Terrorism scholar Mia Bloom, Ph.D.

Terrorism scholar reschedules talk at USF St. Petersburg

The USF St. Petersburg Honors Program presents Mia Bloom, an author and leading terrorism scholar, in the Debbie and Brent Sembler Florida Holocaust Museum Lecture on Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.

Bloom, associate professor of International Studies and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, will discuss her latest book, Bombshell: Women and Terrorism (2011). The talk was originally planned for October but was rescheduled because of Hurricane Sandy.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be in the University Student Center Ballroom. It is part of a series of Honors Program public events with an international focus.

“We are pleased that Mia Bloom was able to reschedule her talk at USF St. Petersburg,” said Thomas Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of government and international affairs and director of the USFSP Honors Program. “She has a unique perspective that makes people think about terrorism in new ways.”

The talk is co-sponsored by the Florida Holocaust Museum.  “We are so grateful that the Semblers’ support allows the museum and the university to partner in bringing the students and community world class international programming,” said Elizabeth Gelman, executive director of the Florida Holocaust Museum.

In her latest book, Bloom traces the motivations of women terrorists, as well as the coercion and social control that drive women toward violence. She has done field work in Turkey, Sri Lanka, Israel, and Northern Ireland and speaks eight languages.

In her first book, Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror (2005), Bloom explored the social and political motivations that inspire suicide bombers. She argued that terrorists tend to operate with the consent of their public supporters, but that consent can be withdrawn. She also showed how harsh counter-terror tactics feed “the contagion of violence.”

On Feb. 28 the Honors Program presents Ashraf Khalil, author of Liberation Square: Inside the Egyptian Revolution. Khalil will discuss the role of social media in sparking the Egyptian revolution as well as the recent unrest that has rocked the country. Khalil writes for Time, The Times of London, the Los Angeles Times and Foreign Policy. He will speak at 2 p.m. at Harbor Hall, 1000 3rd St. South.

On March 28 and 29, the Honors Program presents the first “St. Petersburg in the World Conference on International Affairs,” featuring U.S. ambassadors, military and intelligence officers, scholars and journalists for a series of 10 panels devoted to contemporary international issues. It is free and open to the public.

The Honors Program at USF St. Petersburg offers academically gifted, highly motivated students an exceptional experience that broadens and deepens their undergraduate education. A distinguished faculty guides special seminars and lectures and provide Honors students with an array of research opportunities culminating in an original senior thesis.

For more information about these events or the Honors Program, please call Thomas Smith at (727) 873-4872.