Celebrating 20 Years

The Fiat Lux seminar program was born in the weeks following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack as an intellectual space for our students and faculty to have transformative conversations and to maintain a sense of community.  For 20 years, the program has remained responsive and nimble to important topics and circumstances, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. The Fiat Lux seminar program continues to be a signature UCLA undergraduate program that welcomes and encourages faculty and students to engage with a wide range of topics in a seminar setting with just 20 students.

Original 9/11 Fiat Lux Seminars (Fall 2001)

Original 9/11 Fiat Lux Seminars (Winter 2002)

Press Archive

Centennial Seminars

COVID-19 Seminars

2001-02 Founding Instructors

In Appreciation of the Founding Instructors of the 2001-02 9/11 Fiat Lux Seminars

John Agnew, Geography

  • Understanding the Taliban F01

Edward A. Alpers, History

  • Understanding the Unthinkable and Incomprehensible F01

Scott Bartchy, History

  • Honor & Shame and the Clash of Civilizations F01; W02

Adolfo Bermeo, Cesar Chavez Center

  • The Struggle to Understand, the Struggle to Respond F01

Andras J.E Bodrogligeti, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

  • Bin Laden and Terrorism outside the U.S.: The Case of Uzbekistan F01; W02

Albert Boime, Art History

  • Navigating Between Blithesome Optimism and Cultural Despair F01

Christine L. Borgman, Information Studies

  • Information Technology and Infrastructure in Times of Crisis F01

Rogers Brubaker, Sociology

  • Making Sense of the New World Disorder F01

Frederick Burwick, English

  • Fictions of Terror vs. Real Terror F01; W02

Nina Byers, Physics and Astronomy; James N. Yamazaki, Medicine – Pediatrics

  • War in the Nuclear Age W02

Albert Carnesale, Policy Studies

  • National Security in the 21st Century F01
  • Rethinking National Security W02

Brian Copenhaver, History and Philosophy

  • War, Terror and Violence: Reflecting on Machiavelli F01

Chandice Covington, Nursing

  • What Do We Tell the Children?: Parenting Issues F01

Winston Doby, Higher Education

  • Implications of World Crises for Student Stress and Academic Achievement: Coping Strategies F01

Ellen DuBois, History and Joyce Appleby, History

  • Historical Perspectives on September 11 F01

Chris Dunkel Schetter, Psychology – Social

  • Stress and Coping in the Aftermath of a National Disaster F01

Colleen Friend, Social Welfare

  • Helping the Professional Helper W02

Georgiana Galateanu, Slavic Languages and Literature

  • Politics and Literature W02

Eric Gans, French and Francophone Studies

  • Culture and the Deferral of Violence F01; W02

Geoffrey Garrett, Political Science

  • America as Hyperpower F01; W02

James L. Gelvin, History

  • An ‘East’ and a ‘West’?  Thinking about the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ F01; W02

Bob Goldberg, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology

  • Genetic Engineering Bioweapons: Reality or Hype? W02

Kenneth Graham, Law

  • Beyond Tears: Evidence, Fact, and Crisis F01

Carlos Grijalva, Psychology – Behavioral

  • Recognizing and Dealing with Stress during a Time of Crisis F01

Lev Hakak, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

  • Responses to National and Personal Crisis in Modern Hebrew Poetry in Translation W02

Sondra Hale, Anthropology; Gerry Hale, Geography

  • The Search for Identity?  Insurgent Islam and the Response of the West–the Sudanese Case F01

Constance Hammen, Psychology – Clinical

  • Psychological Perspectives: Anxiety, Stress, and Depression F01

Leigh Harris, Writing Programs

  • Representations of Afghan Women in the Media W02

Eric Jager, English

  • Literature & Violence W02

Ann Kerr, Near East Studies

  • Perceptions of America Abroad: Discussions with Visiting Fulbright Scholars from Around the World W02

Katherine Callen King, Comparative Literature

  • The Map of Love an Exploration of Islam and the Colonial Experience through a Novel by Egyptian Writer Adhaf Soueif F01

