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Become a Member

Become a Subscriber or Patron Member of the IAF.

Each IAF member receives 16 tickets that can be used by you and/or your guests at any of the eight lectures in the 2014-2015 series.

Patron Members also receive public recognition at each lecture for the additional support that has been essential in sustaining the IAF lecture series for 20 years.

2014-2015 membership forms are available here »

Other Classes

Find out about upcoming NMC classes on global and local issues here »

Miss a Lecture?

Watch recent lectures on NMC's YouTube channel »

Catch rebroadcasts of IAF lectures on UpNorthTV (channel 189 for Charter Cable subscribers) at these times:

  • Sundays at 10 p.m.
  • Wednesdays at 9 p.m.
  • Fridays at 10 a.m.

Or go to UpNorth Media Center to stream the show. Under the UpNorthTV menu, select “Browse Shows” and look for IAF shows under Series Name (International Affairs Forum) or Producer Name (Segal, K).

Beyond the Headlines

IAF is producing a 30-minute interview show, focusing on international issues making headlines. Join Host Jack Segal or Guest Hosts as they explore important topics with visiting guests or local experts.

The show has the same broadcast times as below or go to UpNorth Media Center to stream the show!

IAF Lecture Series 2014-15

All lectures are held in the Dennos Museum Center's Milliken Auditorium on the NMC campus at 6 p.m., with a reception prior to each lecture from 5:15 to 6 p.m.

Tickets are available at the door for $10, and lectures are free for current students and educators.

Winter/Spring 2015


Elaine Diaz Rodriguez photoFebruary 19, 2015

Cuba: Time for Change?

Elaine Diaz Rodriguez is a Cuban blogger, journalist and professor at the University of Havana. She is currently a Nieman Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

After more than 50 years of rule under Fidel and Raul Castro and an embargo by the United States, the U.S. stands at a crossroads in Cuba. A shift in U.S. public opinion doubting the effectiveness of the embargo may force the issue into the 2016 presidential campaign. The embargo has not achieved the primary objective of removing Fidel Castro from power, yet it has brought economic pain to the Cuban people and stymied any possibility of reconciliation between the two nations. What might a post-embargo Cuba look like? What would an opening to Cuba mean to the U.S. economy, to travelers from the U.S., to the Cuban people, to the U.S. standing in Latin America?

Diaz Rodriguez brings a keen insight into current Cuban society and the capacity of digital communication to promote public discussion and consensus building in Cuba and possibly a path to normalization.


Mary Cline photoMarch 19, 2015

The Geopolitics of Energy: Winners and Losers

Dr. Mary Karol Cline, Associate Partner, Longview Global Advisors

Global energy markets are changing and, with it, the geopolitical environment we’ve become accustomed to over the last few decades. Is the energy world as we’ve known it for the past 50 years on its way out? Who are the winners and losers in this complex game and what is the likely impact for geostrategic politics as well as business? Join Dr. Mary Cline, an expert on the politics of energy and a strategic advisor to business executives. Mary was a Russia expert at the U.S. Department of State and also spent time in Dubai where she wrote on issues of energy security facing Middle East governments.


Juan Cole photoApril 16, 2015

The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East

Juan Cole, Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Michigan

The renowned blogger and Middle East expert Juan Cole illuminates the role of today’s Arab youth — who they are, what they want, and how they will affect world politics. In his stunning new book, The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East, Cole outlines the history that led to the dramatic changes in the region, and explores how a new generation of men and women are using innovative notions of personal rights to challenge the authoritarianism, corruption, and stagnation afflicting their societies. Can the Millennials shift from being a catalyst for rebellion to a governing force? Was the rise of the Internet as central to these social movements as reported in the western press? Are western governments prepared to engage with the Millennial Generation to promote democratic change?

For three decades, Cole has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. Don’t miss this unique opportunity!

Learn more about Juan Cole here »


Jake Bright photoMay 21, 2015

The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent becomes a Global Powerhouse

Jake Bright, Whitehead Fellow at The Foreign Policy Association and a contributing writer for The Financial Times

Be prepared to change the way you think about Africa! Traverse City native Jake Bright has a new book out that recasts the African continent as an emerging powerhouse. Bright details cross-cutting trends prompting Silicon Valley venture capital funds and firms like GE, IBM, and Proctor & Gamble, as well as global players like China, to make major investments in African economies, and describes how Africans are stimulating Milan runways, Hollywood studios, and London pop charts! The old narrative of an Africa disconnected from the global economy is fading and a wave of transformation driven by business, modernization, and a new cadre of remarkably talented Africans is thrusting the continent from the world’s margins to the global mainstream.

The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent becomes a Global Powerhouse is a paradigm-shifting guide to the events, trends, and people reshaping Africa’s relationship to the world.

Learn more about Jake Bright here »


Bob Giles photoJune 18, 2015

Is a Free Press Dangerous?

Award-winning newspaper reporter, editor and IAF board member Robert H. Giles

The role of a free press in the United States is rapidly evolving. The digital era has given the press powerful tools to hold governments accountable, yet hard times for news organizations mean fewer reporters are bearing witness to violence and progress in distant lands. Whistleblowers leaking government secrets to reporters are raising alarms about government over-reach while, some believe, violating national security. Independent bloggers are making their mark in the daily news cycle, sometimes drowning out careful analysis. Polarized politics are shaping how people consume the news. Is the press pushing its First Amendment freedoms too far?

Bob Giles is former editor and publisher of The Detroit News and curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He now lives in Traverse City.