The Emory community has dealt with last months terrorist attacks
and current fears of bioterrorism in a multitude of manners.
Several high-profile forums and panel discussions have featured specific
issues related to Sept. 11 and its aftermath. For example, 16 campus groups
co-sponsored the forum Under-standing: From Intolerance to Respect,
Sept. 19 in Glenn Auditorium.
Last Wednesday, Oct. 24, another forum investigated the events from a
religious standpoint (see story, p. 1). The
next evening, the subject was explored from a media perspective. Without
a doubt campuswide forums are an effective way to address the attacks
as well as strength the ties within the Emory community.
Another less public but certainly no less important way to deal with the
dangerous new world is in the classroom. With a subject too terrible to
ignore, professors across Emory have brought Sept. 11 into their classrooms
and into their daily activities with students.
The department of Middle Eastern studies, for instance, stepped up quickly.
In many classes, professors have taken time specifically to address issues
regarding Islam, the history of the region, the current political climate
and many other aspects of the present
Professors have conducted considerable outreach as well. First, several
faculty members sat down with Middle Eastern studies majors to discuss
ways of addressing the tragedy. Then visiting assistant Professor Kimberly
Katz, who received her bachelors in Middle Eastern studies from
Emory in 1990she was one of the programs first three graduatesled
an effort for faculty members to talk to students about Sept. 11 and its
aftermath in their dorms. One session drew as many as 50 students.
Its a unique way for students to learn, said Katz, a
sophomore advisor, resident advisor and senior resident advisor during
her Emory undergraduate days. We can talk to them in their homes
where the atmosphere is more informal, and it allows every student to
ask a question.
Katz has spoken to students in Dobbs, Longstreet, and Woodruff Halls as
well at the Complex (Hopkins, Smith and Thomas Halls).
Political science assistant professor Carrie Wickham has adjusted her
Islam and Politics class to include a day devoted to terrorist groups.
Its interesting to look at the perspective of this class,
especially now that the entire world is learning about Islam, too,
said college junior Natasha DSouza, a student in Wick-hams
In his freshman seminar Making Sense of Globalization, sociology
Associate Professor John Boli begins each class period by discussing the
latest developments of the war on terrorism with the class and how they
This is the third year Boli has taught the seminar, and world events following
Sept. 11 required that he adjust the course accordingly.
We talk about the issues of cultural difference, for example,
Boli said. I try to link the various aspects of globalization to
whats happening now.
Economics visiting professor Amir Kia may not have changed his style of
teaching, but he has introduced new subject matter to his Stocks, Bonds
and Financial Markets class.
The class is purely related to the real world, Kia said. The
news is right there, and
I always have fresh examples. The Sept. 11 attacks are unique in
that there is no historical precedent related to the way markets would
react to such an event, Kia said. Significant events in stock market history
(the crash of 1929 and several recessions since then, for example) all
contained warning signs. The terrorist attacks shut down the New York
Stock Exchange for several days without any forewarning. The current situation
provides students the opportunity to learn about and analyze the market
as it advances into completely unchartered waters.
Faculty efforts are not limited to Emory College. Grady Hospitals
department of emergency medicine, which features only a small amount of
classroom time for its students, put together a conference Oct. 9 for
its residents and other members of the Atlanta health care community focusing
on responses to bioterrorism. One of the topics of discussion was smallpox,
a disease thought eradicated a generation ago that has returned to publics
consciousness amid fears of its possible use as a biological weapon.
Were thinking about things we normally dont think about,
said Ben Holton, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Grady.
Holton added that the new atmosphere is a learning experiencenot
only for medical students but for the emergency medicine faculty members
Weve learned a lot about topics that we would normally not
know a great deal about,
he said. People associated with the [Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, emergency medical services] and disaster planning have
given us a lot of