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Sept. 11: A Year Later; S.F. State faculty experts and stories



SFSU Office of Public Affairs
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


SAN FRANCISCO, August 8, 2002 ---As the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaches, the San Francisco State University Public Affairs Office has compiled a list of notable faculty experts from departments such as international relations, politics and humanities who can provide perspective on issues ranging from terrorism to Islamic culture. The faculty members have closely followed the unfolding events over the last year and they also can offer insight on what may lay ahead.

In response to growing student interest in issues arising from the terrorist attacks, S.F. State faculty members have created several news classes and seminars. New for the coming fall semester, which starts Wednesday, Aug. 28, is a speech class focusing on the rhetoric of terrorism. Joseph Tuman, professor of speech and communication studies, created the new course titled "The Rhetoric of Terrorism." Tuman and his students will explore the rhetorical implications of terrorism sponsored by individuals, dissent groups, criminal enterprises, and/or states, in addition to examining how symbolic messages are communicated and disseminated for, and interpreted by, different audiences.

Former Ambassador David Fischer, Diplomat in Residence at S.F. State, will again offer his popular class on terrorism and covert political warfare, which in its initial offering in the spring was unable to accommodate the enormous student interest.

And just last month more than a dozen Bay Area social studies teachers attended a weeklong seminar on campus to learn how to better teach the lessons of Sept. 11 to schoolchildren.

For additional assistance with Sept. 11 stories, please call the S.F. State Public Affairs Office at (415) 338-1665.

Terrorism and American foreign policy

Veteran foreign diplomat David Fischer is an expert on terrorism and teaches the new course on terrorism and international politics that was created as a direct result of Sept. 11. He also teaches courses on American foreign policy and intelligence agencies. Fischer can be reached at either (415) 405-0325 (work) or (415) 661-8543 (home).

Former Ambassador Robert Pastorino is a lecturer in international relations who has extensive knowledge of terrorism and anti-terrorism measures. Pastorino was a National Security advisor under former presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He also teaches courses on diplomacy and international negotiation. Pastorino can be reached at (415) 986-1235 (home).

Terrorism and American foreign policy

Jerry Combs, professor of history, is an authority on the history of American foreign policy and America's military history. Combs can discuss the similarities and differences between the war on terrorism and America's past wars. Combs can be reached at either (415) 338-1246 (work) or (925) 935-2404 (home).

The Taliban

Sanjoy Banerjee, associate professor of international relations, has closely followed political issues in Afghanistan and the rise of the Taliban. Banerjee, who teaches courses on the politics of South and Southeast Asian countries, is an expert on foreign relations between the United States and countries such as Pakistan and India. Banerjee can be reached at either (415) 338-1105 or (650) 589-3224 (home).

The Middle East

Dwight Simpson, professor of international relations, is a noted expert on the politics of the Middle East. For many years he has taught a popular course on the political, cultural, economic and military aspects of the Middle East. Simpson can be reached at (415) 338-2239 (work) or (510) 527-5306 (home).

Islamic culture and history

Minoo Moallem, chair and assistant professor of women studies, is an expert on issues of women and Islamic fundamentalism and feminist movements in the Middle East among Muslims. She is writing a book on gender and Islamic fundamentalism in Iran and lectures frequently on these issues. Moallem can be reached at (415) 338-3065 (work) or

Carel Bertram, associate professor of humanities, joins the S.F. State faculty as an expert on contemporary Islamic culture. She recently completed research for the forthcoming "Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World", a Macmillan reference book. Bertram can be reached at (510) 655-5473.

Maziar Behrooz, associate professor of history, also joins the S.F. State faculty as an authority on the history of the Islamic world. As a lecturer previously Behrooz created S.F. State's two-part course on the history of the Islamic world from 500-1500 and from 1500 to the present. Behrooz can be reached at (415) 338-1776.

Free speech

Joseph Tuman, professor of speech and communication studies, is an expert on political communication. A frequent commentator on political debates and speeches, Tuman will teach the new course he created titled "The Rhetoric of Terrorism." Tuman can be reached at (415) 338-1813 (work), (510) 834-2294 (home) or (510) 326-5254 (cell).

Civil liberties

Michael Graham, chair of the political science department, has extensively studied civil liberties and constitutional issues. Graham has looked at how measures to protect Americans from terrorist acts might affect the rights of individuals. Graham can be reached at (415) 338-7044.

Hate crimes

Christopher Waldrep, professor of history, is an expert on hate crimes in the United States. Waldrep, who teaches a course on the history of American violence, has written several books on the political forces behind vigilante violence in the United States. Waldrep can be reached at either (415) 338-2982 (work)..

The psychological aftermath

Jamie Newton is a professor of psychology who specializes in social psychology. Newton has done research on group behavior, especially aggressive group behavior directed toward individuals based on ethnic or cultural heritage. Newton has done work on altruistic behavior and why people pitch in to help in the aftermath of disasters. Newton can be reached (415) 338-7557.

Amy Hittner, professor of counseling, is an expert on early childhood intervention and counseling. Hittner has looked at how parents help their children deal with traumatic events. Hittner can be reached at (415) 338-7642.

Teaching the children

Genie Stowers is associate dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and last month presented a weeklong seminar for Bay Area school teachers on how to teach the lessons of Sept. 11 to children. More than dozen social studies teachers attended classes taught by professors on subjects ranging from foreign policy to terrorism. Stowers can be reached at (415) 338-3615.

Renewed patriotism

Jacob Needleman, professor of philosophy, can discuss the new understanding of the meaning of America, from the spiritual vision of the founding fathers to the hope our country can offer to the contemporary world. The author of "Money and the Meaning of Life" and 2002's "The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders," Needleman can also provide timely perspectives on America and its ideals, which have been thrust to the forefront of public discourse since feelings of patriotism and democracy have swept the nation after Sept.11. He can be reached at (415) 338-2216 (work) or



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Last modified October 29, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs