Digital archives of convocation speakers are available through the Olin Library.
Almost five years have passed since that horrific fall day when thousands died in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. The United States government responses to the September 11 attacks have generated unprecedented levels of debate about the tension that exists between the measures taken to make the country more secure against terrorism and the restrictions that those actions may place on the very democratic principles that we are fighting to preserve.
The 2006-07 convocation series will feature speakers and events designed to address numerous questions that have been raised in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
August 31, 2006
Joshua Filler has recently served as the first director of the Office of State & Local Government Coordination for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As Director of the Office of State & Local Government Coordination, Filler was the Department of Homeland Security’s primary point of contact for state, local and tribal homeland security leaders, including homeland security directors, mayors, governors, first responders and other leaders. Filler worked regularly with senior DHS and other federal officials on a wide variety of topics including intelligence matters, homeland security grants, communications, and anti-terrorism operations and security planning within the United States and its territories.
Nadine Strossen has written, lectured and practiced extensively in the areas of constitutional law, civil liberties and international human rights. Since 1991, she has served as president of the American Civil Liberties Union, the first woman to head the nation's largest and oldest civil liberties organization.
Strossen's book, Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's Rights (Scribner 1995), was named by the New York Times a "notable book" of 1995 and was republished in October 2000 by NYU Press.
September 7, 2006
Peter Clothier, author, art critic, and book reviewer for The Los Angeles Times, will discuss the process of managing the Post-9/11 art exhibition in the Pool Art Center, which will run through September. Clothier has served in numerous academic environments, including the University of Iowa, the University of Southern California, and was dean of the Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County, and was appointed Acting Director in 1977. He remained at Otis until 1979 when he received a Rockefeller Fellowship for a study of the work of the African American artist Charles White, and was subsequently appointed Dean of the College of Fine & Communication Arts at Loyola Marymount University in 1981. He left the academic world in 1985 to become a full-time freelance writer, consultant, and lecturer in the arts.
September 21, 2006
A 1985 Drury graduate, Williams recently completed her master’s degree in national security and strategy at the National War College in Washington, D.C. As a U.S. State Department employee, Williams has worked in countries where security could be a daily concern: Kazakhstan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Paraguay. She has served as a spokesperson, cultural attaché, and is currently the Deputy Director for Caribbean Affairs for the U.S. Embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay.
September 28, 2006Col. Janis Karpinski is a retired commander and the first and only female general officer who commanded troops in Iraq. Her book, One Woman’s Army, tells her story of the events within and around the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. She will describe the Abu Ghraib prison scandal from an insider’s perspective where she will forcefully argue that the blame for the prisoner abuses that took place should go to the very top of the chain of command.
October 19, 2006
Eric Posner is a law professor at the University of Chicago and author of several books, including his most recent release The Limits of International Law , with Jack Goldsmith. During his discussion, Posner asks, “What role should the laws of war play in the war on terrorism?” International law has evolved to regulate conventional wars between belligerents wielding armies in the field. These laws can function only so long as those countries or armies fighting have a mechanism for disciplining the other for failure to comply with international law. Such a mechanism does not appear to be available in the conflict with al Qaeda and other related groups. For this reason, existing laws of war are not applicable to the war on terrorism.
November 2, 2006
The image of terrorism to the western world is the suicide-homicide bomber. It is widely accepted in national security and law enforcement agencies that suicide-homicide bombings as practiced in Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Indonesia inevitably will occur within the United States. Unfortunately, the rules of engagement for incidents involving a suicide-homicide bomber still have not been consistently developed. Duane Bedell, director of the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute at St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida, will discuss current national policies that confuse war, law enforcement, and civil liberties--to the detriment of all three.
November 30, 2006
Nathan Hodge is a reporter for Jane's Defence Weekly in Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in the Financial Times, Slate.com, and in a number of U.S. newspapers. He has reported extensively from Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East. In 2004, he was awarded a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism. He holds a bachelor's degree in English and Political Science from Rutgers University and master's degree in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University.
