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A Century of War: Chris Hedges

Grinnell College students will have the chance to question a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist during the opening of “A Century of War: 1914 and Beyond.”

Chris HedgesChris Hedges spent two decades as a war correspondent, most of them with the New York Times. On Sept. 16, he will

  • Head a question and answer session at 4:15 p.m. in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts in Room 152. Sarah Purcell ’92, director of the Rosenfield Program, will moderate.
  • Present a talk, “War is the Force that Gives Us Meaning,” at 7:30 p.m. in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center in Room 101.

“Since Mr. Hedges is a journalist who has covered many conflict zones, we thought students would learn from asking questions about his experience and his views on contemporary wars,” says Shuchi Kapila, director of the Center for Humanities.

Hedges’ visit is the first in the center’s yearlong symposium exploring the social, political, and cultural transformations brought about by World War I. The symposium marks the centenary of World War I and explores how the phenomenon of war continues to shape a culture of violence.

The topic of war deserves a thorough examination, Kapila says.

“So many people’s lives have been touched by World War I and World War II all over the world, and we live in an era where conflicts have emerged in many parts of the world, some of which are a legacy of the wars, so we have to continue to think about this topic,” Kapila says.

Hedges’ presentation is co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.

The events are free and open to the public.

Rosenfield Symposium Explores Use of Drones

Drone use has become prolific, despite a lack of public knowledge and debate, says an expert who will speak during a symposium on drones and drone warfare.

“The issue of how drones are used, both in warfare and in domestic spaces, is one of the most vital social problems of our time,” says Heather Hayes, assistant professor and chair of the Department of Rhetoric Studies at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash.

The symposium features presentations by activists, scholars, and writers, hosted by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights. The event will be held Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 9-11 at the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101. The final event will be held in the Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center’s fieldhouse.

Hayes will discuss “The Buzzing of the Drones: Circulating Violence from Waziristan to Washington.”

Americans have a gap in knowledge about drones, and secrecy shrouds U.S. drone programs, Hayes says.

“I believe most people don’t know the history of their creation and use, the rapid escalation of their technologies as part of the ‘global war on terror,’ and their disproportionate use on Arab populations around the world,” she says.

Sarah Purcell ’92, director of the Rosenfield program, says drones are an important topic in current affairs.

“Drones play a huge role in U.S. foreign and defense policy,” Purcell says. “They are on the cutting edge of technology, and they are also used for many creative purposes such as environmental conservation and agriculture.”

Hayes agrees, “The way that this technology is utilized will mark the next generation not only of weapons, but also of almost all other technologies that follow.”

This symposium is co-sponsored by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights and the Luce Program in Nations and the Global Environment.