History Department lecture series on terrorism to resume
By En Walkerstaff Correspondent
Blame it on the snow. Last December, the history department, along with the Interfaith Center, were to sponsor invited professors from various university departments to hold the concluding piece in the series titled “Confronting Terror: Issues of U.S. Justice, Morality and Policies in the Wake of September 11, 2001.”Four professors were asked to participate; all four are to present an assortment of topics and answer questions from audience members in the Ekstrom Auditorium. It is an all-public, all-discussion presentation intended to examine the majority of post-9/11 issues. The first three portions of the series were held beginning in September 2002.
The final installment, to be held on February 4 at 6:30pm, concentrates on “Public Policy, Power and Terrorism.” Four professors from the departments of history, theatre arts, philosophy, and anthropology will be presenting papers and defending issues.
Edwin Segal, representing the anthropology department, will focus “entirely on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.” He says, “If we are to understand this portion of conflict in the Middle-East, then we need to think in new ways about it.” Dr Segal hopes to “stimulate not only new ways of thinking about the issues involved, but also a discussion in which people of different opinions truly listen to each other.”
Representing the history department will be professor John Cumbler, whose paper and proposed topic is “Guns and Butter Don’t Mix: The Impact Of the War on Terror and Public Policy.” Cumbler contributed to the recent C-SAW panel discussion, which was also held in the Ekstrom Auditorium, but he believes this will be different. He plans to center his topic around the economy. He stated, “War does not come with a free lunch.”
Cumbler said, “The biggest impact of 9/11 on America, to date, is a radical expansion of federal policing power at the expense of basic civil liberties and an administration with little, formal political opposition.”
Nancy Potter of the philosophy department will be present to open eyes to her topic, “The Politics of Fear.” Finishing off the four-member panel will be theatre arts professor Russell Vandenbroucke, whose paper, “United We Fall,” will be the lead topic to be presented.
History professor Mark Blum, who is heading up the panel discussion organization, stated, “Most important in my mind is that the forums are not biased toward a point of view. Rather, I would like them to be diverse and supported by thinkers who differ among themselves whether it is ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ The benefit of this forum is to offer tools for thinking through what is occurring [globally].”
A broad spectrum of interests will be reflected through the four topics to be discussed. It will be a three-hour event, held from 6:30 to 9:30. Following the event, audience members can proceed to the Interfaith Center for informal talk and refreshments with the panelists.