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Town Hall Lecture Series kicks off with terrorism talk

What does a terrorist group look like?  How does it form and develop? These are among the questions that will be answered by Ziad Munson, associate professor of sociology, at the first of the 2011-2012 Town Hall Lecture Series on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

The lecture is the first this year in the ongoing series aimed at discussing topics that are timely and relevant to the local community.  The lecture begins at 7 p.m. at Bethlehem City Hall, 10 East Church Street.

Now in its second year, the Town Hall Lecture Series, presented by The City of Bethlehem and Lehigh University's South Side Initiative, seeks to foster an exchange of knowledge between the university and city residents, touching on matters of current interest and of local, national, and global importance.

Munson is an expert on political sociology, social movements, the sociology of religion, and the sociology of the Middle East. In his lecture “The Great Red Herring: Or, How Al-Qaeda Blinds Us to Terrorism,” Munson will use newly developed data on the most lethal terrorist groups around the world to explain how our obsession with Al-Qaeda over the past 10 years has blinded us to the most likely—and most preventable—terrorism of the future.

“We have an exciting line-up of lectures this year,” says Seth Moglen, co-director of Lehigh’s South Side Initiative.  “Lehigh faculty members, who are nationally recognized experts in their fields, will talk about issues of wide interest to the people of Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley. These are issues that matter, issues that people in our city care about. The lecture series provides an opportunity for university faculty to share their expertise and for open, wide-ranging conversation after the presentations.”

Upcoming Town Hall lectures

Feb. 8, 2012: Breena Holland, associate professor of political science, will draw on her research in order to offer a compelling vision of environmental justice, which will also enable us to think practically about how to address some of the city's most pressing challenges, including hunger and lack of access to affordable fresh food, and related public health issues like obesity, diabetes and asthma in her lecture, “Environmental Justice, Food Security, and Public Health: A Future for Bethlehem.”

April 11, 2012: John Pettegrew, associate professor of history, will speak on, “The Empathy Project:  Understanding the Experience of U.S. Combat Veterans of the Iraq and Aghanistan Wars,” which will draw from Pettegrew’s interviews with combat veterans in the Lehigh Valley in order to try to close the huge gap of understanding between American civilians and the hundreds of thousands of men and women who fought in the post-Sept. 11 wars.

Story by Tricia Long

Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2011

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