmi region have had a complicated relationship with the Nordic governments. Prior to World War II, Sámi education was largely conducted at boarding schools, where Sámi pupils were acculturated in the language and culture of the school’s state. The Sámi fight for autonomy has led to several changes in their relationship with the Nordic governments. For instance, the Sámi Parliament Act of 1993 established the Swedish Sámi Parliament as a government agency and a popularly elected body, with responsibilities that include allocating state funds for Sámi organizations, cultural programs and other matters, and appointing the board of directors for Sámi schools in Sweden.

Sámi educators are faced with the challenge of transmitting their culture and knowledge under what American educators might consider unconventional conditions. In Sweden, the decentralized structure of the school system leaves education providers responsible for teaching materials. The Swedish government provides remittances to the Sámi Education Board and the National Agency for Education to produce Sámi-language teaching materials, which can be hard to come by. According to recent reports from the Council of Europe on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and Sweden, some Sámi educators have taken it upon themselves to translate and dictate books for instruction.[2] Up to 70% of Sámi children under 10 do not reside in the Sámi education area, and the semi-nomadic lifestyle can challenge American notions of a typical school day or term.[3]

Despite these challenges, educators in the Sápmi region endeavor to provide instruction and guidance to their students through Nordic models of education. These models are tied to the Nordic Theory of Love—independence, individualism, self-reliance—as well as the Nordic social welfare state. In his posts about his trip, Smith details how his experiences in the Sápmi region informed the development of the new study abroad course, Nordic Models of Education.

Map of Sápmi









Source: Nordiska Museet website 


Additional Reading

Berggren, H., & Lars Trägårdh, L. (2010). Pippi Longstocking: the autonomous child and the moral logic of the Swedish welfare state. In H. Mattsson & S. Wallenstein (Eds.), Swedish Modernism: Architecture, Consumption, and the Welfare State (pp. 10-23). London: Black Dog Publishing.

Gaski, H., & Weinstock, J. (n.d.). Sámi Culture in the Nordic Countries – Administration, Support, Evaluation. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from

Kristinsson, A. P., & Hilmarsson-Dunn, A. (2012). Unequal language rights in the Nordic language community. Language Problems and Language Planning, 36(3), 222-236. doi:10.1075/lplp.36.3.02kri

Partanen, A. (2017). Nordic Theory of Everything: in search of a better life. New York: HarperCollins.

[1] Anaya, J. (2011, January 12). Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

[2] Council of Europe. (2014, May 16). Committee of Experts’ Evaluation Report: Sweden.

Council of Europe. (2013, October 10). State Periodic Report: Sweden.

[3] UN report calls for Sami language boost. (2011, January 18). Retrieved May 10, 2017, from

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Statement regarding Executive Order barring refugees and citizens of seven countries

Originally published on January 30th, 2017 in Glocal Notes

Author: Steve Witt – Head, International and Area Studies Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

To echo the University of Illinois President’s statement regarding the Trump Administration’s order barring some immigrants, the International and Area Studies Library shares the University’s value of international students, scholars, exchanges, and perspectives as a central aspect of the University’s mission.  The International and Area Studies Library would like to reiterate to the campus community that it provides a safe space for students, scholars, and the community to study, research, and discuss any topic or subject, including the current policies regarding immigrant and refugee access to the United States.

In addition, the individuals at the International and Area Studies library are able to provide all students, scholars, and members of the community with access to important resources to learn about and make sense of the rapidly changing policy environment that relates directly to many regions of the world and issues of international importance.  From print and electronic resources to human expertise, the International and Area Studies Library is available to assist you.

Support for Research on the Topic and Regions Affected

If you are specifically interested in learning more about the seven countries targeted by the Trump Administration, please contact Laila Hussein, Middle East and North African Studies Librarian.  Professor Hussein has expertise in Middle East and North African Studies and Human Rights. She can also help people interested in accessing and understanding contemporary research and journalistic resources from these regions in Arabic and Persian.

Assurance of Privacy and Confidentiality

The University Library’s faculty and staff are professionally obligated and committed to maintaining patron confidentiality.  No question you ask, resource you use, or book you read will be shared without your consent (Library Privacy Policy).

