Joseph McKeen
Center for the Common Good

Seeking the Common Good Series Fall 2011

Story posted September 22, 2011

From Civil Strife to Civil Society:

Looking Toward the Future in Afghanistan

As the United States begins the draw down of forces in Afghanistan amid differences of opinion at home and conflicting messages from abroad, what are the implications of a decade of war on the citizens of a country ravished by invasion and internal strife since the 1970s? What are ways Americans and Afghanis can draw upon lessons past and present to work towards establishing a secure environment in which to foster positive community development at this transitional moment?

Schedule of Events

Afghanistan Ten Years Later: A Teach-In and Film Screening
Friday, September 30
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Smith Auditorium, Sills Hall
Beginning with a screening and discussion of The Afghan Narrative by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, authors of The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire, this event features a speak out, and a panel discussion facilitated by Allen Wells, Roger Howell, Jr. Professor of History, and Nat Wheelwright, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Natural Sciences, that examines the role of establishing the peace by drawing on lessons from American involvement in Latin American wars during the 1980s.

Pathways to Global Public Health
A Conversation with Dr. Peter Pressman '77 Director, Healthcare Industry Programs, Task Force for Business and Stability Operations

Thursday, February 2
4:00 p.m., McKeen Center common room
Prior to his current work promoting public health initiatives in Afghanistan, Dr. Pressman worked in Iraq, and was also the Chief Medical Officer at Guantánamo. In addition to being a physician, he holds graduate degrees in Psychology and Social Science. At this session you’ll have a chance to learn about his path to public health work, and ask questions about current initiatives and trends in the field of global health.

It is Awfully Hard to do Something Good or . . . It Takes a MafiA
A Lecture with Peter Pressman, MD '77
Thursday, February 2

7:00 p.m., Beam Classroom, VAC
As a physician with the US Navy fostering public health initiatives in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dr. Pressman is currently developing collaborative models for revitalizing Afghan medical education, especially in the areas of mental health and for medical and neurological professionals. The former Chief Medical Officer at Guantánamo and with graduate degrees in psychology and social science, Pressman builds on extensive experience in medical education programs and engagement in conflict-ridden areas as he creates a distance-learning model (telemedicine) to advance the public health field in war-torn Afghanistan.  Commander (select) [CDR(sel)] Peter Pressman, MD, MS, MA, FACN, is the Director of Healthcare Industry Programs for the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO).

Read more about Peter Pressman. 

Love Hate Love
Film screening
Thursday, October 27
7:30 p.m., Smith Auditorium, Sills Hall
Produced ten years after 9/11 and the start of the war in Afghanistan, Love Hate Love chronicles the stories of three families in different parts of the world as they are torn apart by terrorism and subsequently rebuild their faith in humanity through acts of love on personal, local and global levels.

Qiam Amiry, Founder & Board President of the Afghan Scholars Initiative, which works for peace and to prepare Afghanistan’s future civic leaders, will provide a brief introduction to the work of ASI and answer questions.
Afghan Scholars Initiative:

Afghanistan's Local War: Seth Jones '95
John C. Donovan Lecture in Government and Legal Studies
Thursday, November 17

7:30 p.m., Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union

As a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and having most recently served as advisor with the U.S. Special Operations Command, Jones addresses the effectiveness of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, focusing on social trust in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and al Qa'ida. Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed book In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan (W. W. Norton), and Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida After 9/11 (forthcoming April 2012).

Read more about Seth Jones.

This Seeking the Common Good series is hosted by the McKeen Center for the Common Good in partnership with the Career Planning Center; Asian Studies, Education, Film Studies, Government, History, Religion, and Sociology/Anthropology; Alumni Relations; the Office of Health Professions Advising; the Muslim Students Association; the Bowdoin Film Society; and with the generous support of the Morgan Family Foundation and the Preston Public Interest Career Fund.

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What are ways Americans and Afghanis can draw upon lessons past and present to work towards establishing a secure environment in which to foster positive community development at this transitional moment?