The Humanities Institute

Events

The "War on Terror," 15 Years Later

September 2016 marks the fifteen-year anniversary of the al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and U.S. President George W. Bush’s declaration that the United States was now engaged in a global “war on terror.” While President Barack Obama later moved away from that phrasing, his rhetorical shifts did not necessarily signal changes in policy or outlook. Nor did Bush’s initial declaration necessarily mark a new beginning; recall that the Reagan administration declared a “war on terrorism” in the 1980s. What, then, does it mean to think about the period from 2001-2016 as characterized by a global war on terror? How does this framework highlight important changes while masking key continuities in U.S. foreign and domestic policies related to “national security”? What can we learn by comparing the “war on terror” to the “war on drugs” and the “war on trafficking” and how are these declarations of global war related to one another?

Shifts in political rhetoric aside, over the past fifteen years, the U.S. has waged this global war through extrajudicial killings, detention in offshore sites, rendition, torture, and drone attacks, as well as two major wars that included troop deployments. Inside the U.S., this war has involved surveillance and monitoring of both citizens and non-citizens, arrests and deportations, and racial profiling that included “special registration” requirements for Arab students and visitors. Hate crimes and violence against Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians increased alongside growing Islamophobia and anti-Islam bigotry. And because the worlds inside and outside the United States are of course interconnected, the global war on terror has seen the exchange of policies and practices across our borders – most clearly in the militarization of police forces across the country and in the violence to which prisoners and detainees are subjected. What have the consequences of various aspects of the global war on terror been for different groups of people around the world, including in the U.S.? How have these events, practices, and policies affected people’s lives? What new forms of discrimination, policing, surveillance, and warfare have emerged, and how are these forms related to earlier ones?

During Fall 2016, the Scripps Humanities Institute seminar and programming will address these questions and topics. Events may include public lectures or films on Thursdays at 4:15 or 7pm, talks/conversations with faculty as part of the Tuesday Noon Academy, and student-only workshops (open to students outside the seminar as well) with activists, organizers, lawyers, and journalists. By engaging with a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, including anthropology, cultural studies, history, journalism, legal studies, media studies, sociology, and political science, we will begin to better understand how this global war on terror has – and has not – changed both the United States and the world in the twenty-first century.

Speakers and Events

September 20, 2016
4:15pm

Balch Auditorium
Scripps College

Event page

Anticipatory States and Planetary Peril

Joseph Masco
Professor of Anthropology
University of Chicago

 

September 27, 2016
1:15pm

Humanities Building
Room 101
Scripps College

Event page

Reporting Conflict in the Arab World

(Students Only)

Steve Negus
Independent Journalist

September 29, 2016

Humanities Building
Room 101
Scripps College

Event page

A Conversation about Syrian Refugees with Lina Sergie Attar

(Students Only)

Lina Sergie Atar
Co-founder & CEO of Karam Foundation

October 4, 2016
12:15pm

Hampton Room
Malott Commons
Scripps College

Event page

From Trafficking to Terror: Connecting Two Global Wars

Pardis Mahdavi
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Pomona College

October 6, 2016
7:00 pm

Garrison Theater
Scripps College Performing Arts Center

Event page

Drawing Blood: Molly Crabapple

Molly Crabapple
Artist and Writer

 

October 11, 2016
7:00 pm

Balch Auditorium
Scripps College

Event page

The Global War on Terror from the Standpoint of its Victims

Vijay Prashad
George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History
& Professor of International Studies
Trinity College

October 27, 2016
12:15 pm

Hampton Room
Malott Commons
Scripps College

Event page

Representing and Defending Political Activists in U.S. Courts in the Age of Terrorism

Michael Deutsch 
Human Rights Attorney
People's Law Office, Chicago

October 27, 2016
1:15 pm

Humanities Building
Room 101
Scripps College

Event page

A Discussion with Human Rights Attorney Michael Deutsch from the People’s Law Firm

(Students Only)

Michael Deutsch 
Human Rights Attorney
People's Law Office, Chicago

November 1, 2016
12:15 pm

Hampton Room
Malott Commons
Scripps College Performing Arts Center

Event page

How Islamist Intellectuals, Activists and Militants Have Responded Differently to the West

Sumita Pahwa
Assistant Professor of Politics
Scripps College

November 10, 2016
7:00 pm

Balch Auditorium
Scripps College

Event page

Owning Up to American Torture

Lisa Hajjar
Professor of Sociology,
Univeristy of California, Santa Barbara

December 1, 2016
7:00 pm

Garrison Theater
Scripps College Performing Arts Center

Event page

The Quran in the American Imagination

Zareena Grewal
Associate Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies
Yale University