Vinay Lal, History

  • Terrorism and the Politics of Knowledge F01

Francoise Lionnet, French and Francophone Studies

  • War and Autobiography: Testimonials from Algeria and the Belgian Congo F01

Judith Magee, History

  • Women’s Participation in Political Violence F01;
  • Women, Politics, and Violence W02

Joe Mandel, Law

  • Understanding, Respecting and Honoring the First Amendment in a Terrorist Environment F01
  • Perspective – Sept. 11 – Understanding, Respecting and Honoring the First Amendment in a Terrorist Environment W02

Robert M. Maniquis, English

  • Concepts of the Terror in Western Culture from the French Revolution to the Present F01
  • Terrorism in the Context of Modern Theories of Violence: Literature, Culture, Theory W02

John Merriam, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology; John Campbell, Neurobiology

  • Utopian Visions about Human Biology W02

Jose C. Moya, History

  • September 11th: Reflections on Terrorism, its Origins and Consequences F01

Alan Nagamoto, Psychology

  • Terror and Its Psychological Impact F01; W02

Frances Olsen, Law

  • Civil Disobedience as an Alternative to Violence in the Middle East and the U.S. W02

William D. Parham, Psychology

  • The World Conference against Racism: Illusions, Collusions, and/or Opportunities F01; W02

Carol Petersen, Writing Programs

  • Silence, Slogans, and Flags F01; W02

Ismail Poonawala, Near Eastern Languages and Culture

  • Islam and the West W02

Kal Raustiala, Law

  • Law and the Use of Force F01

Jan Reiff, History

  • Remembering 9/11: Creating an Oral Archive W02

Robert Rhoads, Education

  • Globalization and its Discontents W02

Geoffrey Robinson, History; Jessica Wang, History

  • Terror and the Dilemmas of American Power F01

Ralph Robinson, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

  • Biological and Chemical Weapons: Assessing the Terrorist Threat F01; W02

Ronald Rogowski, Political Science

  • Hoffer’s The True Believer: Reflections on a Modern Classic W02

Teofilo F. Ruiz, History

  • The Terror of History: A Search for Justice F01

Yona Sabar, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

  • Responses to National and Personal Tragedies in the Bible (Prophets and Psalms) F01; W02

Andrew Sabl, Policy Studies

  • Justice and War: The Ethics of International Conflicts F01

David Saltzberg, Physics

  • Applications of Nuclear Physics to Counter-Terrorism W02

Ronni Sanlo, Education

  • Privilege, Power, and Difference: Is Tolerance Enough? F01; W02

David Schaberg, East Asian Languages and Cultures

  • Literature as Mourning: China and Greece F01

Felix Schweizer, Neurobiology; Stephanie White, Physiological Science

  • Truth and Persuasion in Science W02

Kimberly Shoaf, Public Health

  • Public Health Responds to Disasters: Bioterrorism and More W02

Craig Smith, Medicine

  • “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War” F01

Earl Thompson, Economics

  • What the U.S. Should Do to Be Popular in the Third World F01

Dominic Thomas, French and Francophone Studies

  • International English-Language Newspaper Coverage F01

Allan Tobin, Medicine; Janet Hadda, English

  • Echoes of Terror in Brain, Mind, and Literature F01

Victoria Vesna, Design

  • The Role of Art and Technology in Times of War F01

Robert N. Watson, English

  • War Stories W02

Wm. Tom Wheatley, Theater

  • Perspectives on War and Terror thereto–through Theatre, Art and Music F01

David C. Wilson, Philosophy

  • Can Religious Fanaticism be Philosophically Justified? W02

Reed Wilson, English

  • Poetry and Loss F01

Victor Wolfenstein, Political Science

  • Psychology of Group Identity F01

Olga T. Yokoyama, Slavic Languages and Literature

  • At War with the Afghans and Chechens: The Russian Experience F01
  • Viewing the Other: Russia’s Muslim Experience W02

Jules Zentner, Scandinavian

  • Terror & Society in Bergman’s Films F01
  • 9/11: Issues on Campus W02