Jennifer Burnham (geography) recently attended a joint conference of the Soil Science Society of America and the Geological Society of America in Houston, Texas. She presented a paper entitled "The Biodynamic Significance of Double Stone-layers at Diamond Grove Mima Moundfield, Southwest Missouri".
In September, Matthew Marohl (religion) published a book entitled, "Joseph's Dilemma: 'Honor Killing' in the Birth Narrative of Matthew" (Cascade Books; Eugene, OR). In the book, Marohl argues that early Christ-followers understood Joseph's dilemma to involve an assumption that Mary had committed adultery and that there was, therefore, the possibility that she would be killed. Worded differently, Joseph's dilemma involves the possibility of an honor killing. If Joseph reveals that Mary is pregnant she will be killed. If Joseph conceals Mary's pregnancy, he will be opposing the law of the Lord. What is a "righteous" man to do? In addition, Marohl released a CD with the Minneapolis band, High on Stress. The album is titled, "Cop Light Parade" (OBT Records) and Matt's pedal steel is featured on their current single.
Paul Weissburg (political science) has been invited to speak on a Private Governance panel at the International Political Science Association's 21st World Congress in Santiago, Chile, from July 12 to 16, 2009. He has also been invited to speak on a Private Governance panel this January at the Southern Political Science Association's conference in New Orleans.
On September 30, Chris Whitt (political science) successfully completed the last of four weekly sessions at the Moline Public Library sponsored by "Friends of the Moline Public Library" dealing with Hurricane Katrina. This film series featured the four acts of Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke." Chris was very proud to see Augustana students at each one of the sessions adding to the discussions and debates along with members of the communities who became "regulars" as we watched the film and had spirited discussions on a weekly basis. Many of the community members as well as library staff are excited for Chris to perhaps do some other programs in the future and gave the entire program very positive reviews.
Part of the promotion for the event at the Moline Public Library was an interview with the Perspective television show on WQPT hosted by Susan McPeters, the station's Public Affairs Director, after the second week of the program. In that half hour television interview, Chris Whitt was able to talk about the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, the film series, living in the Quad Cities, working at Augustana, and he was even able to speak on diversity and political science issues at Augustana College and in the Quad Cities. This seems to be the beginning of a good relationship with WQPT and Chris for putting a fresh voice to various issues of interest to the Quad Cities community.
Last Thursday, the Vice Presidential debate brought many students out to the Great Hall in Evald Hall for a debate watch. This event was originally a simple event for Chris Whitt's American Presidency class to watch the debate and discuss it later in class. It ended up being an event that showed up on three local 11 o'clock newscasts as well as in the Argus/Dispatch. Augustana's students were able to see the debate, discuss it and make a wonderful showing with their comments and interviews with the press. Thursday was a big day with Channel 8 coming to Chris' American Presidency class during the day and all of the news people at the debate getting students' perspectives on the debate and the election.