Teaching the Holocaust in an Age of Terror
Proposal for a Semester Course on September 11th
Professors David Emmons and Paul Lyons of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey designed an undergraduate, for-credit semester course (15 weeks, 4 hours a week) to address the various issues of September 11th.
||Teaching the Holocaust in an Age of Terror
The General Studies course (GSS 2131) called 9/11 will assist undergraduates in understanding the complicated and wide-ranging implications of the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks and is easily adaptable to a secondary school setting.
One goal of the course is to offer undergraduate students the opportunity to experience scholars engaged in serious discussion, including disagreement, about a wide variety of issues. We hope to establish a kind of academic Firing Line hopefully with more light than heat, within which we model respectful disputation.
This course will assess the impact of students' perceptions and understanding of September 11th, its causes, context, and consequences. This cataclysmic event resists comprehension, in part because it was so unprecedented in design, unexpected and sudden in execution, and enormous in impact. The tragedy does not defy but, in fact, demands efforts for comprehension, analysis, and understanding. September 11th must be understood in order to restore meaning to our world, to fight terror with enlightenment, and to try to limit the possibilities of the unspeakable occurring again.
September 11th raises five important areas of inquiry, upon which this course rests:
1. What has been and should be the U.S. role in the world?
2. What is the nature of terrorism in the 21st Century and the extent and depth of its threat to all of humanity?
3. How did Afghanistan come to be the base for Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and what are the possible futures for this Central Asian country?
4. In what ways do fundamentalist Islam and Middle East turmoil breed hostility and
terrorism directed toward the West — and what indigenous forces can serve as effective counters for democracy and tolerance?
5. Has September 11th changed American life and, if so, how do we redefine what is
Each class will take up one or more areas from above. The course will proceed with the following sequence:
A. America in the World
1. American internationalism — the debate on nation-building
2. The issue of just wars
3. Multi-culturalism and the American neglect of foreign language study
4. The role of the U.S. in the post cold war and post imperial age
5. End of history, clash of civilization, and other paradigms of world events
7. Globalization, one world, and the new world order
8. Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden
9. Terrorism in history
10. Modern terrorism, domestic and foreign
11. Chemical and biological warfare
C. Afghanistan and Central Asia
12. Afghanistan in the 19th and 20th centuries
13. The Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989) and its legacies
14. The Taliban
15. Modernization in a tribal land; reconstruction of a devastated nation
16. Women's rights and human rights
D. Islam and the Middle East
17. Islamic fundamentalism
18. Modern political Islam
19. The politics and economics of oil
20. Palestine and Israel: the Arab-Israeli conflict
E. American Life after September 11th
Course Description (GSS 2131)
21. From September 11th to the present: a brief history
22. The culture of remembrance: memorialization of
23. American patriotism after September 11th
24. Finding balance between civil liberties and national security
25. Redefining normal. Seeing things differently: Can things be normal again?
This course, which started with a limit of 100 students and which, because of demand, was enlarged to 250 (that's the largest available auditorium), invites participants to explore the diverse and contradictory messages of the events of September 11, 2001 — and since. We will, in particular, address the following: What has been and should be America's role in the world? What is the nature of terrorism in the 21st century and the extent and depth of its threat to all of humanity? How did Afghanistan come to be the base for al Queda and Osama bin Laden and what are its possible futures given the U.S. intervention? In what ways do fundamentalist Islam and Middle East turmoil breed hostility and terrorism directed against the West — and what indigenous forces can serve as effective counters for democracy and tolerance? Has September 11th changed America and, if so, how do we redefine what is normal?
With a generous grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities we have been able to secure as speakers for a more expansive forum (ca. 550 capacity) the following:
Political Scientist Will Curtis of the U.S. Naval Academy, Philadelphia Inquirer foreign affairs columnist Trudy Rubin, RAWA (Revolutionary Afghan Women's Association) representative Anne E. Brodsky, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, New Jersey ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) Executive Director Deborah Jacobs, Executive Director of the Arab-American Institute Foundation Helen Samhan. We will also welcome as speakers Bethlehem University Professor Sami Adwan, Israeli Psychologist Dan Bar-On, and a special American debut of a series on terrorism from Academy Award documentary winner Jon Blair.
For further information contact The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.