January 25, 2007
Nathaniel Fick graduated with high honors from Dartmouth College in 1999, and while a student captained the cycling team to a U.S. National Championship. After graduation, Fick became a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and led his platoon into Afghanistan and Pakistan only weeks after 9/11, helping to drive the Taliban from Kandahar. In 2002, he was invited to join Recon, the Corps’ special operations force. He led a reconnaissance platoon in combat during the earliest months of Operation Iraqi Freedom, from the battle of Nasiriyah to the fall of Baghdad, and into the perilous peacekeeping that followed.
Fick left the Marines in 2003 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in International Security at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and an MBA at the Harvard Business School. His book, One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Corps Officer, is a memoir about his experiences during wartime.
February 1, 2007
Missouri State University associate professor of political science Ken Rutherford knows of what he speaks. Rutherford was a victim of landmines during his time working with an international human intervention group in Somalia. On December 16, 1993, a routine trip ended when the Landcruiser vehicle Rutherford had been riding in hit a landmine. He nearly died while being transported to Nairobi Hospital and as a result of the explosion; he now walks on prosthetic legs.
Rutherford posits that the U.S. should think more broadly about defining security after 9/11: Human security issues, such as the global landmine crisis and the human rights of those disabled by war and violence pose significant long-term security challenges to the global community. Rutherford’s work with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines and his promotion of an international law to protect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities offer different notions of security in a post-9/11 world.
February 22, 2007
Normon Solomon is an author and media critic for Fair and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watchdog group. His weekly syndicated column for FAIR runs in newspapers across the country. His latest book, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death, analyzes how facts and data can be twisted to encourage and rally the American people toward a cause, whether it be a war in Iraq or Vietnam.
March 8, 2007
Author of Searching for Saleem: An Afghan Woman’s Odyssey, Farooka Gauhari recalls her life in war-torn Afghanistan during the Soviet Union’s occupation of her homeland. Saleem, her husband, disappeared on April 27, 1978, during the Soviet-backed Communist takeover, and Gauhari attempted to find him as the world she knew was destroyed by constant warfare and power plays. The roots of today’s terrorism and the beginning of the Taliban began during the 1970s in Afghanistan, but Gauhari recalls a different, beautiful country.
April 19, 2007
"Whatever religious people may say about their love of God or the mandates of their religion, when their behavior toward others is violent and destructive, when it causes suffering among their neighbors, you can be sure the religion has been corrupted and reform is desperately needed. When religion becomes evil these five corruptions are always present. Conversely, when religion remains true to its authentic sources, it is actively dismantling these corruptions ... " – so writes Charles Kimball, professor of comparative religion at Wake Forest University in his latest book, When Religion Becomes Evil. Kimball analyzes how any religious faith can be twisted, and how once twisted, religious faith can be seen as a true global threat to world stability.
April 26, 2007
Read Dr. Maxson's Honest Dissent presentation
April 26, 2007
On August 6, 2005, Cindy Sheehan arrived in Crawford, Texas. The “Peace Mom” was determined to draw President George Bush’s attention and Sheehan requested a meeting with Bush. Sheehan’s son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Austin Sheehan was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, while on a rescue mission in April 2004. Cindy has since become an internationally recognized critic of the Iraq war. Her presentation will reflect on her experiences as a peace activist during wartime.
April 26, 2007
Since September 11, 2001 the U.S. has been committed to “A Long War” with a military comprised entirely of volunteers. Without conscription that has historically connected the military with the civilian population, one of the critical questions in this current conflict is the role that civilians can, should, and do play in addressing national security issues.
Colonel Michael Meese, Ph.D., is a Professor and Head of the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Since 9/11, he has served in Mosul, Iraq with the 101st Air Assault Division, with the Stabilization Force Headquarters in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and has taught cadets at West Point and war college students in Washington. (His views will be his own and not necessarily those of the Army or the U.S. government).