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Terrorism and Dante's Inferno

September 25, 2014 – Georgetown’s newest online courses explore two evils – the horrors of terrorism and the hell of Dante's imagination.

Two new massive online open courses (MOOCs) created through the university’s two-year-old partnership with edX begin this fall. The GeorgetownX course Terrorism and Counterterrorism begins on Oct. 1 and the GeorgetownX course The Divine Comedy: Dante's Journey to Freedom, Part 1, begins on Oct. 15.

GeorgetownX's Globalization's Winners and Losers: Challenges for Developed and Developing Countries course, an enhanced version of the widely successful course that launched as the university’s first MOOC last fall, begins on Oct. 7.

The courses are free and open to anyone in the world.

Innovative Knowledge

More than 35,000 people enrolled in the original Globalization course.

“These courses are an extension of our mission and tradition,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia says, “which call on us to create and disseminate knowledge in effective, innovative ways, and to speak to some of our world’s most pressing issues.”

Teams of Georgetown faculty and staff create the courses with support from the university’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS).

This past spring the university’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics sponsored the GeorgetownX course Introduction to Bioethics and Georgetown University Medical Center hosted Genomic Medicine Gets Personal.

Tackling Terrorism

Faculty from the Security Studies, Conflict Resolution, and Islamic Studies programs in the School of Foreign Service (SFS), as well as faculty from Georgetown Law Center and the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding will team up to teach the course.

“As long as there’s been terrorism, there have been people trying to stop it,” says SFS professor Daniel Byman. “We’re going to look at how intelligence services try to determine who is a terrorist and what they do with the information.”

The course includes the nuances involved in defining terrorism, the lengthy history of terrorism, the nature of Al Qaeda, Hamas and other groups, the effectiveness of different counterterrorism, terrorist recruiting, and emerging issues such as cyber-terrorism.

Dante’s Journey