Librarians can also provide advice and instruction on privacy enhancing technologies that you may wish to consider using in online research and electronic communications.  (See Library Freedom Project: or Heritage Foundation for more information on privacy and technology issues:


To contact an expert in Middle East Studies, get help with research on this topic, or learn more about services, resources, and advice that the Library can offer please contact:

International and Area Studies Library: Room 321, Main Library; 1408 W. Gregory Dr.; Urbana, IL, (217) 333-1501 Email:

For specific visa advice, and counseling, please contact International Student and Scholar Services

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: International Student and Scholar Services, (217) 333-1303 (

Steve Witt
Associate Professor
Head, International and Area Studies Library
Director, Center for Global Studies
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, Illinois 61820 USA
Phone: 217.265.7518

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Graduate Minor in Global Studies

Are you a graduate student interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the process of globalization? Do you want to integrate your skills within the broader interdisciplinary, intellectual, and public policy demands confronting the world’s populations? Do you want to better understand the importance of sustainable development, international cooperation, human rights advocacy, and world peace? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you should apply for the Graduate Minor in Global Studies through the Center for Global Studies!

As our world becomes increasingly more globalized and populated, it is crucial for the leaders of tomorrow to understand this emergence. Issues of shared concern across the globe must be confronted in order to maintain freedom, justice, security, and the environment. Businesses, governments, and universities are actively seeking employees with global studies backgrounds as free trade, population exchange, security concerns increase. Requiring only a total of twelve credit hours, this minor is a perfect addition to most graduate degrees. It is flexible with your future career needs, engaging twenty-five units across campus that supporting elective courses for Global Studies Minor students.

This minor is open to Masters and Doctoral students at the University of Illinois. More information can be found at the Center for Global Studies Graduate Minor website at:

Complimenting discussion on this phenomenal graduate minor, our annual Fall Open House Reception and book launch took place Tuesday, November 15th . This reception, in honor of former Center for Global Studies Director, Ed Kolodziej, launched his new book, Governing Globalization: Challenges for Democracy and Global Society. A short review of his book can be found below.

Stay tuned to the CGS website for information on a symposium that is being planned from March 31 – April 1, 2017.


Reposted from the September 19th, 2016 ACDIS blog post.

Governing Globalization: Challenges for Democracy and Global Society—A Review

By: Lynne Rudasill, Global Studies Librarian and Associate Professor, University of Illinois Library

The articulation of the canon of global studies is an ongoing, and still incomplete, practical and intellectual exercise. In Governing Globalization: Challenges for Democracy and Global Society, Ed Kolodziej brings the tenets of Order, Welfare and Legitimacy (OWL) into the discussion of the effectiveness and legitimacy of democratic solutions to the governance of the global society.

Dr. K9781783487639olodziej, Emeritus and Research Professor of Political Science, is the founder and former Director of the Center for Global Studies and co-founder and former Director of the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This work begins with a description and development of the term “global society” as a means to characterize the transformations of the human condition brought on by globalization. With some kinship to Manuel Castells’ work on global governance, Kolodziej describes the key properties of the interconnected and expanding networks that are at play in the democratic global society.  Kolodziej also provides an exploration of the properties that distinguish earlier societies from the global society in which we live today. Kolodziej furthers his exploration with discussion of many of the non-state actors that are challenging traditional Westphalian notions of nation-states.  He discusses the contributions from Hobbes on Order, Marx and Smith on Welfare, and Rousseau on the imperative of Legitimacy as background. Next he situates the global state, the global market system, and popular rule and human rights as the autonomous structures of power in the global society under this framework.


Visit the ACDIS blog to read more!

For further reading on this topic, we suggest the following:

Castells, Manuel. 2000. The rise of the network society. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.  Also online for Urbana campus community members.

Held, David. .2006. Models of democracy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Hobbes, Thomas. 1885. Leviathan; or, The matter, form and power of a commonwealth, ecclesiastical and civil. London; New York : George Routledge and Sons.

Marx, Karl. 1970 translation by S. W. Ryazanskaya. A contribution to the critique of political economy. Moscow: Progress.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1913 ed. The social contract & Discourses. London: J.M. Dent & Sons.

Smith, Adam. 1818. An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. Hartford: Cooke & Hale.

