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ThinK series at West campus sets March events

February 25, 2011

March offerings in the ThinK (Thursdays in Kiva) series at ASU’s West campus include three events focusing on the yearlong theme of “Much Ado About Food,” along with an examination of issues surrounding the U.S.-Mexico border.

Events are free and open to the public (visitor parking on campus costs $2 per hour) and are held in the Kiva Lecture Hall, in the Sands Classroom Building at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.

ThinK is sponsored by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, the core college on the West campus.

The schedule is:

March 3, 5:00 p.m. – Lecture: Hunger and Happiness

Michael Pollan is credited with helping to launch a “food movement” with impressively ambitious goals. By changing the way we eat, we can change the political, economic, and cultural relationships through which food is produced and consumed, Pollan contends. This lecture, by visiting professor Richard Dienst from Rutgers University, will explore the far-reaching implications of Pollan’s advice. This will lead us to ask how a more multi-dimensional understanding of the contemporary “food system” can illuminate social relations, economic structures, and political bonds. Perhaps, in trying to solve the problems of hunger, we can discover new ways of pursuing happiness. Dienst’s presentation is hosted by Barrett, the Honors College on the West campus.

March 10, 5:00 p.m.: Film – “Eating Alaska”

What happens to a vegetarian who moves to the Alaskan frontier? “Eating Alaska” is a serious and humorous film about connecting to where you live and eating locally. Made by a former city dweller now living on an island in Alaska who is also married to a fisherman, deer hunter and environmental activist, “Eating Alaska” is a journey into food politics, regional food traditions, our connection to the wilderness, and to what we put into our mouths. The film’s screening is hosted by Monica Casper, director of the Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies division in New College.

March 24, 5:00 p.m. – Panel discussion: Fear Factor: When Food Can Kill You!

This panel discussion will raise awareness about food allergies and the difficulties families face in managing them. Approximately six percent of the U.S. population is affected by one or more food allergies. The discussion facilitator is Perla A. Vargas, an assistant professor in the New College Social and Behavioral Sciences division. Vargas is a health psychologist with a background in health behavior theory and health services research methodology and extensive experience working in multidisciplinary research teams studying cancer, obesity, asthma and food allergy. The panel features Elaine Rostad, Linda Churchill, Dawn P. Potosky and Dona Whitney, who are parents of children with food allergies.

March 31, 5:00 p.m. – Forum: Networks, Justice and the Border

For its final March event, ThinK teams up with the annual Border Justice event held on ASU’s West campus. The 2011 theme, “Networks, Justice and the Border,” focuses on the socio-political discourse that informs our immigration policy and the political alliances and cultural folkways in which people organize for migrant rights. This forum will provide the audience with diverse perspectives on current immigration issues.

For more information, call (602) 543-4521 or email