BEND - As the United States sends its troops into combat in Iraq and a wide range of issues are hotly debated on the home front, the residents of Central Oregon will have a new resource to turn to that might help inform their conversations.

Beginning spring term, Oregon State University-Cascades Campus will offer a new course titled "War and Peace: A Dialogue." It will be held Sundays from 6-8 p.m. to encourage participation by a broad cross section of the working public, along with regular students.

Nine faculty members from the campus will participate in the course, and it's intended to provide a safe, structured environment for dialogue and critical analysis. Among the topics to be covered:

  • Assessing direct and indirect costs of the war in Iraq;
  • Marketing the war effort;
  • Impact of the war in Iraq on children, and talking about related topics with children;
  • Defining terrorism and other important terms;
  • Civil society, democracy, and globalization in the context of Iraq and the Middle East;
  • The art of Iraq.

"In talking with students and community members, it has become apparent that many individuals are in need of a safe, respectful and constructive space in which to discuss and critically analyze this important time in U.S. history," said Natalie Dollar, an associate professor at the Cascades Campus. "Our intent is to provide a variety of frameworks, through readings and brief lectures, that facilitate student and community member dialogue concerning these uncertain times."

All participants must pay the regular tuition for the one-credit-hour course, but students may take it for credit at their option. More information on the course, registration, location and other details can be found on the web at

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Natalie Dollar, 541-322-3140