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What the Trump Era Could Mean for Librarians and Educators – Historical Reflections on Promoting Tolerance, Intercultural Understanding, and Global Perspectives

Originally published November 18th, 2016
Reposted from Glocal Notes, a blog from the International and Area Studies Library

By: Steve Witt

Protesters in front of former Chicago Public Library and Grand Army of the Republic Hall, Chicago, Illinois, November 11, 2016

Protesters in front of former Chicago Public Library and Grand Army of the Republic Hall, Chicago, Illinois, November 11, 2016

Regardless of political affiliation, the recent elections in the United States have left many educators and librarians wondering how to make sense of what appearsto be a dramatic political shift that impacts both our ideas of knowledge and notions of tolerance, multiculturalism, and global perspectives. This is not the first time we’ve experienced this kind of societal challenge, and a historical perspective may provide guidance regarding the challenges educators, librarians, and funding agencies that focus on fostering global and intercultural perspectives may face.

In a recent op-ed piece, Benjamin Soskis, historian of philanthropy at the Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy and Policy at George Mason University addresses how philanthropists and foundations might need to adjust to changes in the political landscape and apparent lapses in support for both rural populations and others disconnected from the global economy[i].  Soskis’ analysis pointedly looks back to the challenges and activities of 20th Century philanthropy programs that broadly addressed educational issues in the US.  Soskis also alludes to the need to support dialogue and understanding that counters worldviews focused narrowly on national needs and skepticism of international entanglements.

Soskis’ look back at the 20th Century is prescient in the observation of a focus on the educational needs of rural Americans but also in pointing to political parallels to what the United States may be facing.  Edward Kolodziej, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois, recently noted in a lecture on global governance that global politics may be moving back to a model last seen in the 1920’s.[ii]

Bookplate from International Mind Alcove program

Bookplate from International Mind Alcove program

In 1918, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) partnered with educators and libraries to promote what we would now consider global perspectives and intercultural understanding.  Through what were called International Mind Alcoves the CEIP freely distributed books aimed to encourage cosmopolitan thinking across the globe in order to foster the social and economic conditions for peace.[iii]  During the program’s 40 year history, the alcoves grew from a group of small, informal, book collections to a well-funded and highly organized operation. These books were used to promote learning about international relations and cultures and to influence people to realize their “duties, rights, and obligations” as humans within an international system.[iv] Beginning in 1918 and ending in 1948, the International Mind Alcove program established 1,120 adult collections and 447 juvenile collections in mainly rural US public libraries, plus additional collections throughout Europe, Latin America, the Near East, and Asia.

The notion of the “International Mind” was promoted heavily by the CEIP’s chairman of the Division of Intercourse and Education, Nicholas Murray Butler. The overall aim of this work was to replace nationalism with internationalism by nurturing perspectives that transcended political boundaries. This type of advocacy falls within Akira Iriye’s definition of cultural internationalism and the “variety of activities undertaken to link countries and people through the exchange of ideas and persons, through scholarly cooperation, or through efforts at facilitating cross-national understanding”.[v] Central to cultural internationalism is the idea that the key to a sustained peace is cross-cultural knowledge engendered by education and exchange. In the early and mid 20th Century, this new form of internationalism focused on the growing sense of a “global community in which all nations and people shared certain interests and commitments”.[vi]

The International Mind Alcove program’s history reveals an often complicated and controversial relationship between education movements, society, and funding agencies. Just as current debates focus on the authority of knowledge and the confusing distribution of propaganda and false news through social networking platforms, early and mid 20thCentury information dissemination generated debate about the value and power of knowledge in the public sphere.  For example, in Harlingen, Texas, the Public Library board debated the need for “more books on Americanism” as a way to “combat the spread of communism” in an article that also noted “an interesting report on the popularity of the International Mind Alcove collection”.[vii]

