Gustavus Adolphus College is pleased to announce that the topic for its 2012 MAYDAY! Peace Conference will be “Multicultural Sweden.” This year’s conference will be held on Wednesday, May 2, and will feature a full day’s worth of speakers and activities.
Swedish author and journalist Dilsa Demirbag-Sten will deliver the morning keynote address in Christ Chapel. Demirbag-Sten is a frequent media contributor in Sweden on topics such as integration, honor violence, religious oppression of women, and Islamic fundamentalism. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Stockholm University and is a board member of the Swedish Humanist Association.
Award-winning Swedish novelist and playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri will give the afternoon keynote address. Khemiri’s first novel, One Eye Red (2003), received the Boras Tidning Award for best literary debut. His second novel, Montecore: A Unique Tiger (2007), won several literary awards including the Swedish Radio Award for best novel of the year. Khemiri is a sought-after lecturer on themes linked to language, identity, anti-racism, and growing up in a multicultural family. He has been invited to speak all over the world including France, Russia, Germany, Norway, Turkey, South Africa, Iceland, and elsewhere. Khemiri will be at Gustavus for an extended period of time as the College’s Out of Scandinavia Artist-in-Residence.
In addition to the two keynote speakers, the day’s activities will include the annual MAYDAY!Oratory Contest featuring high school speech students and other social-action activities yet to be announced.
More specific information about the schedule for this year’s MAYDAY! Peace Conference will be available by March 1. All events are free and to the public.
The annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference was founded at Gustavus in 1981 by Florence and the late Raymond Sponberg of North Mankato, Minn., and is designed to educate the campus community about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice. The conference occurs every year on the last Wednesday in April or the first Wednesday in May. Classes at Gustavus are suspended or shortened so that students and faculty may attend the 10 a.m. opening keynote speaker in Christ Chapel.
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