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The inaugural panel discussion took place on March 3 in the Tiger Lounge of Grace Covell Hall.

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New lecture series launches with talk on terrorism

Feb 25, 2016

University of the Pacific hosted a new public lecture series, "X-Boundaries," that brought together faculty from across disciplines for an academic conversation with students, professors, administrators and the larger community.

The March 3 panel titled "X-Boundaries: How has terror changed us?" was held in the Tiger Lounge in Grace Covell Hall and was free and open to the public.

"The idea for a series of interdisciplinary academic conversations on topics that preoccupy us all came to me after the terrorist attacks in the French capital in November last year," said Cosana Eram, a professor of French studies who helped spearhead the new series. "Right now, we are confronted with a question that touches the very essence of democracy - how to find a balance between the exigencies of collective security and the preservation of public liberties."

The faculty panel included Eram, Jeff Becker from the Department of Political Science, George Randels from the Department of Religious Studies and John Sims from the McGeorge School of Law.

Rena Fraden, dean of College of the Pacific, established "X-Boundaries" to explore matters of major social importance to the campus and broader community.

"This series will feature our wonderful faculty from across the university discussing current controversial topics from their various perspectives," said Fraden. "We hope to unite the campus and local community for meaningful discussions that will prove that solutions to the most pressing challenges require us to cross disciplinary, professional, cultural, and national boundaries."

With its focus on terrorism, this inaugural panel discussed a range of topics including cultural memory, immigration, freedom of speech, torture and national responses to the 9/11 attacks and the recent attacks on Paris. Panelists explored questions such as: How has terror changed us? What are its present cultural, legal, ethical and political consequences? Are there any wide-accepted tools to mitigate terror?

This first discussion provided the campus and broader community with useful background to engage the debate currently underway about national security. "I hope out of this first conversation we will learn more about the dominant stories and counter-stories related to terrorism in terms of our incredulities, choices, beliefs, and morals," said Eram.

Our first X-Boundaries event is Facebook Live! Come to the Tiger Lounge in Grace Covell and join the discussion as faculty discuss the effects of terrorism from four different disciplines.

Posted by University of the Pacific on Thursday, March 3, 2016