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Lander Primed for Sixth Annual Peace Studies Conference

March 05, 2014

Peace Studies ConferenceThe theme of this year's Peace Studies Conference, coming to Lander University on Thursday, March 20, is "peace of mind."

"Can there be any peace if a person doesn't have peace of mind to start with?" asked Lander associate professor of environmental geology Dr. Dan Pardieck, a co-chair of this year's event. "That's essential for peace at any level."

This year's keynote speaker is wealth manager, author and financial speaker Paul Sutherland, who will discuss "Peace and Virtue," beginning at 7 p.m. in Room 200 of the Carnell Learning Center.

Sutherland, creator and organizer for TEDxTraverseCity, part of the internationally acclaimed TEDxTalks Program, will also lead a workshop, "An Introduction and Practice: Global Perspectives on Financial and Cultural Literacy," from 8:20 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. the next day, also in Room 200.

The keynote address and workshop are free and open to the public, but tickets are required. They can be requested by contacting Pardieck ( or by calling 864-388-8318.

The lectures and panel discussions leading up to this year's keynote address begin at 1 p.m. Thursday, in Room 150 of Lander's Science Building. They include "The Psychological Underpinning of Peace: Fostering Empathy and Identification with All Humanity," by Lander associate professor of psychology Dr. Johnathan Bassett; "Celebrations, Catharsis, Threat and Therapy: Poetic Depictions of Violence, from Achilles to Gangsta Rap," by Bassett's brother, Dr. Michael Bassett, a creative writing and literature teacher at Hilton Head Preparatory; and "Poetry as Witness and Response to Violence and Injustice," by Bassett's father, Dr. Fred Bassett, a poet, novelist, and retired professor of religion and philosophy who taught at Limestone College.

Other highlights include "Applying Complexity Science to Simplify Complex Conflicts," by Presbyterian College assistant professor of psychology Dr. Jay Michaels; "How Changing the International Atomic Energy Agency Mandate Would Further World Peace," by Dot Sulock, instructor of mathematics at UNC-Asheville; "Peace and Violence in Twentieth Century Korea," by Lander assistant professor of history Dr. Franklin Rausch; and "Peace and Communication," by Lander graduate assistant Han Gao.

All afternoon lectures and panel discussions are free and open to the public.

This year's conference will end with an international dinner at 6:00 p.m. Friday, at Wesley Commons in Greenwood. Those interested in purchasing tickets, which are $20, should contact Connie Edwards, president of the Greenwood chapter of People to People International, which is again serving as a conference sponsor. She can be reached at

Pardieck said he anticipates "a great conference, and my colleagues and I, at Lander and in Greenwood, are looking forward to it."