The role of knowledge and media in the juxtaposition of Americanism and internationalism also featured heavily on Capitol Hill.  In a series of Congressional speeches Massachusetts Representative George Tinkham, who was skeptical of internationalism, warned that “the manipulation of public opinion from sources which do not represent the general public will become the poisoned cup from which the American Republic will perish.”  Tinkham called for “a congressional investigation of the propaganda methods of the CIEP and its allies [to] . . . insure preservation of American independence and American neutrality”.[viii]  By the early 1950’s, these educational programs were again under fire. Through House Resolution 561, the 82nd US Congress investigated whether or not tax-exempt foundations were misusing their funds to support activities that countered national interests. The committees were charged with conducting a “full and complete investigation and study of educational and philanthropic foundations and other comparable organizations which are exempt from Federal income taxation to determine if any foundations and organizations are using their resources for purposes other than the purposes for which they were established, and especially to determine which such foundations and organizations are using their resources for un-American and subversive activities; for political purposes; propaganda or attempts to influence legislation”.[ix]  The Chicago Daily Tribune, which had long been critical of internationalist programs, editorialized that “huge foundations in the country have been diverted into propaganda for globalism, including international communism”.[x] On the other hand, the New York Times, editorialized on the “dangers to freedom of scholarship, research and thought that lie half-hidden between the lines” of the committee’s investigation.[xi]

There is a clear historical connection between the continued debate between worldviews and the pendulum may be swinging once again toward nationalism and isolationism.  It is also apparent that educators and librarians continue to play a key role in helping communities navigate differences in worldviews amidst a media environment that inspires distrust in knowledge and the existence of multitruths. What lies ahead is unknown.  It is clear, however, that our work to provide opportunities for cultural engagement and to promote a critical understanding of the media and knowledge production are as important now as a century ago.


[i] Opinion: New Realities for Philanthropy in the Trump Era. (2016, November 10). Retrieved November 18, 2016, from

[ii] See: Kolodziej, E. A. (2016). Governing globalization : Challenges for democracy and global society. London: Rowman & Littlefield International.

[iii] See: W, W. S. (2014). International Mind Alcoves: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Libraries, and the Struggle for Global Public Opinion, 1917–54. Library & Information History, 30(4), 273–290.

[iv] Butler, N. (1923). ‘The Development of the International Mind.’ Advocate for Peace, 85 (1923), p. 344–45.

[v] Iriye, A.  Cultural Internationalism and World Order. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), p. 3.

[vi] Iriye, A. Global Community: The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), p. 18.

[vii]  ‘Rotarians make gift to library.’ Heraldo de Brownsville. October 16, 1938, p. 5.

[viii] Tinkham, G. H. (1933). ‘Nicholas Murray Butler’s Attitude ‘Seditious’. Milwaukee Sentinel, February 26, 1933.

[ix] US Congress. House. Special Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations. Tax-exempt Foundations: Hearings before the Special Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations. 83rd  Congress. (US Government Printing Office, 1954), p. 1.

[x] Fulton, W. 1951. ‘Foundations Wander into Fields of Isms: Divert High Aims; Probe Planned Diverted to Globalistic and Red Propaganda.’ Chicago Daily Tribune, October 15, 1951, p. 1.

[xi] ‘Foundation Inquiry.’ New York Times, December 11, 1952.

This entry was posted in Culture, Global Events and tagged foundations, globalism, globalization, intercultural education, international studies, nationalism, Peace by


Steve Witt is associate professor, Director of the Center for Global Studies, and Head of the International and Area Studies Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Witt is also editor of IFLA Journal ( His research focuses on the trajectory and impacts of international developments in library and information science, placing global trends in librarianship and knowledge production in the context of wider social and technological developments.


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Honorary Ambassador Wonder Woman

Courtesy of and DC

Courtesy of and DC

The famous comic book character, Amazonian princess, fighter of evildoers, and undisputed role model Wonder Woman turns 75 on Friday, October 21st. In conjunction with the 70th birthday of the United Nations on October 24th and in an effort to meet its sustainable development goals (Goal 5 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”), Wonder Woman will be named an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls for gender equality.

In many ways, her appointment makes sense. “Wonder Woman is the epitome of the woman who needs a man the way a fish needs a bicycle…She is self-sufficient and strong and fights for equality and justice” (Friedman, 2016). She is a model for female independence. Framing the designation as powerful, inspiring and bold, DC and the WB are promoting this campaign with the new hashtag #WithWonderWoman — notably similar to a certain presidential campaign slogan, #I’mWithHer. 

