Recap: Alexis Dudden, Ph.D., April 2018

A wonderful presentation by a dynamic speaker.

A brilliant presentation on the current situation in Korea in the context of 20th-century history.

Her talk was absolutely riveting.

From left-to-right: Executive Director Paul Nugent, April 2018 Speaker Alexis Dudden, Ph.D., and SECWAC Board member Andy Mink.

So ran comments from attendees at the April 12, 2018, SECWAC meeting, at which about 60 members and guests were treated to a remarkable tour de force analysis of US-Korea-Japan relations by Alexis Dudden, Professor of History at the University of Connecticut.

Professor Dudden’s presentation was part of the September–June series of monthly SECWAC meetings where experts in international relations, US foreign policy, and diplomatic history enlighten members on topical aspects of current international affairs. In this case, Professor Dudden brought her deep understanding of the history of Korea, Japan, and Asia to the table, setting the current situation in Korea and the relationship between the US and Korea in the context of WWII, the Korean War, the Cold War, and now our post-Cold War world. Without the aid of slides or other electronic props, Professor Dudden held her audience in thrall with a dynamic 40-minute explication of how we arrived at the current impasse, with historical details that only a true expert could remember and know how to incorporate into the story.

Post-meeting dinner at Old Lyme Country Club.

As always, the SECWAC audience had many questions, which Professor Dudden answered thoughtfully and in great detail. She continued to “wow” those who attended the post-meeting dinner at the Old Lyme Country Club. And to cap it all: Chef Dan at the club delivered a Korea-themed dinner!

As noted by Milt Walters, Chairman of SECWAC,

Feedback at the dinner was that she was one of the best, if not the best, speaker we have hosted!

In addition, Sandra Rueb, a SECWAC Board member, commented,

Our members were grateful to hear about the history of Korea and the difficulties of reunification.  Many of us were ignorant of the economic & social differences between North and South Koreans.

The next SECWAC meeting will be a collaboration with the La Grua Center, Stonington, on May 16, when local scholar Anthony Pelligrini will speak there on “China’s Belt Road Initiative: The New ‘Silk Road’“.

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) is to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs by study, debate, and educational programming, primarily through a Speakers Series of 8 to 10 monthly meetings.