War is subject of panel discussion, multi-media exhibit at URI

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 30, 2005 — A University of Rhode Island honors seminar course will host a panel discussion entitled “War in Many Mediums: Film, Press and Propaganda,” Monday, Dec. 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Galanti Lounge at the URI Library. A multi-media exhibit on the topic of war created by the class will be showcased at the event, which is free and open to the public.

Panelists include Joel Rawson, senior vice president and executive editor of The Providence Journal and Vietnam War veteran; Tom Zorabedian, Honors faculty in Film Media; and Gerry Tyler; a URI political science professor who has studied the Vietnam War extensively.

“This panel transcends from meeting a class assignment to address the topics of war in film,” said Michaela McCaughey, one of the URI student coordinators of the event. “Our class has been analyzing films during the course of the semester and connecting them to both current events and wars throughout history. The panel will discuss issues such as propaganda, censorship, mass communication and the media, using film as a point of reference.”

Zorabedian, who is teaching an honors course on rebel images in film this semester, said he hopes to discuss different ways feature films have portrayed war throughout the past century, mostly pro- World War II and anti-Vietnam films. “Films about war usually reflect the popular sentiment of a particular time,” Zorabedian said.

“Through this panel my students will incorporate what they have learned this semester with many themes of our class— such as society and war, mobilization of war and why we go to war— through a means of communicating to the public,” said Judith Swift, vice-provost for academic affairs who is teaching the seminar. “It is important to discuss different ways in which film is used to create pro- or anti-war propaganda, the depiction of how war has changed—or not– throughout time and why certain films are produced at a given point in history. This event is an important part of the national debate about war and the students deserve all the credit.”