However, her appointment is not entirely without controversy. In our particular political and social climate, some see this famous super hero as a scantily clad women, encouraging male fantasies of hyper-sexuality. Additionally, her sexual orientation is provocative to some parties. Protests are looming with some arguing that Wonder Woman’s outfit destroys the headway the women’s rights movement has made in looking beyond a woman’s body and clothing for her value as a human being. But, as Vanessa Friedman of the New York Times notes, Wonder Woman is inseparable from her clothing. It represents everything that is special about her, in addition to encouraging women to dress in whatever way that makes them feel comfortable, special, and empowered; whether than be in a sackcloth, loose jeans and button-up shirts, or a tight leather corset with a flowing skirt and combat boots.

“She may not be using her sexuality as a weapon (She has bracelets and gold lasso for that), but it’s nonetheless making a statement”

-Vanessa Friedman, NY Times, 2016

When asked how Wonder Woman would be portrayed as an ambassador, Nicola Scott, the artist behind the most current incarnation of Wonder Woman, noted, “the goal was to create a noble and strong look, while still maintaining Wonder Woman’s approachability and global appeal. While her look is contentious, her reputation and empowering persona still shine bright for all to see.” (Friedman, 2016)



Canna, Michael. “Wonder Woman is named honorary U.N. ambassador. But not everyone is happy about it.” The Washington Post, 21 October, 2016.

Friedman, Vanessa. “Is it Time for Wonder Woman to Hang Up Her Bathing Suit?” The New York Times, 20 October, 2016.

The United Nations. Stand Up for the Empowerment of Women and Girls Everywhere. Accessed 21 October, 2016.



Cole, William. 1956. Women are wonderful! A history in cartoons of a hundred years with America’s most controversial figure. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Inness, Sherrie A. 1999. Taught girls: women warriors and wonder women in popular culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Robinson, Lillian S. 2004. Wonder women: feminism and superheroes. New York: Rutledge.

Spar, Debora L. 2013. Wonder women: sex, power, and the quest for perfection. New York: Sarah Crichton Books.


Avery-Natalie, Edward. 2013. “An Analysis of Embodiment Among Six Superheroes in DC Comics.” Social Thought & Research 32, 71-106.Howell, Charlotte E. 2015. “‘Tricky’ Connotations: Wonder Woman As DC’s Brand Disruptor.” Cinema Journal 55, no. 1: 141-149.

Crossette, Barbara. “In 2016, The UN Will be Transformed. Will that be Enough to Bring it Back to Life?.” Nation 302, no. 2/3 (January 11, 2016): 12-17.

Pennell, Hillary, and Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz. 2015. “The Empowering (Super) Heroine? The Effects of Sexualized Female Characters in Superhero Films on Women.” Sex Roles 72, no. 5-6: 211-220.



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International Right to Know Day – September 28


In 2002 a group of organizations working in the area of free access to information met in Sofia, Bulgaria at the Freedom of Information litigation conference.  As a result of this meeting the International Freedom of Information Advocates Network was formed to promote the right of access to information for all people and underline the importance of transparency and openness on the part of governments.  The 28th of September is set aside each year to mark the progress made in promoting this “right to know”.

What constitutes transparency and openness in government?  This is an issue that affects all countries.  It includes the ability freely access and understand the publications and records of activities of government entities.  The U.S. Government Information Transparency Act of 2009 provides some additional background on the topic.  It states:

“Openness and accountability are deeply rooted in the U.S. Government, so much so that it is written into the Constitution that the Congress keep a record of its activities and make it available to the general public. To this end, the Congress has, over the years, enacted a number of laws requiring a variety of federal information to be made available to the public. Since its passage in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has been a cornerstone of these efforts. Additionally, there are numerous federal laws requiring the public disclosure of an array of federal information including, but not limited to, the Ethics in Government Act, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, and the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.

While all of these open government laws improve transparency and accountability, the information and data they produce, whether it be because of format, venue, or sheer volume, is not always useful. As it currently stands, a variety of federal business and financial information is available to the public in a number of different formats and places. Although the Internet has greatly improved the accessibility of this information, accessibility alone does not promote accountability. In order to be an efficient and effective resource for both the general public and the federal government itself, federal business and financial information must be made available in a standard and useful way so that data is more easily manipulated, searched, and shared.  The Government Information Transparency Act directs OMB to adopt single data standards for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of federal business and financial information. H.R. 2392 is intended to improve the transparency, consistency, and usability of federal business and financial information.”

