The Sam and Marilyn Fox ATLAS program is held every year in the spring, highlighting the international dimension of Saint Louis University's academic programs. ATLAS week celebrates SLU's role in international education and service in light of the Jesuit tradition. The primary goal of the ATLAS program is to increase awareness of global issues in order to inspire and inform action.

The ATLAS Program is organized by Dr. Michelle Lorenzini

2017 Political Science ATLAS Events

Monday, April 3

Issues in International Law

9:00 - 9:50 a.m.
Center for Global Citizenship Seminar Room 124
Sponsored by: Department of Political Science

Students in International Law will present their research proposals.

The Blessing Basket Project

12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Busch Student Center 253B
Sponsored by: Department of Political Science and Center for International Studies

The Blessing Basket Project® is a certified nonprofit organization with ONE mission: lift the artisans we serve out of poverty. We pay our artisans a Prosperity Wage®, which is significantly beyond fair trade, in fact, more than anyone else in the world. The presentation will share our works and focus on what members of the University community can do starting locally to contribute to a better life for all people, now and in the future.

Make America Trade Again!

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Busch Student Center 253D
Sponsors: Department of Economics, Center for International Studies, Department of Political Science

Come and learn more about American trade policy and why it is important! This event will use interactive and discussion-based approaches to help understand the different perspectives behind International Trade. There will be a fun game to start out, then a power point to educate on the implications of trade, and finish with group discussions on questions, comments, or concerns attendees have with international trade. We really would like to both conceptually teach the basics behind international trade and (perhaps more importantly) understand why this is relevant today; leaving enough time for attendees to give their input. International Trade is a contentious issue within politics today, and we want attendees to be informed as we live out the Jesuit Mission of, "Being Men and Women for Others".

Tuesday, April 4

U.S. Politics in Comparative Perspective

9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Busch Student Center 251AB
Sponsored by: Department of Political Science

SLU Madrid students in POLS 2750 American Anomaly (via Fuze) will examine selected U.S. policies or institutions from the perspective of another country. St. Louis students in POLS 1100 will respond.

American Dream or Nightmare: US-Mexico Immigrant Story

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Busch Student Center 253A
Sponsored by: Department of Political Science

Leticia Seitz is the Executive Director of Latinos En Axión STL and will be providing her own narrative as an US-Mexican Immigrant. She is the co-founder of LEA and continues to fight for the rights for immigrants (undocumented or not). Leticia will be telling her own story and the struggles she/everyone continues to face.

Journeying with Russian

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Center for Global Citizenship Seminar Room 124
Sponsored by: Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures - Russian Division, Department of Political Science, Russian and East European Area Studies Program

Although Russia is home to 150,000 native speakers of Russian, it is estimated that another 100,000 speakers of Russian live beyond the country's borders so that those speaking the language can communicate with colleagues, friends, and relatives around the world, particularly in Eastern Europe and the former republics of the Soviet Union. Understanding that the study of Russian greatly extends opportunities for cultural exchange and employment, these three panelists will discuss where and how they have used their Russian to communicate not only in the vast landscape of Russia but also in Bulgaria, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States. 1. Cadet Eric Carter, a Russian Studies major who has been nominated as the 2017 outstanding senior for the Russian Division, has had the opportunity for bilingual encounters in Russia and the United States and will provide a millenial perspective for the panel in his presentation "Solving Churchill's Riddle: A Student's Journey to Russia." 2. Professor Irina Yulianova, a Russian native who has lived in Ukraine and Bulgaria, is a specialist in cultural studies and language pedagogy and is currently an adjunct instructor in the Russian program. In "My Journeys With Russian," Professor Yulianova will discuss how her experience with Russian language pedagogy opened professional opportunities in Bulgaria and the United States with some commentary on the time she spent in Ukraine. 3. Professor Elizabeth Blake, Coordinator of the Russian program, who has lived for extended periods in Russia and Poland, will share her experiences using Russian to communicate with refugees, students, and scholars abroad and at home in "Working and Communicating in Russian Spaces."

