Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Program for ISCSC 2010 Conference in Provo

ISCSC 2010 International Conference at Brigham Young University
June 15-17, 2010, Provo, Utah
General Information

Dear Participants in the 2010 conference of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations:

Thank you for participating in our conference at Brigham Young University in Provo Utah this June 14-17! Here is some practical information, to go with the preliminary program:

“Express Shuttle” from the airport can be called at 1-800-397-0773. It costs $29 per person to BYU from the airport.

Hotel information is at:

The main registration homepage is:

Our Publisher Stephen Blaha sends these formatting requirements for those who want papers in the Proceedings:

· A research paper – 12 pages, a position paper – 6 pages, an abstract of research in progress 1 page.
· Please put your papers in Times Roman in the format they want to see in the Proceedings. 1.5 inch Top, Bottom, Left, and Right margins would be appreciated for text and especially for Figures & Tables.
· A title, an author name and e-mail
· An abstract – a few sentences, squeezed
· A few key words in bold
· Your manuscript please send to Dr Thomas Rienzo for editing
· Due date for manuscript submission for the Proceedings—June 30, 2010, you will have time to update your manuscript after presenting it in Provo, UT.

Thanks again for your participation in our program! Have a safe journey long or short, and Best Wishes Always,

Michael Andregg
ISCSC International Conference Chair
University of St. Thomas
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

651-962- 5907

Late Breaking News: This 40th Meeting of the ISCSC is dedicated to one of our founding members Matthew Melko, who has had a health emergency and cannot attend this year.

BYU International Conference, June 15-17, 2010, Provo Utah

Dedicated to founding member Matthew Melko who is sick, but whom we all hope to see next year at Tulane U, New Orleans

Monday, June 14:

7 – 9:00 pm, Reception at the BYU conference Center.

Tuesday, June 15:

8:30 – 8:50 am, Welcome to Provo, to BYU and to the ISCSC. Professor Sandra
Rogers, International Vice President, Brigham Young University.

9:00 – 10:30 am, S1, first Concurrent Paper Session (striving for two threads max)

A: Civilizations Under Stress

Chair: Andrew Targowski, Western Michigan University at Kalamazoo.

Rachel Lewis, Brigham Young University, “Autonomy in Action and Inaction: Reconfiguring
Autonomy in Gandhi’s Autobiography.”

Hisanori Kato, Osaka Ohtani University, “Is a Local Civilization an Alternative? Comparative
Analysis of Western, Islamic, and Javanese Civilizations.”

Marek Celinski, Toronto Canada, “Will People Ever Lose the Will to Survive?”

B: Clashes of Civilizations

Chair: Michael Andregg, University of Minnesota

Jaime Gonzalez-Ocana, Brunswick School, “Herodotus and Today’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’.”

Taylor Halverson, Brigham Young University, “Reading the Past for the Future: When Ideologies
Precipitate Crises They Were Intended to Avert.”

Michael Andregg, University of Minnesota, “The Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857:
A Civilizational Encounter with Lessons for us All.”

10:30 – 11 am, break #1

11:00 – 12:30 am, S2, first Book Review Session * (see note at end, 3 threads to these)

Book Reviews-A: Long-term Evolution

Chair: Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, Brooklyn University, NY

Leslie A. White, “The Evolution of Culture.”
Reviewer: Sisay Asefa, Western Michigan University

Sing C. Chew, “The Recurring Dark Ages.”
Reviewer: Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, Brooklyn University

Book Reviews-B: Ancient and Modern

Chair: Norman C. Rothman, University of Maryland

K. Anne Pyburn, ed. “Ungendering Civilization.”
Reviewer: Roman Zawadski, Warsaw University, Poland

Thomas Madden, “Empires of Trust: How Rome Built – and America is Building – a New World.”
Reviewer: Laina Farhat-Holzman, Aptos, CA

Laurie Maguire, “Helen of Troy.”
Reviewer: Norman C. Rothman, University of Maryland

Book Reviews-C: Roundtable on Corrine Gilb & Roger Wescott Comparing Civilizations

Chair: David Wilkinson, UCLA

Reviewers: Lee Stauffer, University of New Mexico Las Vegas (reviewing Wescott’s
“Comparing Civilizations”)

Matt Melko* Wright State University, Ohio, (reviewing both books). * see front

12:30 – 2 pm, lunch, at the cafeteria [A Board Meeting]

2:00 – 3:30 pm, S3, second Book Review Session

Book Reviews-4 Modernity

Chair: Midori Yamanouchi Rynn, Scranton University, Lake Ariel PA.

S.N. Eisenstadt, “Comparative Civilizations and Multiple Modernities.”
Reviewer: Norman C. Rothman, University of Maryland

Heinz Schilling, “Early Modern European Civilization.”
Reviewer: Norman C. Rothman, University of Maryland

Michael McCormick, “Origins of the European Economy.”
Reviewer: Midori Yamanouchi Rynn, Scranton University, Lake Ariel PA

Book Reviews-5 Islam and the West

Chair: Laina Farhat-Holzman, Aptos, CA

Norman C. Rothman, “Three Faces of Islam.”
Reviewer: Michael Andregg, University of Minnesota

Aaron Tyler, “Islam, the West, and Tolerance: Conceiving Coexistence”
Reviewer: Tseggai Issac, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Meir Litvak, ed., “Middle Eastern Societies and the West.”
Reviewer: Laina Farhat-Holzman, Aptos, CA

Gene W. Heck, “When Worlds Collide.”
Reviewer: Laina Farhat-Holzman, Aptos, CA

Book Reviews-6 Natural Law and Civilizations

Chair: Matt Melko*, Wright State University, Ohio

Brian Fagan, “The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations.”
Reviewer: George Von der Muhll, University of California, Santa Cruz

Nicholas Hagger, “The Rise and Fall of Civilizations: The Law of History.”
Reviewer: Reed Smith, New Orleans, LA

Francis Wood, “Silk Road.”
Reviewer: Vlad Alalykin-Izvekov, Washington D.C.

Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, “Civilizations: Culture, Ambition, and the Transformation of Nature.”
Reviewer: Matt Melko*, Wright State University, Ohio

3:30 – 4:00 pm, break #2

4:00 – 5:30 pm, S4, first Roundtable Session, on: Impact of War on Civilizations

Chair: Steven Blaha, The Civilizational Press of ISCSC, New Hampshire

Other Participants: Laina Farhat-Holzman, Aptos, CA, and

Michael Andregg, University of Minnesota

S4, second Concurrent Paper Session:

A: Civilizations as Evolving Projects

Chair: Vlad Alalykin-Izvekov, Washington, D.C.

Karol Edward Soltan, University of Maryland, “Universal Civilization as a Project.”

W. Reed Smith, New Orleans, LA, “The Influence of Spengler and Toynbee on Joseph Campbell
(and Vice Versa?).”

Vlad Alalykin-Izvekov, Washington, D.C., “Civilization Science: The Evolution of a New Field

B: Central Asia and Africa

Chair, Issac Tseggai, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Baktybek Abdrisaev and Rusty Butler, Utah Valley U, Orem Utah, “Sustainable Mountain Development as part of Globalization: Case Study of the cooperation
between Rocky Mountains and Central Asian Mountain Nations.”

Khash-Erdine Sambalkhundev, chair of the Mongolian Knowledge Society, “Contributions of
Mongolian Nomadic Empire to the World Civilization.”

Issac Tseggai, Missouri University of Science and Technology, “Clerical Courage, Crown, and
Citizenship in Medieval Ethiopia.”

5:30 – 7:00 pm, dinner, at the cafeteria

7:30 – 9:00 pm Plenary Session #1: Anthony Stevens-Arroyo with a discussant
Donald Q. Cannon, Professor Emeritus of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University.

Topic = “Civilization and Religion: The Dance of Shape Shifters”

Wednesday, June 16:

9:00 – 10:30 am, S5, third Concurrent Paper Session.

A: Values and Logical Systems

Chair: Lee Stauffer, University of New Mexico Las Vegas

Roman Zawadski, University of Warsaw, Poland, “Values as Determinants of National and Historical Identity in Individual and Community Life.”

Richard Zinser, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, “Education for a Global Civilization.”

Nadezhda V. Chekaleva, Omsk State Pedagogical University, Russia, “Anticipating Education in Civilizational Futures.”

Lee Stauffer, University of New Mexico, Las Vegas, “The Effect of Land Tenure Systems on the Development of Civilizations.”

B: Minorities and Unusual Religions

Chair: Laina Farhat-Holzman, Aptos California

Hattie Williams, Monmouth University, “The Future of Whiteness in American Civilization.”

Elina Karanastasi, Technical University of Crete, “A Proposal for Exploitation of Urban Voids as Intensively Productive Land and as a method of Urbanization of Minorities.”

Laina Farhat-Holzman, Aptos Calilfornia, “Piracy: The World’s Third Oldest Profession with a Strange Religious Component.”

10:30 – 11 am, break #1

11:00 – 12:30 am, S5, 2nd Roundtable Session, Altruism and Solving Global Problems

Chairs: Vlad Alalykin-Izvekov, Ashok Malhotra, Connie Lamb and Baktybek Abdrisayev.

Other Participants: Matthew Lee, University of Akron, Ohio, “The Possibilities and Limitations
of Religious-based Altruism for Solving Endemic Social Problems:
Findings From a Multi-year Research Project.

S6, fourth Concurrent Paper Session – Theory 1

Chair: Huei-Ying Kuo, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Moritaka Saigusa, Rikkyo Univ., Japan, “Civilizational Futures in Light of Toynebee’s Theory.’

Seth Abrutyn, University of California, Riverside, “Toward a Theory of the Axial Age:
Explaining the Emergence of Religious-Culteral Entrepreneurs.”

JaNae Haas, Utah Valley University, “The Athenian Democracy: An Analysis of Contemporary

12:30 – 2 pm, lunch, at the cafeteria [the board will meet here and then also]

2:00 – 3:30 pm, S7, third Roundtable Session: Altruism in Global Education

Chairs: Valentin Andreyev, Academician of the Russian Academy of Education, Kazan State
University, Russia, Lyubov Mikhaltsova, Kuzbass State Pedagogical Academy, Russia, and Vlad Alalykin-Izvekov, Washington D.C.

Other Participants: Julia Andreyeva, and Sergey Alekseev, Russian Federation.

S7, fifth Concurrent Paper Session: Theory 2

Chair: Matt Melko*, Wright State University, Ohio. *Ross Maxwell standing in for Matt

Barry Kosmin, Trinity College, CT, “Is There a 21st Century Global Scientific Culture?”

Huei-Ying Kuo, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, “Imagined Chinas in Asia’s
Civilizational Discourses.”

Ross R. Maxwell, Institute for Historical Study, San Francisco CA, “Civilization and Interdependent Specialists: The Grade Change Hypothesis.”

Matt Melko*, Wright State University, Ohio, “Past and Future of Civilizations.”

3:30 – 4:00 pm, break #2

4:00 – 5:30 pm, Plenary Session #2: Ashok Malhotra, SUNY Oneonta, on “Religion and Civilizations in South Asia” discussant TBD.

5:30 – 6:30 pm, break for rest and freshening up before the banquet

6:30 – 9:00 pm, Banquet, with Presidential Address. Andrew Targowski on
“A Manifesto for Civilization.”

Presentation of the ‘Young Rising Civilizational Star’ award
and other awards.

ISCSC 2011 conference in New Orleans, W. Reed Smith.

Thursday, June 17:

9:00 – 10:30 am, S8, sixth Concurrent Papers Session

A: Korea and China

Chair, Dong-Hyeon Jung, Pusan National U, South Korea

Cheol-hun Park, Pusan National U, South Korea, and Ae-sol Kim, Gyeong-sang University, S.
Korea, ‘“Korean Wave’ Hitting Young Generation in Asia: Ideosyncrasy and Universality of an Asian New Cultural Tide.”

Soojin Jung, Yonsei U, “Private Sector Overpowers Regular School Education in South Korea”

Cheol-hun Park, Pusan National U, South Korea, “Future of Korean Social Enterprise: To Rely
On Government Support or to be Independent?”

Dong-Hyeon Jung, Pusan National U, South Korea, “Emerging East Asia Challenges the West –
Will Asia Surpass the U.S. and West Soon?”

B: More Religious Inputs to Civilizations, Latin America

Chair: Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, Brooklyn University

Adan Stevens-Diaz, Temple University, “Religion and the Enlightenment in Baroque Latin
America: A Chapter in the Transformation of Civilization in Popular Culture.”

Ana Maria Diaz-Stevens, Union Theological Seminary, New York, “Sor Juana Ines of Baroque
Mexico and the Civilized Woman.”

Pedro Geiger, Brazil, “Current Social and Political Role of Religions: The Particular Case of
Judaism and of Condoruble.”

Norman Rothman, University of Maryland, “Modernity and Islam in Malaysia.”

10:30 – 11 am, break #1

11:00 – 12:30 am, Plenary Session #3: David Wilkinson, UCLA, on “Civilizations: What are they?” with a secretary to help with practical aspects of drawing up the ephemeral list of certifiable “civilizations” according to someone’s criteria. This year, the criteria are David Wilkinson’s.

12:30 – 1 pm, Annual Business Meeting (election of officers mainly)

1:00 pm – 2 pm lunch in the cafeteria followed by open time for tours, etc.
[a New Board Meeting]

2:00 pm -- ??? Tour to Salt Lake City, Temple Square, etc.
Dinner on your own there or in BYU/Provo area.
The conference center will have lists of things to do around there.

* Once again, one of our two surviving founding members had a health emergency days ago which will prevent Matthew Melko, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Wright State University in Ohio, from attending this year. We hope he will recover soon so that we can see him again next year in New Orleans. This 40th gathering of the ISCSC is dedicated to Matt and his family.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Review: "Contested Will"

Contested Will
Who Wrote Shakespeare?

By James Shapiro

Simon & Schuster, 339 pages, $32

Reviewed by Michael Dudley

DESPITE his subtitle, American academic James Shapiro doesn't actually think there is any question that William Shakespeare of Stratford was the author of the greatest works in the English language.

This rather disingenuous approach will please traditionalists and will likely go unnoticed by the uninitiated.

Skeptics, however, will surely find Shapiro's arguments to be time-worn, weak and, indeed, fallacious.

An award-winning author and English professor at Columbia University, Shapiro has written three previous books on Shakespeare. In Contested Will, he recounts the almost two centuries of skepticism concerning the authorship of the Shakespeare canon.

We learn of the many famous individuals who could not accept the seemingly irreconcilable chasm between the dull, penny-pinching life of the Stratford man as expressed in the extant documents, and the brilliance of Shakespeare's plays. Mark Twain, Henry James, Sigmund Freud and Helen Keller -- to name just a few -- all professed their doubts.

Shapiro is critical not only of these and other skeptics, but also of orthodox scholars who have tried to marry the internal evidence of the plays (such as the author's extensive knowledge of courtly life, the law and of Italy) to the life of Shakespeare of Stratford.

While more than 50 possible "Shakespeares" have been proposed (with several new candidates emerging recently), Shapiro focuses on the proponents of the two most widely accepted ones, Sir Francis Bacon and especially Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.

In the 1850s, American Delia Bacon (no relation to Francis) concluded that Bacon had hidden secret codes in the plays and poems, and she and her many followers spent years and fortunes in a vain attempt to identify and decipher them.

Another American, J. Thomas Looney (pronounced "Loney"), by contrast, took a more positivistic approach during the First World War by first establishing a list of characteristics possessed by the author and then seeking an Elizabethan poet whose literary style and biography matched these criteria.

This method quickly led him to de Vere, who has, over the intervening 90 years, become by far the most plausible candidate.

Shapiro's primary interest lies in the motivations behind Baconianism and Oxfordianism. He discovers that Delia Bacon believed Bacon/Shakespeare to be a radical republican, while Looney admired Oxford/Shakespeare as a regressive feudalist.

While ignoring the substance of Bacon and Looney's work, Shapiro nonetheless devotes the final chapter to setting out his case for Stratfordian orthodoxy, which, like most conventional biographies of "the Bard," consists primarily of conflating all contemporary references to a writer named Shakespeare with the man from Stratford, and filling in the blanks with conjecture.

Even so, it is Shakespearean skeptics who come off as heedless cranks pursuing alternative explanations for largely ideological reasons, rather than as rational investigators solving a genuine literary and historical problem.

He insists that their search for connections between the life and the work is pointless, as the plays and poems are devoid of any biographical information, and were derived entirely from their author's imagination.

In other words, Shakespeare made it all up.

Shapiro doesn't reveal to his readers that Oxfordian scholars have uncovered a host of important solutions to otherwise inexplicable problems in the dating and interpretation of the canon, yet he can only defend the Stratfordian view with an appeal to the power of "imagination." He appears to believe this conclusion is profound; but, in explaining everything, "imagination" actually explains nothing.

It is difficult to imagine another field of study in which such circular logic would be taken seriously. That Shapiro is gaining considerable accolades for this book is itself an indication of the anemic state of orthodox Shakespearean scholarship.

Michael Dudley (an avowed Oxfordian for 20 years) is a research associate at the Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Winnipeg.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 15, 2010 H7