GIS Poster Expo

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are amazingly powerful tools. Take a few moments to study a well-designed map, and you’ll be amazed by the amount of information it can simultaneously convey. Way back in my own Fletcher student days, I enrolled in the inaugural offering of GIS for International Applications at Fletcher, mostly out of curiosity and the desire to pick up the rudiments of a new skill set. While I haven’t gone on to do further GIS work, and while modest would be a charitable description of the mapping project I produced in that course, it did leave me with an understanding for and appreciation of the explanatory power of contemporary mapping technology and technique.

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos returns to Fletcher

Fletcher is one of the few places where being able to drop in casually on a conversation with a Nobel Peace Prize laureate seems like a fairly normal Monday afternoon activity. Still, it felt like a special treat yesterday to catch the visit to Fletcher by former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Santos was Colombia’s President from 2010 to 2018, and is best known globally for his stewardship of peace negotiations with the FARC rebels that led to the end of the country’s 52-year conflict (and which earned him the 2016 Nobel). The event was also a special homecoming: President Santos is a long time member of the Fletcher community, having spent time here as a Fulbright visiting fellow in 1981.

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SIMULEX 2018

One of the highlights of the academic year is taking place this weekend at Fletcher. SIMULEX, the annual crisis management exercise hosted by the International Security Studies Program (ISSP), will take over the building on Friday and Saturday. While my mental image of SIMULEX sometimes resembles a game of Nukem!, or involves tense standoffs and commands of “turn your key, sir,” in reality it’s a major learning and professional networking opportunity for the Fletcher community, and not limited only to students formally focusing on security studies.

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Decolonizing International Relations

It’s been a busy week at Fletcher, which means a busy week for this blog, as well. There are so many events that take place throughout the year here that it’s impossible to highlight them all on this platform, but one happening today particularly caught my attention. The inaugural “Decolonizing International Relations” conference is currently in progress, and it’s an impressive event. Organized by the student-run Fletcher Students of Color and Allies (FSCA), the conference will apply critical theory to a variety of subject areas, highlight non-Western contributions and perspectives in academia and the field, and explore the role of power and access in the study and practice of international relations.

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