Documentary Producer to Speak at Illinois Wesleyan

October 4, 2006 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Illinois Wesleyan University will host award-winning documentary producer John de Graaf, who will give a talk, "What's the Economy For, Anyway?" on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Hansen Student Center, 300 E. Beecher St., in Bloomington.

The event, sponsored by IWU's Social Science Division and the Environmental Studies Program, is free and open to the public.

De Graaf has won more than 100 regional, national and international awards for his documentaries, including the PBS specials Affluenza, Escape from Affluenza, Running Out of Times and Visible Target. His three most recent projects address world hunger, fair trade and policies to help working mothers in the United States.  De Graaf also co-authored the book Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic and was editor of Take Back Your Time.

Take Back Your Time Day, an event created by De Graaf in 2003, will take place one week after his visit to campus.  The day is intended to increase awareness of the imbalance of employment in the United States.  While many people are unemployed and underemployed, others work significant overtime in fear of losing their jobs. Take Back Your Time Day is recognized each year on Oct. 24, nine weeks before the end of the year, in order to call attention to the fact that, per year, Americans typically work nine weeks more than employees in industrialized nations in Europe.

For additional information, contact Georganne Rundblad, professor of sociology at IWU, at (309) 556-3193.

 Contact: Rebecca Welzenbach, (309) 556-3181