Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon Humanities Center Lecture Series To Present
"Is Water the New Oil? The New Water Monopolies and the World's Poor"
Event: The third lecture of Carnegie Mellon's 2009-10 Humanities Center Lecture Series on "Global Connections, Global Responsibilities" will feature Karen Piper, an English professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, whose talk is titled "Is Water the New Oil? The New Water Monopolies and the World's Poor." The lecture series is sponsored by Carnegie Mellon's Humanities Center, the Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics and Political Philosophy, and the Global Studies Program, and focuses on the diversity between affluent and economically challenged countries and their influence on one another. The lectures are free and open to the public.
Piper, the 2009-10 Carnegie Mellon Humanities Center Fellow, will discuss how the World Bank supports policies that force poor countries to privatize their water supplies and the consequences of water privatization. Based on her experiences in India and South Africa, Piper will describe the drastic measures — from attempted mass drowning to extended fasts and riots — local people have taken to avoid water cut-offs or being flooded out. She also will point out how these resistance forms are changing development discourse and exposing a gap between "development" and "disaster."
An expert on globalization, colonial/neo-colonial discourse, and the rhetoric of development, Piper is the author of the books "Left in the Dust: How Race and Politics Created a Human and Environmental Tragedy in L.A." and "Cartographic Fictions: Maps, Race and Identity." While at Carnegie Mellon, Piper is working on a book about World Bank rhetoric regarding water privatization.
When: 4:30-6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 9. Reception to follow.
Where: Carnegie Mellon University, Porter Hall 100.
For more information, visit www.hss.cmu.edu/humanitiescenter/.