July 2008

Counterfactuals (July 5 - 11)

What if the South had won the Civil War? Noel Hendrickson (James Madison University) helps students consider questions about what might have been if the past had happened differently. Instead of taking possibilities to bizarre realms of science fiction, they use philosophy, social science and history knowledge to answer big hypothetical questions in realistic ways. Also featured: Lt. Col. Atin Basu (Virginia Military Institute) studies the relationship between ethnic tensions and terrorism. His statistical analysis reveals that ethnic tensions do not cause terrorism, but may be symptoms of economic desperation.

WGR News Feature: "What if" questions have long intrigued political scientists and historians.  Nancy King, with the radio program "With Good Reason," reports that some Virginia college students are getting a dose of "counter-factual reasoning" in their classroom. Listen to the two and a half minute feature.

Call me Mister (July 12– 18 )

If you look at the most popular films of the last eighty years, you can see a changing image of the American male.  Ashton Trice (James Madison University) says men were often portrayed as heroes until the end of World War II, after which they were shown as struggling or even helpless. 

Also: Dean Deneese Jones (Longwood University) talks about Call Me MISTER, a program designed to recruit more African-American men to teach elementary school.

WGR News Feature: Virginia educators are looking for a few good men...African American men, in fact, who want to teach in elementary school.  Nancy King, with the radio program "With Good Reason," has more. Listen to the two and a half minute news feature.

Darwin of the Mind (July 19 - 25)

Of the two giants of psychology, Freud and Jung, the latter’s groundbreaking investigations into the workings of the mind have not always been fully appreciated. In his new book, Carl Jung, Darwin of the Mind, Thomas T. Lawson redresses the imbalance and offers new insights into the evolution of consciousness.

Also: One popular image of the nineteenth-century anarchist has been the wild-eyed radical throwing a bomb. Tom Goyens (University of Virginia at Wise) says that what anarchists fought for—everything from the eight hour work day to food co-ops and other organizations run by consensus—are now taken for granted in our society.

WGR News Feature: Born July 26, 1875, Carl Jung's  psychological theories are once more en vogue.  Nancy King, with the radio program "With Good Reason," looks at the man and his modern-day legacies. Listen to the two and a half minute feature.

Civil War Reconciliation (July 26 - August 1)

During the Civil War, the residents Winchester witnessed some of the bloodiest battles for control of the Shenandoah Valley and suffered under Union occupation. Jonathan Noyalas (Lord Fairfax Community College) tells how the return of Union veterans to the Valley in 1883 sparked a spirit of reconciliation between former enemies.

Also: Spencer Crew (George Mason University) looks back at the Underground Railroad and makes a connection to activism in the modern world.

And James Robertson (Virginia Tech) lists many of today’s modern conveniences that have their origin in the Civil War.

WGR News Feature: Next year will mark the start of the 150th anniversary (the sesquicentennial) of the Civil War.  Nancy King, with the radio program "With Good Reason," discovered that many of our current habits and customs came out of that conflict. Listen to the two and a half minute feature.