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Jan. 12, 2010

Contact Bill Reese at 608-796-3708 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – From its first use at Hiroshima, Japan to the fear of proliferation today, nuclear weaponry is one of the most important issues facing humanity. Viterbo University will explore this crucial topic at its annual humanities symposium entitled “The Nuclear Threat: Understanding the History and Future Consequences of Nuclear Weaponry” Monday, Feb. 1–Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Hiroshima survivor Hideko Tamura Snider and Diana Roose, author of Teach Us to Live: Stories from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will serve as the keynote speakers at the event. Their presentation will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.

A variety of other presenters are expected to discuss nuclear weapons-related topics as part of the three-day symposium. Viterbo students and the general public are invited to attend any or all of the events, which are free of charge. No registration is required.

“There has been so much emphasis on the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and health care that we’ve put one of the most crucial issues of our time—nuclear proliferation—on the back burner,” said Bill Reese, Viterbo faculty member and chair of the event. “I hope audiences will leave with an increased awareness of this problem. The global community needs to address this issue because as nations pursue nuclear weapons, another Hiroshima is waiting to happen.”

The symposium will explore questions such as: Where is the world today in terms of the threat from nuclear weapons? Is the nuclear threat the subject of thrilling movies or is it the political saber-rattling of world dictators seeking more recognized power? Should nuclear proliferation be a serious concern for our political and military leaders, much more than health care or the economy? What response should each of us have for the nuclear warfare menace of our day, in our nation, and through future actions?

The schedule includes:

Monday, Feb. 1

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Photos/Posters 6 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Lobby. Refreshments, reflection, fellowship, and book signings by Diana Roose, author of Teach Us to Live: Stories from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Daniel Bell, author of Just War as Christian Discipleship.

“Teach Us to Live: Stories from Hiroshima and Nagasaki” 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Diana Roose and Hiroshima survivor Hideko Tamura Snider.

Tuesday, Feb. 2

“Just War as Christian Discipleship” 9:30 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Daniel Bell, Ph.D., associate professor of theological ethics at Southern Theological Seminary in Columbia, S.C.

“Hiroshima: History and Myth: The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb” 10:30 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Michael Smuksta, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Viterbo University.

“The Politics of Nuclear War” 11:30 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Keith Knutson, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and history at Viterbo University.              

Free Soup Luncheon with Discussion of Morning Speakers 12:30 p.m. in the Reinhart Center Board Room.

Panel Discussion, Eye Witnesses to the Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 1:15 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Lobby with facilitator Jesús Jambrina, Ph.D.

Film Discussions Black Rain and Dr. Strangelove 2:30 p.m. in Reinhart Center 127 with Viterbo Honors program students. 

Wednesday, Feb. 3

“Fear and Coercion: The Personal and Geopolitical Psychology of the Nuclear Threat” 9 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with David Bauer, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Viterbo University.

 “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons?” 10 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Rick Wayman of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

“Some Final Thoughts on Hope, Courage, Grace, and Peace in a Nuclear Age” 11 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre with Tom Thibodeau, distinguished professor of servant leadership at Viterbo University.

 The symposium is sponsored by the Viterbo School of Letters and Sciences. Contact Bill Reese at 608-796-3708 or with any questions. For a complete schedule of events, visit


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