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2 posts from November 2009


Study Abroad in Rome

As submitted by Professor Robert Boughner:

Rome to Capri, the Forum Romanum to the ruins of Pompeii:  Italy, ancient and modern, will be the focus for students who travel with Prof. Henry Bender and me to Europe this summer, from 14 June through 28 June. Prof. Bender, who teaches classics at the Hill School and St. Joseph’s University, has more than 25 years of experience leading academic tours in Italy and Greece, and I have been doing so since 1995. Together Henry and I cover not just the art and archaeology of the Roman world—Henry’s specialty—but also the history, culture, and literature of the classical period—my scholarly focus.  Students visit the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii. Henry explains the wall paintings and the domestic architecture, while I talk about the role of religion in Roman life. Modern Italy receives attention, too. Students visit Anzio to see the battlefield and the American cemetery.  I talk about the battle and America’s role in World War II while Henry explores the cemetery’s use of architecture.  

Visiting historic sites does not keep students from swimming in the Mediterranean, from enjoying outstanding food, and from having ample opportunities to meet Italians.  Learning is fun!  Come travel with us!


The Nuclear Threat

When was the nuclear genie released from its bottle? What are the historical sources of the nuclear menace that hovers over the world? Regional de-stabilization, the debate over sanctions and the nature of diplomacy are of increasing concern in the Arab world and well beyond its borders. By looking to the past, we can find answers to the future. Critics of President Obama’s “new style” of diplomacy based on engagement and dialogue argue that a harder line is needed; others hope that a softer tone will diffuse tensions.

One thing I point out to my students in my course “Hiroshima in History and Film” is that by studying the past use of weapons of mass destruction we can understand the complex nature of contemporary problems. In the course of the atomic age, there have been only two uses of nuclear/atomic weapons in the context of war. This power and the experience in  Hiroshima sheds light on the heightened fear in recent months in the international community about Iran’s nuclear intentions.

Even after all of these years, we are not out from under the nuclear shadow.
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