UW Oshkosh

Past Events & Guest Speakers

"Black Widows VS. Zombies: Women
in Terror"

Guest speaker Alisa Stack O'Connor
March 11, 2008 7pm
Reeve Memorial Union Theater RM307
Free and open to all


Ms. Stack-O’Conner has written extensively on the role of women in terrorism, most recently focusing on the case of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. She works in the Pentagon, formerly in the office of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. She is currently heading the newly created Pentagon office of Public Diplomacy. She has spoken to UW Oshkosh Terrorism classes via telephone and will be visiting the campus for the first time. She is tasked as well with looking into over the horizon terrorism threats emanating from non-Middle eastern sources.

Dr. Alisa Stack-O'Connor's Biography

Office of the Secretary of Defense

Ms. Alisa Stack-O’Connor is the Principal Deputy, Support to Public Diplomacy in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).  Ms. Stack-O’Connor has held several positions within OSD including Acting Director, Policy Planning, Deputy Director, Detainee Policy, and Assistant for Sensitive Special Operations.  From 2005-2006, Ms. Stack-O’Connor served as an OSD representative on the faculty of the National War College where she taught core courses, an elective on counterterrorism, and conducted research on how and why terrorist groups employ women.  Her research findings have been published in Joint Force Quarterly and the journal Terrorism and Political Violence.  Prior to joining the OSD, Ms. Stack-O’Connor worked for Senator Slade Gorton.  She also has extensive experience in the non-profit, “think tank” community, including serving as the Director, AccessAsia at the National Bureau of Asian Research.  She holds an MS from the National War College, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and a BA from the University of Washington.

"'They Lynched Christ Too':
W.E.B. DuBois and the Redemption
of America's Violent Past"

Guest Lecturer Prof. Edward J. Blum
February 7, 2008 7-9pm
Reeve Memorial Union RM 227C
Free and open to all


ISRVM is proud to co-sponsor Professor Blum, who is a historian of race and religion at San Diego State University.  He has written Reforging the White Republic and W.E.B. DuBois; American Prophet. He has also co-edited a number of other works.  Dr. Blum has been honored with the Peter Seaborg Award in Civil War Studies, the C. Vann Woodward Dissertation Prize, and he has been nominated for the Bancroft Prize as well as the Pulitzer Prize.

"The Return of Torture: Discipline, Sovereignty, and Competing Models of Global Order"

Guest speaker Mattias Gardell
February 14, 2008 7pm
Reeve Memorial Union Theater RM 307
Free and open to all

On Thursday, February 14 at 7:00 pm in the Reeve Theater, Prof. Mattias Gardell,Chair of the Dept of the History of Religions at Uppsala University, will be presenting a talk titled “The Return of Torture: Discipline, Sovereignty, and Competing Models of Global Order.” The talk is free and open to the public.

Prof. Gardell is known as one of the world’s leading field work based research scholars. He has worked closely with radical Islamic milieus in the Middle East (most recently in Cairo), and with radical youth sub-cultures in the US and Europe. His fieldwork in the US has included such diverse subjects as the Nation of Islam (Black Muslims) and White Supremacist organizations across the country.

Dr Gardell's Biography

Mattias Gardell is Professor and Chair of the Dept of the History of Religions at Uppsala University. He has explored the intersections of Religion, Politics and Power in a series of research projects, including Black Nationalist Islam in the US; the religious dimensions of the White Power milieu; the Political Geography of Islam, and New Age Politics. In addition to numerous books and articles in Swedish, his list of publications features works in the English language, including In the Name of Elijah Muhammad. Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam (Duke University Press 1996), Gods of the Blood; The Pagan Revival and White Separatism (Duke Univ Press, 2003); and The Quest for an Islamic State. Globalization and the Transforming Landscape of Political Islam [DUP 2008 forthcoming].

"An Evening with the Sudanese

October 1, 2007


Amb. Ukek spoke to an overflow audience in Reeve Union about the situation in the Sudan, including the Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended the half century old battle between North and South in his country, as well as the ongoing tragedy of the conflict in Darfur. He spoke to a number of classes and individual students as well. But the highlight of his visit was an agreement signed between the Government of Sudan and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh for educational cooperation and exchange between the Sudan and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Dinka Culture Night  
March 30, 2007

  University student Michael Kuany shared his story as one of the lost boys of the Sudan to a full house at Reeve Memorial Union.  He captivated and charmed the audience with tales of his journey as well as intriguing cultural facts about his tribe the Dinka from Jalle, Africa.
   Following the discussion true Dinka food was served and the brainstorming began. Students, faculty, and community members shared ideas and food as everyone contributed to the discussion on how to fundraise for Michael's project.  The results were wonderful and the project is currently in process of fundraising. To read the full story in the Titan Advanced please visit http://www.advancetitan.com/story.asp?issue=11344&story=6049

Colonel Philip Wright Career US Army Intelligence Officer
April 5, 2007

  Colonel Wright, a career United States Army Intelligence Officer gave several presentations at the University explaining briefly the mission and purpose of homeland security.  Col Wright gave presentations at the Senior Seminar, Professor Kaplan's terrorism class, and Reeve Memorial Union.  University students also had the opportunity to enjoy a light discussion over dinner in Oshkosh.
   Col Wright greatly enjoyed his time sharing his knowledge with University students and also enjoyed touring Oshkosh. Destinations on the city tour included Hughes Chocolates, the EAA Museum, and the university campus.
A special thank you to the international studies department, and the volunteers!

Colonel John Ballard
April, 11 2007

  Colonel Ballard, author of Fighting for Fallujah gave a presentation to Professor Kaplan's terrorism class as well as the Deans Symposium.  Col Ballard shared his experience as a civil affairs officer in Fallujah in one of the hardest forward moves made in the Afghanistan conflict.  Col Ballard also enjoyed a light discussion and dinner with students at Vitales following his presentation. 
  Col Ballard had a chance to share his thoughts on the new SUV organization as well as the university opening such new venues of study as terrorism and religious violence, and found these to be valuable and exciting.

Alisa Stack O'Connor
May, 2007

  Alisa Stack O'Connor, an expert from the Pentagon Office of Public Diplomacy  gave a teleconference presentation from her office at the pentagon followed by a brief question and answer session to Professor Kaplan's terrorism class.
  Her knowledge in womens role as terrorists proved to be intriguing and valuable. The institute plans to bring Alisa back to the university as a guest speaker in 2008.

Other Happenings

  The institute also participated in a number of community outreach activities including two appearances before the Oshkosh Rotary (another appearance is scheduled for August 13), church and community groups around the state (the most recent group was out of Green Lake, WI), and various programs at other in-system universities (including such locations as Madison, Eau Claire, and Marathon).

Thank You to those departments, volunteers, and students who made this all possible!