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UMFK professor to speak at third forum of speaker series on Vietnam, War, Resistance and Peace

March 14, 2003


The third forum in a three-month speaker's series being held at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, devoted to opening up dialogue on the topic of conflict, will feature a UMFK professor who was a post-graduate student at Kent State University during the protests and riot in 1970.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, March 26 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room, where the focus of the series will change to a discussion of resistance.

Allen Shoaff, assistant professor of rural public safety administration, will outline his experiences at Kent State during those troubling times.

Specifically, Shoaff will discuss what might have caused the horrible tragedy at Kent State, which resulted in four people killed and eight others injured, and how the incident drew the attention of America to the anti-war movement.

Carol Hawkins, assistant professor of English and director of the writing program at UMFK, organized the open series in part to provide an opportunity for university students and community members to speak about relevant issues relating to war and also as an extension of her honors seminar course entitled 'Representations of Vietnam through Popular Culture: War, Resistance, and Peace'.

The speaker's series, like the course, was designed to provide 'a forum for reflection in a time of talk of war' as the possibility of a U.S.-led war with Iraq looms on the horizon.

April's focus will shift to the topic of peace. Students in Hawkins' honors seminar course will lead discussions on what they've learned from America's experience in Vietnam and where they learned their lessons. They will then apply those lessons by opening up a dialogue on the current threat of war with Iraq.

The semester-long class, which Hawkins is leading, examines the legacy of the Vietnam War within the context of American history during the 1960s and 1970s. Students will recall what images they see when they think of Vietnam; what sounds they hear, what stories they were told. Responses are discussed within the context of the popular culture generated by the war, primarily American films, music, oral histories, and literature.

'We hope that, through our speaker's series and the discussions that have ensued, we will create an awareness of how people can make a difference whether or not we go to war, or whether or not, like in the case of Vietnam, we stay in the war,' said Hawkins.

The public is invited to participate in all of the sessions. For further details, contact Hawkins at (207) 834-7892.