The United States government has a long standing Freedom of Information Act that provides a process for retrieving information that is not readily available for a variety of reasons.  Passed in 1966, the Act was one of the first to address the challenges of government transparency.  The FOIA website provides excellent information on how to make a request, statistics on the number of requests received and processed and more.  Mendel provides an excellent overview of the Act and how it is currently measuring up in comparison to other nations’ laws.  The challenges to federal employees in accommodating the law is discussed briefly by Rodgers and helps us understand some of the difficulties endemic to completing FOIA requests.  The University Library subscribes to the Digital National Security Archive, a database that provides access to many collections of previously classified documents.

In a related area today is also the first celebration of the International Day for the Universal Access to Information which underlines the importance of easy access to information for sustainable development.  You can read more about this celebration at the UNESCO site as well as the site for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

For more information on this topic you might read –


Adshead, M. & Felle, T. (Eds.) (2015) Ireland and the Freedom of Information Act. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Hammitt, H. A. & Susman, T. M. (2004) Business uses of the Freedom of Information Act. Arlington, VA: Bureau of National Affairs.

Martin, G. Bray, R.S. & Kumar, M. (Eds.) (2015) Secrecy, law, and society. New York: Routledge.

Schudson, M. (2015) The rise of the right to know: politics and the culture of transparency, 1945-1975.  Cambridge:  Belknap Press.

Scholarly Articles:

Doshi, P., & Jefferson, T. (2016). Open data 5 years on: A case series of 12 freedom of information requests for regulatory data to the european medicines agency. Trials, 17(1) doi:10.1186/s13063-016-1194-7

Gunnlaugsdottir, J. (2016). Reasons for the poor provision of information by the government: Public opinion. Records Management Journal, 26(2), 185-205. doi:10.1108/RMJ-03-2015-0013

Liu, A. C. (2016). Two faces of transparency: The regulations of People’s republic of china on open government information. International Journal of Public Administration, 39(6), 492-503. doi:10.1080/01900692.2015.1018426

Mendel, T. (2016). The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act: How it Measures up Against International Standards and Other Laws. Communication Law & Policy21(4), 465-491. doi:10.1080/10811680.2016.1216685

Mohapatra, S. (2016). Right to information act, 2005 and privacy in public mental health sector in india. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 19, 23. doi:10.1016/j.ajp.2015.11.011

Rodgers, M. A. (2016). Freedom of Information Act Requests Six Keys to Handling Them. Defense AT&L, 45(1), 50-52.

Vadlamannati, K. C., & Cooray, A. (2016). Transparency pays? evaluating the effects of the freedom of information laws on perceived government corruption. Journal of Development Studies, , 1-22. doi:10.1080/00220388.2016.1178385


Ethics in Government Act

Digital National Security Archive

Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act

FOIA Improvement Act of 2016

United States FOIA Resources

Honest Leadership and Open Government Act





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International Literacy Day!



“The world has changed since 1966 – but our determination to provide every woman and man with the skills, capacities, and opportunities to become everything they wish, in dignity and respect, remains as firm as ever. Literacy is a foundation to build a more sustainable future for all.”

-UNESCO Director-General

September 8th, 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day.  Established by UNESCO in 1966, International Literacy Day reflects the desire to increase global literacy rates, promote literacy as a tool for peace and positive change, and empower individuals to achieve their dreams. This year, UNESCO celebrates under the theme “Reading the Past, Writing the Future”, honoring the progress made toward global literacy, acknowledging current challenges, and discussing solutions that can be enacted across cultures and regions.

Global literacy is incorporated into many national and intergovernmental peace-building programs, including UNESCO’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With the key goal of wiping out poverty, the international community identified education and literacy as valuable tools in the fight against economic inequality.  The Agenda specifically states, “ensur[ing] inclusive and equitable quality education and promot[ing] lifelong learning opportunities for all” is essential for true sustainable development.  2016 is the first year for 2030 Agenda implementation.