Giving Hope to Families in Bangladesh

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Busch Student Center 253B
Sponsored by: Department of Political Science

Hear how a small nonprofit, Partners for Sustainable Developement (PSDI), is giving hope to poor families in rural areas of Bangladesh using a holistic model of poverty eradication that can be implemented in any developing country in the world. For more information on PSDI, please visit:

Wednesday, April 5

Eastern European Espionage Films in the Cold War

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Center for Global Citizenship Conference Room 124
Sponsored by: Russian and East European Area Studies Program, Department of Political Science, Department of History, Center for International Studies

Dr. Tarik Amar, Associate Professor of History, Columbia University, will discuss Eastern European espionage films during the Cold War. Both the West and Communist countries used films about espionage extensively to discredit their opponents and glorify their own systems, extolling the professionalism and bravery of their own espionage services. Eastern Europe has an outstanding reputation in film art, reflected in the films Dr. Amar will discuss. He currently is working on a transnational history of Cold War narratives of spying, secrecy, and multiple identities. For more information on him, see

Thursday, April 6

Coffee & Conversation with a Diplomat

8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
John Cook School of Business, Room L27
Sponsored By: National Securities Language Initiative For Youth (NSLI-Y) Alumni Association, Department of Political Science

Start off your morning with coffee and learn about possible careers with the United States Department of State. Foreign Service Officer and current Midwest Region Diplomat In-Residence, Robert Neus will be joining us from the United States Department of State to speak about his career and answer questions in a casual setting. Event organizer, Ryan O'Malley State Department Exchange Alumnus and current State Department Alumni Representative for St. Louis will be presenting a short presentation on undergraduate & graduate student State Department Study Abroad Opportunities. Then, Foreign Service Officer Robert Neus will briefly talk about his career & answer student questions. Recommended attire for the event is business casual, but not required. Event is open to the entire Saint Louis University community, local State Department Exchange Alumni and general public. Robert Neus is the Diplomat in Residence for the Midwest based at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to this role he was the Consular Section Chief, for the U.S Embassy Zagreb. Furthermore, he was a member of the Emergency Action Committee and the Croatia Consular Corps; he served as one of the U.S. Ambassador's representatives to the board of the American International School. Lastly, he was the chairperson of the International cooperative administrative support services committee, which makes resource decisions for the Embassy. Mr. Neus has served in Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Cuba and Brazil. He holds a BA and MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He speaks Croatian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and basic Guarani.

Immigration Reform: How High the Wall?

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Spring Hall 141
Sponsored By: Department of Political Science

A panel of SLU faculty will speak and will take questions from the audience about recent and ongoing changes in U.S. immigration policy and the politics of immigration.

TrumPutin Relations: Present and Future

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Busch Student Center 253B
Sponsored By: Department of Political Science

How does America's relationship with Russia look to change over the next four years? We look into the quickly evolving relationship between the U.S. and Russia to understand the role of diplomacy and leadership in Russo-U.S. relations. We focus closely on the relationship between the new president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the third-term Russian president Vladimir Putin in order to see how Russo-U.S. relations look today and how this crucial relationship will change in the near future.

Friday, April 7

Politics & True Beliefs

Friday, April 7
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
McGannon Hall 144
Sponsored by: Department of Political Science


Mark Norris Lance, Professor, Department of Philosophy and Justice and Peace Studies Program, Georgetown University

"True Propositions vs. Truth-Telling: Agency, Pragmatics and Norms of Truth"
My argument is two-fold: first, that a focus on truth as applying to propositions misses all sorts of political crucial aspects that should apply to any norm of truth for actual speech acts; second, that the relative normative standard for speech acts isn't a simple additive function. In short, normative evaluation of speech, even speech fundamentally directed toward discovering truth, cannot focus solely on properties of the propositions expressed.

Olufemi Taiwo, Graduate Student, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Los Angeles

"Lead in the Water: An Argument For Truth and Against 'Lenses'"
Recent strains of scholarship have effectively demonstrated how the marginalization of different categories of people (e.g. the colonized, oppressed genders, races, and castes) have affected the development of different knowledge programs, including both the social and natural sciences. Because many of the effects focused on by this literature have been harmful to marginalized populations, scholars studying these fields often call for the centering of marginalized perspectives, arguing that the 'lens' with which they see the world will prevent the harms associated with marginalization. I will express highly qualified agreement: while largely agreeing with their historical assessment, many of the proposed ways of 'centering' the perspectives of the marginalized are likelier to prove politically ineffective or even counterproductive. This is related to a related but also separable objection: these programs of centering seem to put too little stock on what - or whether - we know, showing excessive concern with how we know it. I will sketch a positive account of 'centering' that aims to avoid the pitfalls of the politics of representation while meeting the challenge to decolonize knowledge production.

Ruth Groff, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Saint Louis University

"Truth, Negative Dialectics and the Virtue of Intellectual Courage"
I argue that there is a specific politically salient intellectual virtue that can be described as a capacity to form judgements of the type "Party A is in the right, morally, and also Party A has done x, which is unconscionable." More generally this virtue consists of being able to tolerate a set of beliefs that form a true but not-morally-seamless account. Plato and Adorno together, I suggest, can help us to conceptualize the virtue in question.

Discussant: Utz McKnight, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Alabama

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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