Sept. 11 attacks integrated into spring course offerings

by Dennis Brown

A wide range of issues related to the Sept. 11 attacks on America and the war on terrorism will be examined in several new or restructured courses during the spring semester that begins today (Jan. 15) at the University of Notre Dame.p. “The events of Sept. 11 have changed how we see many issues and have provided us with a real teachable moment,” said Renee Tynan, an assistant professor of management who has developed a new course focusing on diversity in the workplace. “I was asked to teach this class last spring, and it meant one thing to me then, but it means something else to me now. Since Sept. 11, we don’t have some of the pat answers that we once had.” Among the new and restructured course offerings:p. Homefronts During War (American Studies 306) ? Heidi Ardizzone, assistant professor of American studies, has developed a new course that examines the ways in which Americans responded at home to war and threats of war during the 20th century. Students will study World Wars I and II, the Cold War, Vietnam and the Gulf War, focusing on topics such as patriotism and democracy, pacifist movements, the perceptions of soldiers, images of the enemy, and the role of the news media. The final two weeks of the course have been left open to allow the class to incorporate developments related to the current war on terrorism.p. p. Problems of Contemporary Violence: Terrorism, War, and Peace after September 11 (Government 327) ? Robert Johansen, professor of government and international studies and director of graduate studies in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, has designed this new course to explore the global role of the United States, the nature of conflicts that cross religious and cultural as well as economic and political lines, and the meaning of human security and how to achieve it. Particular emphasis will be placed on the origins of hatred and militancy that lead people to act violently against large numbers of innocent people, diverse suggestions for how to deal with those who commit acts of terror and crimes against humanity, and selected political, legal, sociological, economic, and ethical implications of contemporary violence, as well as its impact on global governance and the enforcement of international law.p. p. Managing Differences and Conflict (Management 607) ? In Tynan’s course, religious, ethnic, racial and gender differences ? more than ever the sources of both creativity and conflict in society as a whole ? will be examined from the interpersonal and inter-group perspectives of the workplace. Among the principle topics will be stereotyping and prejudice. Through lectures, case studies and experiential exercises, Tynan will help students learn how to “develop the self-knowledge and skills necessary to effectively work with these issues as employees, coworkers and managers.” A companion lecture series by the same name also will be offered this semester. Speakers will include Cathleen Black, president of Hearst Magazines and a Notre Dame trustee; Alan Wurtzel, chief of standards and practices for the NBC Television Network; Juan Johnson, vice president and director of diversity strategies for The Coca-Cola Company; and Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of Notre Dame and a charter member and former chair of the Civil Rights Commission.p. p. Christian Attitudes Toward War, Peace and Revolution (Theology 567) ? Rev. Michael J. Baxter, C.S.C., assistant professor of theology, has developed a new course surveying Christian understandings of war, peace and revolution from the time of Christ and the early church to the present. The course will examine the way Christian theological convictions about christology, pneumatology, eschatology and ecclesiology have shaped Christian teaching on the nature of peace and the morality of war. Among the issues discussed will be terrorism, the morality of nuclear weapons, military chaplaincy, conscientious objection, ROTC in Catholic institutions of higher education, the effectiveness of nonviolence in social change, and the nature of the Church’s vocation to be a sign of peace to the nations.p. p. Modern Middle East (History 395) ? Paul Cobb, assistant professor of history, usually surveys the topic from 1500 to the present in chronological order. He has reworked the class for this semester by front-loading the current situation to use as a referent through the semester. “For example,” he says, “when discussing World War I, students will be asked to assess the degree to which the events of Sept. 11 are ‘fallout’ from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The same with 18th-century Islamic reform movements, the Cold War and other events.”p. p. Democracy in the Age of the Web (Government 338) ? In a new course that will be offered in the London Program this spring and on campus in future semesters, A. James McAdams, chair and Scholl Professor of Government, will focus on the paradoxical implications of the Internet revolution for modern democracy. “On the one hand,” he says, “we will investigate the potentially liberating and liberalizing implications of new communications technologies on democratic cultures worldwide. On the other, we’ll consider the threats to personal privacy and democratic liberties presented by these revolutionary developments.” Specific topics for discussion will include the ways in which the Web affects American conceptions of security and privacy in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, technology’s impact on the way in which politics is conducted in the modern world, and the use of the Web in state surveillance and counterterrorism.p. p. p. Issues related to the terrorist attacks will be raised in many other courses ? including most of the international relations and American politics offerings in the government department; a Christian doctrine course taught by Laura Holt, associate director of undergraduate studies in the London Program; and a course titled “The Holocaust in Theology and Literature,” taught by Rabbi Michael Signer, Abrams Professor of Jewish Thought and Culture.

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