Week 2 Terrorism in Charlottesville Discussion and Peer Response

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The “Disciplinary Study” in Eller’s chapters this week gives a quick overview of terrorism, noting that it has a long history. Eller gives broader, general definition of terrorism as “in the sense of using violence to frighten people and governments into changing their policies and behavior” (55-56). This follows a more generalist, popular definition of terrorism (you’ll see in later chapters a more formalized definition within certain disciplines).

I want you to use the events in Charlottesville, specifically the case of James Alex Fields, the person accused of driving his car into counterprotestors. Immediately following, there were claims that Fields should be charged with terrorism though, as you’ll see in three articles linked, none use the term. (To give you some information into this if you’re aren’t familiar with the specifics: here (Links to an external site.), here (Links to an external site.), and here (Links to an external site.) give a bit of information.)

Note: this is not a forum meant to hash out the details, particulars, and politics underlying Charlottesville more generally. This is meant to be a respectful discussion and reflection, applying our readings to an event that garnered large-scale coverage and is consistently a point of discussion in the media today. Moreover, it is meant to push you to consider how we use terms “everyday” and how we use them academically.

For your first post, due Thursday by 11:59pm (end of day):

  • Does the action by Fields (and the actions more generally in Charlottesville) qualify as terrorism or not, according to the definition and descriptions presented by Eller? Why or why not? From the descriptions given, which “wave” is it most like? Why do you think that?

For your response post, due by Sunday by 11:59pm (end of day)

  • Respond to a peer’s post in terms of their application. Do you think it works? Why or why not? Note: this is meant as a literal discussion to aid us in expanding our applications and reflections of the material into a specific context.
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