Literacy in a Technological Age

What role does technology play in literacy? Even though they increase our access to information, technological advances both help and hinder global literacy. With increased access, knowledge is always at our fingertips. This shift from print to digital eliminates geographic boundaries when attempting to access educational resources– that is, if we own the types of technology that can access it (phones, computers, tablets, etc.). Due to the increase in demand for digital materials, some basic literacy tools are only accessible electronically – thereby only accessible to those with enough monetary resources to purchase the technology that can access these digitized materials. The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) identifies this trend in the information services realm – a trend that no doubt favors more economically developed regions. IFLA acknowledges that access to information has and will continue to have profound impact on developments in the information economy.  According to the IFLA Trend Report,  “An ever-expanding digital universe will bring a higher value to information literacy skills like basic reading and competence with digital tools. People who lack these skills will face barriers to inclusion in a growing range of areas. The nature of new online business models will heavily influence who can successfully own, profit from, share, or access information in the future.”  Working with other interested organizations and individuals, this organization moved for the inclusion of these concepts in UNESCO’s Agenda.

For more information on the topic of literacy:

Scholarly Articles

Boughton, B. & Durnan, D. 2014. “Cuba’s ‘Yes, I Can’ mass adult literacy campaign model in Timor-Leste and Aboriginal Australia: A comparative study.” International Review of Education 60, no. 4: 559-580.

Duncan, Lynne G., Sarah P. McGeown, Yvonne M. Griffiths, Susan E. Stothard, and Anna Dobai. 2016. “Adolescent reading skill and engagement with digital and traditional literacies as predictors of reading comprehension.” British Journal Of Psychology 107, no. 2: 209-238.

Hanemann, Ulrike. 2015. “Lifelong literacy: Some trends and issues in conceptualising and operationalising literacy from a lifelong learning perspective.” International Review Of Education / Internationale Zeitschrift Für Erziehungswissenschaft 61, no. 3: 295-326.

Sharma, Ravi, Arul-Raj Fantin, Navin Prabhu, Chong Guan, and Ambica Dattakumar. 2016. “Digital literacy and knowledge societies: A grounded theory investigation of sustainable development.” Telecommunications Policy 40, no. 7: 628-643.

Sharp, Laurie A. 2014. “Literacy in the Digital Age.” Language And Literacy Spectrum 24, 74-85.


De Abreu, Belinha S. & Yildiz, Melda N. (eds.). 2016. Global media literacy in a digital age: teaching beyond borders. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Erstad, Ola & Sefton-Green, Julian (eds.). 2013. Identity, community, and learning lives in the digital age. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Rowsell, Jennifer. 2013. Working with multimodality: rethinking literacy in a digital age. London: Routledge.

Tyner, Kathleen R. 1998. Literacy in a digital world: teaching and learning in the age of information. Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Welsh, Teresa S. & Wright, Melissa S. 2010. Information literacy in the digital age: an evidence-based approach.  Oxford, U.K: Chandos.


UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Agenda:

The First Stop for Education Data:

Incheon Declaration Education 2030:

Riding the Waves or Caught in the Tide: Insights from the IFLA Trend Report:

IFLA Trend Report 2016 Update:

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World War I Remembrance – Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red


The First World War began on July 28, 1914 and did not officially end until the signing of a ceasefire that went into effect on November 11, 1918 at 11:00 a.m.  Over the course of this time, 888,246 soldiers from Britain and its Commonwealth were killed in conflict.  To commemorate this loss, Paul Cummins and Tom Piper were commissioned to create this impressive installation of ceramic poppies flowing out of the Tower of London and into the surrounding moat.  To put this into perspective, 116,378 American military personnel were lost in this conflict. (Leland, 2010)

In the United States, Armistice Day was first officially commemorated in 1918 through a Presidential Proclamation by Woodrow Wilson.  In 1938 an Act was passed to create a legal holiday, Armistice Day.  In 1954 in the United States, the word “Armistice” was changed to “Veterans” in order to recognize the sacrifice of American soldiers involved in all conflicts.  After being designated as a federal holiday on the fourth Monday in November in 1961 as part of the Uniform Holiday Bill, the official celebration was changed back to the original date effective in 1978 .  For more on the history of this holiday in the United States, the Veterans Administration provides a brief History of Veterans Day.

This fall, the University of Illinois remembers “The Great War: Experience, Representations, Effects” with a calendar of events.  Come learn more about the War to End All Wars.


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Graduate Minor in Global Studies Information Sessions!

