Campus Remembers International Tragedy; Professors Plan “Teach-In” to Discuss and Reflect

In lieu of the recent terrorst attacks that have occured all over the world in the last couple months, including Paris being one of the more disastrous of them.

It was the evening of November 13, 2015 when a series of planes attacked the capitol of France and the northern suburb of France, Saint-Denis. The terrorist attacks killed 130 people including 89 at the Bataclan theatre. There were hostages involved and a stand-off between the terrorists and police. The attacks on France were the deadliest on the country since  since World War II.

After the attacks, many were coming together to pray for Paris and all of the victims. It’s important to offer condolences and recognize the tragedy of Paris and all the other countries that have been attacked since.

Gustavus professors Sharon Marquart and Paschal Kyoore have come together to provide an opportunity for faculty, staff and students of all ages and ethnicities to comment, discuss, reflect etc. on the recent tragedies. Marquart and Kyoore are both professors in the French section of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and felt the need to create a space in which the Gustavus community could come together and reflect on the attacks in France.

“I urge everyone to take advantage of this opportunity that we are offering in order to be better informed by the various specialists that will address the issue from different angles. It’s an opportunity to have a community dialogue on a tragedy that was created by some of the hatred that characterizes our contemporary society.” Professor Paschal Kyoore said.

Terrorism affects everyone in today’s society no matter what country you’re in or from. It’s a tragedy and it’s important to continue to come together to reflect and remember as a community. Marquart and Kyoore have out together a teach-in on Monday, December 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Confer 128.

“The teach-in also provides us an opportunity to think critically about the impact that such incidents can potentially have on attitudes towards certain groups of people who for religious or ethnic reasons automatically become targets of hatred and stereotyping,” Paschal said.

Although the events on France were tragic, were remember the other tragic terrorist attacks that have occured that may be brought up to discuss at the teach-in.

“These events are clearly of global importance – they go beyond france’s borders and beyond the borders of any one discipline in a university,” Marquart said.

Students gather in front of the Chapel to remember the victims of the recent terrorist attacks.
Students gather in front of the Chapel to remember the victims of the recent terrorist attacks.

The teach-in is open to anyone and everyone is encouraged to come and participate. There will be professors ranging from all different departments offering comments and reflections regarding the recent issues. The  different departments the professors are from include Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, African Studies, Philosophy, Politiccal Science, Scandinavian Syidies, Classics, Peace Studies and Religion.

Since there will be professors from all different departments, the topics discussed at the teach- in will have a wide range including social inequalities in contemporary France, the symbolic importance of Paris, the interpretations of islam espoused by ISIS, similartities and differences between ISIS and other forms of terrorism, and US and UN foreign policy towards ISIS. These are just a few of the topics that will be discussed and with the numerous scholars and professors present, an informed discussion about unanticipated questions will be allowed from the audience.

The teach-in is a perfect opportunity to discuss, engage, reflect, comment etc. on the Paris terrorist attacks and any other recent terrorist attacks that have taken place. Again, the teach-in will take place in Confer 128 on December 7, 2015 at 7 p.m.