Winter Theory Institute at UHV to explore perceptions of terror

Scholars from across the nation who have studied how terror impacts people’s lives will be at the University of Houston-Victoria Thursday through Sunday discussing their research.

“This will give the attendees an opportunity to understand how academic, social and political life have been impacted by terror in general and to learn more about America’s response to terror and its many manifestations,” said Uppinder Mehan, associate director of the Society for Critical Exchange.

SCE, a UHV-based scholarly organization devoted to theory, is exploring these issues in collaboration with the UHV School of Arts and Sciences during the Winter Theory Institute: “ – Terrorism and Education in America.”

Twelve scholars will make 30-minute presentations about terror all day Friday and Saturday on the third floor of the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. Each presentation will be followed by 30 minutes of responses from the attendees.

Several publishers already have expressed interest in releasing a book of the essays presented during the institute sometime this fall, Mehan said. The book could be used in undergraduate classes and by scholars in the field.

“The intersection of terror and higher education is a very hot topic,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences and SCE director. “Given the outstanding group of scholars participating in the institute, I’m not surprised that publishers are already interested.”    

Speakers at the Winter Theory Institute will include Florida State University faculty member Robin Truth Goodman, author of the 2009 book “Policing Narratives and the State of Terror,” and James Castagnera of Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., author of the recent book “Al-Qaeda Goes to College: Impact of the War on Terror on American Higher Education.”

UHV faculty members making presentations include Horace “Bud” Fairlamb, an SCE associate director who will talk about religion and terror, and Keith Akins, who will discuss the differences between teaching Christian and Islamic violence.

Videos of the Friday and Saturday presentations and interviews with the presenters will be made available on the SCE Web site,, about a week after the institute ends, Mehan said.

The public is invited to attend the free presentations but is asked to contact Mehan in advance because of limited seating. For more information, contact him at 361-570-4178 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler