Richard Oliver Collin, Palmetto Professor of politics at Coastal Carolina University and a recognized authority on international affairs and terrorism, will give a public lecture on the faltering relationship between the United States and the global community with specific reference to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack and the proposed American war against Iraq. Collins' talk, titled "Us and Them: Why the World Puzzles America," is the 2002 installment of the annual Distinguished Teacher-Scholar Lecturer series and is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wall Auditorium on the Coastal campus. The event is free and open to the public.
In his lecture, Collin draws on his wide experience both as a scholar and as a former intelligence officer for the U.S. Defense Department. He critiques America's hegemonic position as the world's sole superpower in the post-Cold War world and examines our status from the perspective of other nations around the world and the Middle East in particular.
Collin earned a bachelor's degree in classical languages and history from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1962, a master's degree in political science from Kansas University in 1973, and a D.Phil. in politics from Britain's Oxford University in 1983. After earning his bachelor's degree, Collin began graduate school at Harvard but his studies were interrupted when he was called to active duty by the U.S. Army. He spent two years at the Pentagon as a briefing officer, serving under the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff of Intelligence. As a civilian official for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Collin was stationed in Rome for five years.
In the early 1970s, Collin spent a number of years in the Middle East, where he witnessed civil wars in Lebanon and Oman as well as the events leading to the fall of the Shah and the capture of the American hostages in Iran. After resigning from the government, Collin served with the University of Maryland's European division, teaching in Italy, Spain, Morocco, Greece, Great Britain and Germany. He joined the Coastal faculty in 1984.
The author of many books and articles on international affairs, Collin has been particularly interested in studying the roots of political violence. His novels include: Imbroglio (1981), Contessa (1994) and The Man With Many Names (1995). He also has published numerous articles in scholarly journals such as the American Historical Review and the Journal of Politics. His latest book, Whole Earth: Life and Politics on a Small Planet, will be published in 2003.
Collin is the seventh recipient of the Distinguished Teacher-Scholar Lecturer award, sponsored annually by Horry Telephone Cooperative.