PTK International Honor Society at TNCC to Sponsor Honor Seminar Series

Published: October 31, 2007

Gold, Gods and Glory, the Global Dynamics of Power is this year’s topic for the Honor Seminar Series sponsored by the Thomas Nelson Community College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society. Seminars will be held in Room 100, Diggs Hall at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7 and Nov. 28.  The seminars are free to TNCC students, faculty and staff.  Admission is $2.00 for the general public with all proceeds to be donated to the VA Civil Rights Memorial Fund. For additional information about the seminars, visit the PTK website, or call PTK faculty advisor, Wenda Ribeiro at 825-2820.

In Afghanistan after the Taliban by Tamim Ansary, November 7, 2007

Presentation Preview

In Afghanistan After the Taliban, Mr. Ansary will explore:

  • How the Taliban came to power and who they were/are
  • The American military intervention and its consequences
  • The contending players on the current Afghan scene, which include warlords, drug lords, conservative clerics, Jihadist fundamentalists, exiled (and now returning) technocrats, old aristocracy, and American and other foreign interests
  • The political measures that were taken to reinvent Afghanistan after the Taliban – the Bonn Conference, the constitution, the elections, and more
  • The “reconstruction” efforts in Afghanistan and their consequences, expected and unexpected
  • Whether and why Afghanistan is slipping back into chaos.

Discussion Questions

  • What sets Afghanistan apart from other Muslim countries – from the Arab nations, and Iraq in particular? From Iran? From Pakistan?
  • Why does Afghanistan matter to the non-Muslim world? To the West? To Americans?
  • Why does Islam have trouble grappling with modernity and how can this be resolved? How, for example, can a country like Afghanistan interact with (and join) the modern world?
  • What policies should the United States pursue in Afghanistan and the Muslim world in general?

American Theocracy: Politics, Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century by Kevin Phillips, November 28

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From ancient Rome to the British Empire, every world-dominating power has been brought down by an overlapping set of problems: a foolish combination of global overreach, militant religion, diminishing resources, and ballooning debt. It is exactly this nexus of ills that has come to define America’s political and economic identity at the beginning of the 21st. century.

Discussion Questions

  • To what extent is the United States losing the world’s respect and endangering her future?
  • What is the impact of the ‘financialization’ of the United States on its ability to sustain its power?
  • To what extent will a move away from the use of huge amounts of oil affect American hegemony?
  • How and why has American debt increased over the last four decades? To what extent is debt positive? To what extent does debt take a toll on the United States and its impact on the global dynamics of power?

Release #07-1071

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