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Expert on Human-Caused Disasters to Lecture at Juniata

(Posted October 15, 2001)


HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Author Kai Erikson, a writer and researcher renowned for his work documenting disasters caused by human beings, will lecture at Juniata College on "Doing Research at Ground Level," at 7 p.m., Oct. 24 at Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Science Center on the Juniata campus.

The event is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by Juniata's Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.

The talk will address the terror attacks on New York's World Trade Center complex and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. In addition, he will talk about other disasters such as the Alaskan oil spill by the tanker Exxon Valdez, the war in the Balkans and the consequences of nuclear testing on inhabitants of the Marshall Islands.

"His experience in studying events ranging from destructive floods to the war in the Balkans gives him an important perspective on the events of Sept. 11," says Andy Murray, professor of religion and peace and conflict studies and director of the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.

Erikson, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of Sociology and American Studies at Yale University, is noted for several books chronicling man-made disasters: "Everything in Its Path," an account of a horrific flood in Buffalo Creek, W.Va.; and "A New Species of Trouble," a book that focuses largely on nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Erikson is past president of the American Sociological Association and is a member of the Society for the Study of Social Problems and the Eastern Sociological Society. He also wrote "Wayward Puritans: A Study in the Sociology of Deviance."

He joined the Yale faculty in 1966. At Yale, he has served as chair of the American Studies Program and the sociology department, and served as editor of The Yale Review.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.