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September 20, 2001

Sociology Department colloquium addresses the aftermath of Sept. 11

By Jennifer McNulty

Several UCSC faculty members will participate in a Sociology Department colloquium on Monday, September 24, to address issues that have arisen in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The event will take place from 12:30-2 p.m. in the Room 201 of the Student Commons Building at College Eight. The campus community is invited to attend.

The colloquium, "After the Bombing: What Can the Social Sciences Contribute in the Age of New Perils?," will feature a panel of speakers and time for group discussion.

The event will bring together experts on racial prejudice, Islam, and social psychology, said sociology professor Dane Archer, who organized the colloquium and will participate.

"We all need a sense of the ways in which we can try to make this grim situation better," said Archer. "There are many jeopardies ahead, and we want to illustrate what social science research has to offer."

The colloquium is the first event since classes began that tackles some of the questions arising since September 11. "It's going to take many people to find the answers, but we wanted to start talking about some of the questions," said Archer.

Participating speakers are:

  • Tom Pettigrew, research professor of social psychology and an internationally recognized expert on race relations and prejudice, who will discuss racial prejudice in times of national emergency.

  • Paul Lubeck, professor of sociology, who has done extensive research examining religious and social movements in several different Islamic societies. Lubeck will describe the range of beliefs held by followers of Islam.

  • Dane Archer, an expert on the social psychology of violence and applying research knowledge to problems of war and peace, will discuss the behavior of individuals during emergencies and the changing perception of civilian deaths in times of conflict.

Like many on campus, Archer wanted to create a forum in which faculty could share their expertise with the campus community.

"This is a dark, dark, grim time, but I think it would be a mistake to surrender to hopelessness," he said. "We have to use what we know to help mitigate the situation."

Campuswide, Social Sciences Dean Martin Chemers and Humanities Dean Wlad Godzich are working with faculty to organize related events throughout the fall quarter and into the winter. Event notices will be posted in Currents Online.

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