Spring 2014

Spring 2014

February 7- Manufacturing the Terrorist Enemy: Media, Culture and Politics” with Deepa Kumar

Deepa Kumar is an Associate Professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University. She is the author of Outside the Box: Corporate Media, Globalization and the UPS Strike (2005) and has contributed to various scholarly journals and national and international media outlets including the BBC, NPR, USA Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Al Jazeera, and Al Arabiya (UAE). Her recent book, Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire (2012) analyzes the historical image of “the Muslim enemy” and anti-Muslim racism far beyond the aftermath of September 11th, 2001 and the War on Terror. She curates a blog, Empire Bytes: Beyond the Soundbytes of Imperial Culture, and is currently working on her third book which will explore the cultural politics of the War on Terror. Professor Kumar is a social activist for peace and justice and is a prominent public speaker on topics ranging from Islamophobia and US foreign policy to the Arab Spring and women and Islam. 

February 28 –Terrorism in South Russia from the Chechen Wars to the Olympics” with Randall Law

Randall Law is an Associate Professor of History at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, and teaches courses on the history of terrorism, modern Russia, Europe, and the Cold War. He is the author of Terrorism: A History (2009), a comprehensive survey of the field that h as been hailed “the quintessential work on the subject” by The Naval War College Review and is used as the foundational text for the Advanced Certificate in Terrorism Studies at John Jay College. He is the editor of The Routledge History of Terrorism (to be published in 2015), a comprehensive 35-chapter work with contributions from many of the leading experts in the field of terrorism studies. Professor Law earned his B.A. in Russian from Amherst College, an M.A. in Russian and Eastern European Studies from Yale University, and his Ph.D. in Russian and European Studies from Georgetown University. Influenced by his work as Fulbright Scholar in Odessa, Ukraine, Professor Law’s current research is on terrorism and political violence in Odessa in the 20th Century Russian empire. He is an Adjunct Fellow at the American Security Project (ASP), which is a nonpartisan organization aimed at educating the American public and international community on the evolving nature of national security in the 21st Century. He frequently speaks on the history of terrorism in academia, to civic organizations and in the media. 

March 21– “9/11 and Historic Memory” with Elizabeth Greenspan and Scott Gabriel Knowles withCharles B. Strozier 

Elizabeth Greenspan is a writer, urban anthropologist, and lecturer at Harvard University. She is the author of The Battle for Ground Zero (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), an inside look at the struggle to rebuild the World Trade Center site following 9/11. She publishes prolifically on cities, real estate, and public space for both popular and academic journals. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Salon, the Atlantic online, and The Washington Post, as well as American Anthropologist, Public Historian, and the International Journal of Heritage Studies, among others. Greenspan earned her PhD in Anthropology and Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 and her BA in Anthropology from Haverford College in 1999. She has lectured about Ground Zero, 9/11, cities, and public space at colleges and universities throughout the country, including Brandeis College, the New School, Harvard University, and Haverford College.

Scott Gabriel Knowles focuses his research on risk and disaster, with particular interests in modern cities, technology, and public policy. His most recent book is The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America (UPenn Press, 2011), and he is series co-editor of “Critical Studies in Risk and Disaster” (UPenn Press, launch 2014). Presently he is also a faculty research fellow of the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware. Since 2011, he has been a member of the Fukushima Forum collaborative research community, with which he is currently co-authoring an edited volume on the Fukushima disasters. Knowles’ has appeared in academic venues such as Technology and Culture, Isis, History and Technology, Annals of Science, the Journal of American History, and the Journal of the American Planning Association; and he writes for more popular publications like the New York Times, The Hill, U.S. News and World Report, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Marty Moss Coane Show and the Leonard Lopate Show. In 2013-2014 Knowles serves on Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s Special Advisory Commission on Licenses and Inspections.

Charles B Strozier is Professor of History and Founding Director of the Center on Terrorism at John Jay College as well as a practicing psychoanalyst.  He has his B.A. from Harvard, a M.A. and PhD from the University of Chicago, and training at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. Professor Strozier is the author or editor of 13 books on a wide range of subjects.  His research on terrorism and apocalyptic violence began in the 1990’s and became integral to John Jay’s curriculum following 9/11 and the foundation of the Center on Terrorism. His book, Until the Fires Stopped Burning: 9/11 and New York City in the Words and Experiences of Witnesses and Survivors, is an interview study of 9/11 that began the first weekend after the disaster.

April 4 – “Israel’s policy of WMD ambiguity: strategic success or moral failure?” with Avner Cohen

Avner Cohen is Director of the Nonproliferation Education Program, Senior Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and Professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies at Middlebury College. Professor Cohen is widely recognized as an expert on nonproliferation issues in the Middle East and the history of the Israeli nuclear program and is author of Israel and the Bomb (1999). His most recent book, The Worst Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb (2010), explores Israel’s status as the only nuclear-armed state that does not acknowledge its possession of nuclear weapons despite common knowledge of their existence throughout the world. Professor Cohen is a two-time winner of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation research and writing awards, in 1990 and 2004, and served as a Senior Fellow at the US Institute of Peace from 1997-98 and 2007-08. He was co-director of the Project on Nuclear Arms Control in the Middle East at the Security Studies Program at MIT from 1990 to 1995. 

 May 2 – “What can be Learned from Analyzing Failed and Foiled Terrorist Plots?” with Martha Crenshaw

Martha Crenshaw is a senior fellow at the Center for International Security (CISAC) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University. One of the first scholars of Terrorism Studies worldwide, her first article, “The Concept of Revolutionary Terrorism” (1972), as well as her 1986 article, “The Subjective Reality of the Terrorist: Ideological and Psychological Factors in Terrorism” are still widely cited and remain relevant in today’s post-9/11 scholarship. After teaching at Wesleyan University from 1974 to 2007, Crenshaw is now a professor, by courtesy, at Stanford as well as a lead investigator at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) funded by the Department of Homeland Security at the University of Maryland. Her current work at START analyzes failed and foiled terrorist plots by jihadist groups against the United States, Europe, Turkey, Australia, and Canada.  Among her innumerable achievements, Crenshaw has served on the Executive Board of Women in International Security, was the President and Councilor of the International Society of Political Psychology and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. In 2009, she was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation/Department of Defense Minerva Institute for her project, “Mapping Militant Organizations.” Explaining Terrorism: Causes, Processes and Consequences (2010), a collection of Crenshaw’s most important published work, presents an interdisciplinary study of terrorism over the course of her now four decade-long career.