[Back in early August we reported on this blog that the African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison would host a conference on the Peace Corps and Africa from March 24-26, 2011. The intent of the conference was to explore the impact of the United States Peace Corps in Africa and elsewhere, and on the lives of Americans who have served as volunteers or have been otherwise touched by the Peace Corps."

I received the schedule of events. It has shaped up to be an important Peace Corps event, once again done by RPCVs outside of Washington, D.C.]

Thursday March 24

2:30pm       Conference welcome desk opens (Memorial Union)
4:00pm        Load Buses at Memorial Union for Welcoming Event at Promega 
4:30-6:30 pm       Welcome Reception at the Promega Art Gallery 
6:45pm      Load Buses for return to Memorial Union 
8:30pm     Conference welcome desk closes

Friday, March 25

7:30am Conference welcome desk opens (Memorial Union)
8:30am Plenary 1

Peace Corps: The Early Years 
William Josephson co-author, Peace Corps blueprint The Towering Task
C. Payne Lucas Peace Corps Asst. Dir., Togo (62-71), AfriCare founder
Bob Klein Peace Corps Volunteer, Ghana I. Author of Being First          

10:45am-12:00pm SESSION I

Peace Corps: The Very First Years
C. Payne Lucas, Bill Josephson, and Bob Klein

Peace Corps Perceptions: Text, National Identity, Landscapes
Lynne Heasley, Chris Duvall, and Heidi Frontani

From Isolation to the Daily Skype: Volunteers Communicating with Home
Cynthia Moore, Jonathan Blanchard, Colin Casey

Writing Peace Corps (1): Readings by Writers
Katherine Case, Erica Bleeg, Bonnie Lee Black

Stories of Service (1): Peace Corps Teachers
Sydney Kling, Rebecca Lorentzen, Maria Moreno

African Perspectives of the Peace Corps
Abdi Samatar, Samuel Gyasi Obeng, Emilie Ngo-Nguidjol

West African Linkages
Judy Lamm Figi, Mary Kay Diakite, Judy Reed

12:00 pm Communities of Service

Meet others with an interest in a particular country or region to reflect on Peace Corps service in particular places.

12:45pm Lunch 

Featuring African cuisine

2:00pm-3:15pm  SESSION II

Niger’66: A Peace Corps Diary
A film by Judy Irola

Stories of Service (2): Peace Corps in the 21st Century
Caroline Anderson, Taylar Foster, Brianna Zeigler

African Politics and African International Relations Today
African Politics and African International Relations Today

Returned Volunteers: Staying Connected and Inspired
Kate Schachter, Orelia Busch, Kristin Johnson

Kate Schachter, Orelia Busch, Kristin Johnson
Chris Colizza, Lydia & Wilfred Ngwa, Joanna Dane

Textiles
Mary Hark

3:30pm Plenary 2

Peace Corps: Diplomatic & Policy Perspectives
Mark Green, former United States Ambassador to Tanzania
John Lange, former United States Ambassador to Botswana
John Campbell, former United States Ambassador to Nigeria

6:30pm Distinguished Lecture: Johnnie Carson

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs

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Saturday, March 26

9:00am Plenary 3

Returned Volunteers in Action
Tom and Ruth Nighswander, Malawi Children’s Village
Brian Singer, Project Zawadi
John Lange, Global Health Program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 
Don Gray,

10:45 am-12:00pm SESSION III

Reconceptualizing Education in African Contexts: Education and Research Informed by Local Knowledges
A film by Judy Irola

Returned Volunteers in Action
A roundtable with Brian Singer, Tom and Ruth Nighswander, John Lange, and Don Gray

Writing Peace Corps (2): Readings by Four Poets
Sandra Meek, Derick Burleson, Susan Rich, Ann Neelon

Peace Corps Oral History
Bob Klein, Angene Wilson, Doug Boyd

Stories of Service (3): How Peace Corps changes lives
John Johnson, Karri Bartlett, Brenda Petta, James Quirin

Scaling up: From local service to international development
Elizabeth Greene, Dechen Albero, Michael Buckler

12:00 pm Lunch

Featuring African cuisine

1:30pm-3:15pm SESSION IV

Every Peace Corps Experience is its Own
Jonathan Zimmerman, Jim Jones, Mark Canavera

Writing Peace Corps (3) Readings by Two Creative Writers
Kara Garbe Balcerzak, Ephrat Livini

Peace Corps Response: A New opportunity for former volunteers 
Representatives from Peace Corps Response

From Peace Corps Training Director to the UW Faculty: A Profile of the Joseph F. Kauffman
Marcia Kauffman Krasnow

Peace Corps Re-connections
Ernie Zaremba and colleagues

African Dance and Movement
Lessons with instructors

3:15 pm Peace Corps March

Gather under flags to process to the Orpheum Theater on State Street

4:00pm Plenary 4

Talking Peace Corps 
Celebrating 50 years of the Peace Corps and the Wisconsin Idea Abroad
Stories, film, and celebration, featuring:

Aaron Williams, Director of the Peace Corps
Harold Scheub, Professor of African Oral and Written Literatures, UW-Madison
Sandra Meek, Peace Corps poet
Susan Rich, Peace Corps poet
Derek Burleson, Peace Corps poet
Ann Neelon, Peace Corps poet
Alhaji Umar N’jai, radio personality
Dan Banda, Emmy-awarding winning filmmaker

8:00pm The Ultimate Peace Corps Party

An evening of dance, celebration, and performance