Interested in expanding your disciplinary and professional vision as well as your job prospects? The Graduate Minor in Global Studies enables MA, PhD and professional school students to gain a deeper understanding of the processes of globalization. The Minor builds on students’ disciplinary and professional knowledge base to integrate their specialized skills within the broader intellectual, and public policy demands of the challenges confronting the world’s populations today.

Upcoming Student Information Sessions

For more information on the Graduate Minor and associated course
requirements, please attend one of the following informational meetings:

Thursday, September 11, 4-5 pm
Monday, September 15, 4-5 pm
Friday, September 19, 12-1 pm

All sessions will be held in Room 101 of the International Studies Building.

Refreshments will be served!

For more information contact:
Center for Global Studies * 217-265-5186

Visit our web site:

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Staff Spotlight – Elly Hanauer

Ellie HanauerElly Hanauer is Associate Director at the Center for Global Studies. We talked to Elly about her job, her background, and her advice to students considering degrees and careers in Global Studies. Here’s what she had to say!

What is your job description? Can you tell me about what you do here?
I’m the Associate Director for the Center for Global Studies. Our overall mission is to globalize the research, teaching and outreach of the university, so it’s a very broad charge, and we do that primarily through funding and program development. We are designated as a National Resource Center by the U.S. Department of Education through the International Foreign Language Education Program as part of their Post-Secondary Education Program. As a National Resource Center we fund a lot of faculty across campus, for example, course development projects that focus on interdisciplinary and global or trans-national policy topics. We specifically reach out to the professional schools on campus, and to encourage interdisciplinary work and collaboration across campus and between the various colleges on campus.  For example, we work with the Global Health Initiative to link faculty and students across disciplines working on global health issues. We also administer the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships through this grant. Additionally we develop and run a variety of programs separate from the Department of Education funding. Last year we were awarded a U.S. State Department grant from their Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs to run a Study of the U.S. Institute for Secondary Educators. We bring a group of twenty to thirty mostly high-school educators from all over the world – everywhere from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan – to the Illinois campus for the Global Institute for Secondary Educators. During their time on campus the foreign educators attend lectures and workshops on American studies, U.S. culture, history, and society, and also to on pedagogy and curriculum development. We also develop programs for High School students, K-12 and community college educators. We recently developed and launched a summer workshop (one-credit course) for High School students in Global Studies.  In 2013 the workshop was on international human rights. This coming summer we’ll be focusing on environmental sustainability.

What is your favorite part about your job?
I love working with people from all over the world with programs like the Global Institute, and also getting to work with faculty, staff, and students across campus, so I’m not pigeonholed into one department or one area of the world. That’s been really interesting.

What brought you to Global Studies, and how did you choose this as a career?
My academic background, both my BA and MA, were in French. I did my Master’s in France, I studied abroad in France several times, and had always had a strong interest in foreign languages and cultural experiences in study abroad. When I came back from my Master’s, I started working at the Institute of International Education, which is a fairly large non-profit. I administered international scholarship, exchange and professional development programs. Over the years I worked a lot more on international development programs, and I ended up focusing on women’s issues, and working with women’s organizations in the Middle East promoting women’s leadership. I was there for about five years and I absolutely loved it, but I also missed the university environment, and I wanted to get back into that atmosphere.  I decided to go back to school for my PhD in International Education. My academic focus was still on France, and my dissertation, “The Discourse and Teaching of Immigration History in France: Negotiations of Terminology, Ideology and School Space” examines how the topic of immigration is addressed in French high schools. While I was working on my PhD I continued to work on international education programs, for example I worked on one of the State Department Study of the U.S. Institutes at New York University, so I was still keeping a foot into the administration of international programs. At the Center for Global Studies I really enjoy working as an academic professional, which bridges both academic inquiry and program management.

What would you say to a student who is considering a degree in Global Studies?
I would say, study abroad for a full year. I would say that they should definitely try to do an internship of some sort, to get some professional experience abroad as well as in this country to get a sense of what the workplace is like, but also to just figure out what you want to do. I know for me while I was in school I didn’t have any sense of  what I wanted to do professionally.  It was not until I had some internships and work experience that I was able to make those decisions. I would also definitely recommend to anyone who wants to go on to graduate study to also make sure you take some time to work in the real world to get that perspective and experience.

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