Hiram – There is no more recurrent and pervasive problem in the world than food and world hunger, and the entire campus of Hiram College will be focusing on it this school year with a series of public events, and focused learning opportunities.

In the 2012-13 school year more than a dozen major events and seventeen courses across many academic disciplines will explore this year’s “Food and Hunger” theme at Hiram. Each year since 2006, Hiram’s Center for Engaged Ethics has selected a theme around which the campus and community do common reading linked to academic coursework and lectures by scholars and experts about an “urgent challenge of the day.”  Past themes have included war, civility, and sustainability.

Distributing surplus commodities, St. Johns, Ariz. (LOC)

The entire incoming freshman class will be required to read Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, by Eric Schlosser, and then be able to use what they’ve read in related course work, including, “Ethics of Food,” “The Art of Making Dough,” “Dissecting Dinner:  What is on our Plates and Where did it Come From?,” “Food Fight” and “Environmental Justice.”

Dr. Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food by the Human Rights Council, and a legal academic and human rights expert, will deliver the keynote address, “World Hunger:  Can We Feed the World?” at a campus-wide kick-off event Sept. 11, followed Sept. 13 by Teach-in by 13 faculty members from diverse disciplines. Teach-in subjects range from genetically modified foods, government food regulation, and hunger’s roll in geopolitics to the cost of healthy food, food for our companion animals, and educating children about food.

Additional related events 2012-2013 academic year include the following:

The lecture “Feeding and (Bio) fueling a Crowded World,” with Scott Swinton, professor of applied microeconomics at Michigan State University, Sept. 25, 2012.

A lecture and visit by award-winning filmmaker and novelist Ruth Ozeki (My Year of Meats and All Over Creation), Oct. 10, 2012.

A lecture and visit by Anupama Joshi, the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the National Farm to School Network, Oct. 30, 2012.

The lecture “Folks, This Ain’t Normal,” by author Joel Salatin (You Can Farm and Salad Bar Beef), March 14, 2013.

During the Spring 2013 semester, Hiram will continue focusing on food and hunger as part of  a first-ever Science Reads program.

Modeled after the National Endowment of the Arts’ Big Read program, Science Reads will engage campus and community in common reading about science, with Four Fish:  The Future of the Last Wild Food by Paul Greenberg, noted author, and  W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Fellow. Greenburg will lecture on Hiram’s campus Feb. 5, 2013.

For more information on these events and to learn about additional programming around the “Food and Hunger” theme, please visit www.hiram.edu/ethics-theme.