Minds on Millennium V rolls out short academic courses in October

Thursday, September 9, 2004

Lacey, Wash. – Minds on the Millennium will offer three short courses in October as it launches the fifth year of a lecture series designed to offer intellectually stimulating lectures and courses for the public.

Sponsored by Saint Martin's College and Panorama City, Minds on the Millennium was launched by the neighboring communities in 2000 to share knowledge, build a community of learning and create life-long learning opportunities. The courses do not carry academic credit, but are high in academic quality and are taught by some of Saint Martin's most respected faculty members, says event co-organizer David Suter, professor of religious studies at Saint Martin’s.

Class enrollment begins Sept. 14 at the activities desk in the Panorama Hall lobby, 1835 Circle Lane, Lacey, and is limited. All courses are six weeks in length and are taught at Panorama City’s Quinault Auditorium. A $35 fee is charged per course to cover expenses, and students may need to purchase a textbook, depending on the course.

The spring series of free public lectures will be announced early next year. For more information about the series, please call 360-438-7557.

This fall’s courses are:

- “The Art of the Essay.” Class sessions: 1:30-3 p.m., Thursdays, beginning Oct. 14.

The first essayist, Michel de Montaigne, said in the 16th century, “Every man has within himself the entire human condition.” The personal essay is underpinned by the assumption that there is a unity to human experience. Focusing on what is the oldest form of essay, the type often called “personal essays” or “creative nonfiction,” this Minds class will explore essays by several writers, including Joan Didion, George Orwell, Alice Walker and E. B. White. Individuals taking the class may develop a better understanding of themselves and of the human condition as essays are read and studied.

Leading the class will be Saint Martin’s English faculty member Olivia Archibald, who has a doctorate in the personal essay and Anglo-Saxon literature from the University of Iowa. Archibald’s academic interests include creative nonfiction, essay theory, early medieval literature, and literary criticism. At Saint Martin’s College, she directs the Writing Across the Curriculum Program and teaches writing, literary criticism, sociolinguistics, and Women’s Studies. She has read her personal essays at invited readings in more than a dozen cities.

- “Understanding Terrorism.” Class sessions: 3:30-5 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Oct. 14.

How do terrorist groups use terrorism to accomplish their political objectives? In “Understanding Terrorism,” political science Prof. Richard Langill, Ph.D., will explore the topic with the class. They will begin by watching and discussing the film classic, “The Battle of Algiers”, which explains how terrorists were able to use terror to force the French to leave Algeria in 1962. Several case studies, including the 1983 U.S. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon and the current U.S. military invasion and occupation of Iraq, will be discussed. An analysis and evaluation of the threat posed by al Qaida to the United States and the Middle East also will be a topic.

Langill, who has a master’s degree in political science from California State University, Long Beach, and a doctorate in international studies from American University in Washington D.C., is the recipient of several Malone Fellowships to study in Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. During a study trip to Lebanon in 1982, he met and interviewed high-level members of the PLO, the Lebanese government, the Jordanian government and government figures in occupied territories. He teaches a course on terrorism and human rights issues at Saint Martin’s.

- “Reading and Seeing Shakespeare: A Study of Three Shakespearean Plays in Book and on Video,” taught by English Prof. Stephen X. Mead, Ph.D. Class sessions: 1:30-3 p.m. Fridays, beginning Oct. 15.

Reading and watching video performances outside of class, Minds students will explore Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Richard II” and “King Lear” with English Prof. Stephen X. Mead. With both the experience of reading the play and of comparing their imagining of the play with a filmmaker’s, they’ll have an opportunity to discuss and interpret the plays, as well as see how directors interpret the same material.

Mead, who received his doctorate in English from Indiana University, has published several articles on Shakespeare, Renaissance and medieval drama. He has taught three previous classes in the Minds on the Millennium Series, including courses in World War I literature, “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey.”

For more information:
Deanna Partlow
Office of Communication
360-438-4541; dpartlow@stmartin.edu