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October 2001

Release Date: October 25, 2001

University Symposium to Address Violence in America

Two authorities on violence Dr. David Barash of the University of Washington and Dr. Roy F. Baumeister of Case Western Reserve University will speak on "Violence in America: A Crisis of Values" Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 29-30, during the 2001 Angelo State University Symposium on American Values.

A professor of psychology and author of Understanding Violence, Barash will discuss "Violence as an Evolutionary Hangover" at 1:45 p.m. Monday. Baumeister, author of Evil: Inside Violence and Cruelty and holder of the Elsie B. Smith Chair in the Liberal and Fine Arts at Case Western Reserve, will examine "Why People Perform Evil, Violent Acts" at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Both presentations will be in the C.J. "Red" Davidson Conference Center of the Houston Harte University Center on the ASU campus. The talks are open free to the public.

Barash approaches the problem of violence from his vantage point as a specialist in animal behavior. He views humans as the unique product of both biological and cultural evolution and explores the breach between our evolutionary tendencies toward ferocity as a means of survival and the cultural institutions and codes that should check and control that primitive violence.

Baumeister=s research examines why there is evil. His work probes the psychological factors that cause "normal" people to commit violent and cruel acts. Integrating research from the disciplines of psychology, criminology, sociology, anthropology, history, and other fields, he provides insight into the roots of cruelty and violence. His research examines our culture=s myths about evil, violence, revenge and guilt and explores the age-old problem of evil in society.

Both lecturers will conclude their ASU visit with a panel discussion at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Davidson Conference Center. The panel discussion is also open to the public. In addition to their public presentations, Barash and Baumeister will meet with ASU students in classrooms and informal settings.

The symposium is conducted annually to encourage serious discussions about values and issues facing the United States. For additional information on the symposium, please contact Chris Ellery at 942-2273, ext. 228.