Wonder Woman opened recently to much praise and solid box office sales, including the top spot in many nations around the world during its debut weekend. One of Wonder Woman’s appeals is that it challenges the typical notion of a superhero. However, more broadly, Wonder Woman is an opportunity to reflect on the global fascination with superheroes. Natalie Haynes of the BBC (Before Marvel and DC) suggests that even though superhero stories dominate contemporary cinemas, they actually have their origins in antiquity. From Fionn mac Cumhaill, who built the Giant’s Causeway to Northern Ireland, to Gilgamesh, who defeated Humbaba in Mesopotamia, superheroes have existed as long as stories have. They have both timeless and universal appeal to “ordinary” human beings.
The global appeal of superheroes stems in part from the universality of the themes they represent: justice and injustice, the hero’s journey, lessons for coping with adversity and more. Sohaib Awan, producer of the Jinnrise comic series, says, “Each culture offers a potential take on well-known themes and stories. There may only be a certain number of stories to tell, but cultural diversity offers a myriad of ways to tell them.” Additionally, fans across the globe are continuing to adopt cosplay, short for costume play, to honor their comic book and superheroes. To read about how young women in Malaysia have found ways to merge the hijab with their passion for superheroes and cosplay, click here or read on to learn about superheroes from around the world.
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Kayla Prince, Tristan Shea and Kendra Watkins are South Piedmont Community College’s first Scholars of Global Distinction. All three students have been accepted to UNC-Chapel Hill for the fall semester.
Tristan Shea and Kayla Prince (left), Kendra Watkins (right). Photos courtesy of South Piedmont Community College.
Prince and Shea are also the first Career and College Promise students to graduate concurrently from their high school, Porter Ridge, and from South Piedmont Community College with Associate in Arts degrees. Career and College Promise is an academic program that allows high school students to take up to 40 hours of tuition-free curriculum courses. After completing 40 hours, students can transfer to a senior institution or complete their degree program. Prince and Shea chose to finish their Associate in Arts degrees before transferring. Read more ›
Gaston College’s first Scholar of Global Distinction, Avalon Warren, graduated on Friday, May 12, 2017. Warren achieved this honor by taking globally-intensive courses, presenting a portfolio, contributing to global activities and committing herself to being a global scholar.
Photo courtesy of Gaston College
The North Carolina Global Distinction program is a collaboration between North Carolina community colleges and World View at UNC-Chapel Hill to globalize curriculum and increase faculty and student involvement in global issues, activities and dialogue.
Warren attributes much of her global viewpoint to her upbringing. “Since I was a child my parents exposed me to all sorts of intercultural experiences,” Warren said. “International travel wasn’t necessarily an option financially, but they believed that within our ‘melting pot’ of a country there was still much to discover, so they would take me all over the place throughout the U.S. . . . It gave me a sense of understanding, acceptance, and love for all people, no matter their background, race, gender or religion.” Read more ›
UNC’s Center for European Studies offers several programs for K-12 educators who want to learn and teach about Europe and the European Union. Programs are open to any K-12 educator. However, priority is given to underserved school districts (title I, rural, etc.) and those beyond the local research triangle area as part of the Center for European Studies’ opening access initiative to provide resources throughout the state. Read more ›
“Our responses to refugees must be grounded in our shared values of responsibility sharing,
non-discrimination and human rights.”
—Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General from 2007 to 2016
June 20 is recognized internationally as World Refugee Day, a day of awareness of and for refugees across the globe. World Refugee Day was put into practice in 2001 by the United Nations General Assembly on the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention (a treaty that established the rights of refugees and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum).
Since then, the way we define refugees—and the political and social climate surrounding refugees—has changed, as has the number of refugees, which now tops 21 million. Read more ›
The Middle East and Islam: New perspectives of Islamic History from the 16th century to the present
Join the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies for a five-day workshop this summer designed to introduce teachers to key themes in contemporary Islamic Studies. Teachers will explore overviews of the Safavid and Ottoman empires and their modern counterparts in Iran and Turkey, as well as the impact of Islam in America today. Teachers will engage with scholarly texts, learn about classroom resources, and participate in experiential learning activities such as visiting a mosque. Throughout the summer institute, teachers will think about how to bring these themes into their classrooms and will work in groups or individually to develop curriculum or materials for classroom use. All expenses will be covered for selected participants including travel, accommodations, meals, and books required for the program. Read more ›
Africa in the Classroom & Community
Summer Institute for Teachers
August 2-4, 2017
The Center for African Studies Outreach Program at Howard University is hosting a three-day summer institute for highly motivated educators interested in reading, learning, and teaching about Africa. African Studies scholars will introduce educators to history, culture and contemporary issues in three African countries: Ethiopia, Mali and Angola. Educators who complete the 3 day course and design a related lesson will receive a stipend of $300. For more information, click here. Space is limited.
The Newseum, headquartered in Washington, D.C., promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. Not only does Newseum have physical presence in Washington, D.C., but it offers many resources through its website. Check out Newseum’s new and established classroom-ready materials to examine fake news and develop students’ critical thinking skills. Click here for highlights from Newseum’s activities, lessons, case studies and guest blogs. To engage in “Is This Story Share-worthy?, an activity where students use an infographic to gauge the value of a news story and weigh what they should do with it click here.
Singapore has a reputation for having a top place in international rankings for its rigorous and extensive educational system. Many US universities have already established campuses in Singapore including the Chicago Business School, NYU, John Hopkins, and Duke University. Singapore also holds numerous private schools and academies that serve the population of expatriates living there. Read more ›
The Rise of Asian Civilizations, A Summer Workshop
July 8, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
For hundreds of years, Asia has built rich civilizations known for their cultures and advancements in technology. Come join us for a day-long workshop as we dive deeper into the development of these Asian civilizations and their modern states through film, art and more while listening to the perspectives of UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and staff. Teachers will also hear stories from the NC Asian refugee communities. This workshop is particularly relevant to world history, art, and dance teachers, as it is focused on civilizations’ development and cultural items, and their roles in the curriculum. This workshop is free, but registration is required. Please register here. Please see the Schedule here (small details still subject to change).
A small number of lodging scholarships (one night double occupancy hotel accommodations) are available for teachers traveling more than 200 round-trip miles to the training site. Please fill out this Lodging Application and submit to email@example.com by June 16 to be considered for the scholarship. Teachers will earn 9 contact hours, or .9 CEUs, by successfully participating in the entire program. 8 hours will be earned on the day of the workshop, and 1 hour will be earned by completing 2-3 readings with accompanying reading guide prior to the program.