- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Such titles as "Osama bin Laden and Terrorism," "The Sexuality of Terrorism" and "Film After 9/11" are popping up in course catalogs at universities around the country as a result of the terrorist attacks last year.
Political science and government professors say September 11 has become a "teachable" moment in history much like the Vietnam War, during which U.S. colleges created programs to reflect the conflict and expanded foreign-language departments.
"Suddenly, America is in the world again, and September 11 was the kind of event that wasn't going to go away," said Terry Christensen, chairman of the political science department at San Jose State University in California, where the course "Global Security and Terrorism" will be offered.
"Traditional courses never really focused on what happened on September 11," Mr. Christensen said. "We knew things had to change."
Several professors say they are adding new courses to the curriculum because of intense student interest in September 11, and as a result, enrollment has soared. More than 600 students enrolled in 49 seminars quickly assembled at the University of California at Los Angeles after September 11, school officials said.
"People have discovered the larger world," said Basil Wilson, the provost and vice president of academic affairs at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York. "People have now discovered that the U.S. does not function in isolation, as they thought it had. September 11 has definitely added a new dimension to the American way of life."
Many professors have reorganized their regular political science or government classes to include the events of September 11 and the U.S.-led war against terrorism in Afghanistan.
Professors at Florida State University and George Washington University in the District are sticking with current courses, such as "South Asia Today: Most Dangerous Region?" However, other schools, including George Mason University in Fairfax and the University of California at Los Angeles have added such courses as "Political Violence: Theory and Politics of Terrorism, Silence, Slogans and Flags" and "9/11: Issues on Campus."
Georgetown University has added nine courses in response to September 11. "Homeland Security" and "The U.S., the Middle East and the War on Terrorism" are among the courses now offered.
September 11 also has made its way to the music department at the University of California at Berkeley, where "Come Woeful Orpheus: Music's Voice in a Violent World" and "Poetry and Loss" have been added.
Then there's "The Sexuality of Terrorism," an online course at the University of California at Hayward that explores the connection between patriarchal societies and terrorism.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, an ethnic-studies professor teaching the course this spring, said she named the class after a book, "The Demon Lover: On the Sexuality of Terrorism," written by feminist activist Robin Morgan.
"The class is really about what the origins of violence is and women's role in violence," Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz said. "There's really nothing out of the ordinary about it." Seventy-five students signed up for the class, and dozens more are on a waiting list, she said.
Some schools such as John Jay College in New York, just minutes from the World Trade Center, will take it a step further.
Besides offering a new course, "Psychology of Terrorism," college officials plan to create an Institute of Terrorism and Public Safety, which will offer related courses. They also intend to set up a certification program that would allow students to graduate with degrees in security management, focused on terrorism-related preparedness.
"People aren't preoccupied with making money anymore," Mr. Wilson said. "They're realizing that life's work is much more important in life."
Student enrollment at John Jay College has jumped as well. One thousand new students applied to the school within the past academic year, Mr. Wilson said, and 600 to 800 more students are expected to enroll by next year.
Up to 100 students have signed up to take the "Political Violence" course at George Mason University, almost twice the usual enrollment professor Kamal Beyoghlow sees in his other classes.
"People want to know why September 11 happened and what is likely to happen in the future," Mr. Beyoghlow said. "There's a need for people to come to grips with what has happened, and the classroom is where they go."

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