Panel Discussion Monday, Nov. 30 at Converse on "ISIS: War with the West"

November 30, 2015 at 9:35 am

Three Converse faculty members will participate in a panel discussion to explore historical, religious and political aspects of terrorism in our world today. “ISIS: War with the West” will be held Monday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. in Daniel Recital Hall on the Converse campus, and is open to the public with free admission. The professors will speak individually, respond to audience questions, and discuss together their perspectives on recent events, Daesh/ISIS, and what terrorism looks like today.

Dr. Joe Dunn, Charles A. Dana Professor of History Politics, will give an overview and background on Daesh/ISIS. Dr. Kyle Keefer Associate Professor of Religion, will discuss the nature of the religious conflict in general and the way in which religious motivations drive human activity. Dr. Jeffrey Poelvoorde, Associate Professor of Politics, will discuss the United States’ role and policy.

The event is coordinated by Olivia Haas of Atlanta, GA, a sophomore double majoring in Spanish and politics and a participant in Converse’s Nisbet Honors Program.

“The disturbing events the weekend of November the 13th in Paris, Beirut and other locations prompted this discussion of the events,” said Haas. “These atrocities seem unreal compared to the relatively safe and privileged life we’re fortunate to lead. It occurred to me how easy it is for college students as well as the average US citizen to be numb or accustomed to hearing about such barbaric acts. The news we digest provides only a snippet and often leaves out a lot of facts and background.”

The Monday after the Paris attacks, Haas reached out to faculty members asking them to help students process the events. “Converse has a responsibility to enable our students and the broader community to learn, ask questions about, and begin to understand the pleasant and unpleasant realities of our world. This event differs from what people can find in the news. It will attempt to provide historical background, un-biased facts, and analysis of ISIS allowing for a deeper and fuller understanding,” she said.

For more information, contact Olivia Haas, student coordinator for the event, at; or Beth Lancaster, director of media relations, at