World Affairs Council Fall Lecture Series at UNC Asheville Begins Sept. 10

September 4, 2019

UPDATED Oct. 9, 2019 – New Speaker/Topic for Nov. 5 talk – Consul General Theodore has had to postpone her appearance until the spring. Please see new listing:

New Nov. 5 Event – Policy Changes and Challenges – Cynthia C. Combs, professor of political science at UNC Charlotte, will address the challenges to diplomacy that recent leadership, staffing, policy shifts, and re-considerations have generated for US foreign policy and the institutions that implement it. 


Cuba, Brexit, U.S-Canada trade relations and India’s politics will all be explored in the fall 2019 World Affairs Council lectures at UNC Asheville’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). The lectures take place monthly at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday evenings at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center, in the Manheimer Room.

Sept. 10 – Cold War Redux: Cuba in the Trump Era – Jon Elliston, a journalist and historian who visited Cuba in May and has traveled to the island frequently for two decades, will be the speaker. Elliston, senior editor with WNC Magazine, is the former managing editor of Mountain Xpress, and prior to that worked for National Security Archive, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. that champions freedom of information, where he frequented the National Archive and explored the CIA’s historical database.

Oct. 1 – Britain, Brexit, and Beyond – Katherine Grenier, professor of history at The Citadel for more than 25 years, will look at what lies ahead for Britain, currently embroiled in political battle over Brexit. Grenier specializes in British social and cultural history and in modern Scotland.

NOTE – The talk by Consul General Theodore has been posted until the spring. Nov. 5 – Canada-U.S. Trade Relationship: A 21st Century Partnership – Consul General Nadia Theodore of Canada’s southeastern consulate in Atlanta will report on her nation’s evolving trade relationships with the U.S.  Prior to her current appointment in 2017, Theodore served in executive leadership roles in several of Canada’s international trade negotiations, notably, with the European Union, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Her early civil service career involved work in Canada’s Permanent Missions to the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.

Dec. 3 – India: Modi Begins his Second Term – Keya Maitra will provide a look at India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi commences his second term with his party having increased its majority in this year’s election. Maitra, department chair and professor of philosophy, and Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities at UNC Asheville, completed all of her early schooling and her bachelor’s degree in India, and earned one of her two doctoral degrees at India’s University of Hyderabad. She also returned to India in 2015 with a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Grant, studying ancient Buddhist texts and exchanging ideas with colleagues at the University of Delhi. Maitra is a member of the Indian Philosophical Society, the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, and the Association for Asian Studies.

These lectures are sponsored by the WNC chapter of the World Affairs Council, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNC Asheville, and the University’s Department of Political Science.

Admission to World Affairs Council presentations at UNC Asheville is $10 for the public; free to members of the World Affairs Council and UNC Asheville students. For more information, visit OLLI’s website or call 828.251.6140.