Lander Readies for Fifth Annual Peace Studies Conference

March 12, 2013
The fifth annual Peace Studies Conference, set for Thursday, March 21, will feature more than 20 presenters, who will speak on a wide range of topics related to peace.

The conference, sponsored by Lander University and the Greenwood Chapter of People to People International (PTPI), gets under way in Room 150 of Lander's Science Building at 1 p.m.

All presentations are free and open to the public.

There are several highlights of this year's conference, according to Lander associate professor of environmental geology Dr. Dan Pardieck, who with Connie Edwards, president of the Greenwood Chapter of PTPI, is serving as a co-chair of this year's event.

One, he said, is "A Confluence of Perspectives: Exploring Themes of War and Peace in Psychological Science, the Bible, and Contemporary Poetry," which will be presented by Lander associate professor of psychology Dr. Jonathan Bassett; his father, Limestone College emeritus professor Dr. Fred Bassett; and his brother, Michael Bassett, a teacher at Hilton Head Preparatory School.

Pardieck said that hearing three family members provide perspectives from three very different disciplines "promises to be very moving."

Another highlight, he said, will be the panel discussion "America Pivots to China: A Change in Consciousness," by Erskine College professor of politics Dr. Ashley Woodiwiss and Erskine professors of history Dr. David Grier McDonald and Dr. Sandy Chaney.

Pardieck called the topic "very important and germane," and said, "I'll be very interested in hearing what they have to say about China."

Pardieck said he is also looking forward to the presentations by Lander's international students, beginning with "The G20 Summit," by international student Yun Jung Choi and American student Caitlan Alexander Wyatt. 

Choi and Wyatt will be followed by Sujin Lee, Hayoung Shin, Jisoo Lim and Kyuri Chang, who will discuss "The Divided Country: Koreas and Irony of Peace Ideology"; and by Myengsoo Jung, Hyeon Kim and Eunhyeong Lee, who will present "Two Kinds of Peace: What Would You Like to Make?"

Although the international students participating in this year's conference may be "out of their comfort zone," Pardieck said they are nevertheless "very interested in sharing their experiences with us." Their willingness to do so, he said, should make for a "good exchange of ideas."

Another event offered in conjunction with this year's conference is the annual international dinner, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 22, at Wesley Commons. Requests for tickets, which are $20, should be directed to Connie Edwards, who can be reached at con5644@gmail.com.

Pardieck said he hopes that this year's conference "will inspire a few individuals to volunteer for the cause of peace. That in itself is enough, in my opinion."