Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

February 1, 2006

Great Decisions Series to Feature Feb. 16 Lecture,
"Democratization and Elections: Perspectives on Liberia"

The 49th annual Great Decisions Lecture Series at Whitworth College features five speakers who will focus on current political, cultural and economic subjects of interest to the international community. The public is invited to attend the lectures free of charge.

The second lecture of the series will feature John Yoder, Ph.D., who will present a lecture, "Democratization and Elections: Perspectives on Liberia," on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre, Weyerhaeuser Hall, at Whitworth. A background book that covers the lecture series, Great Decisions 2006, will be available for purchase at the Whitworth bookstore. Whitworth students may earn one semester credit for attending the series. For more information, please call (509) 777-3270.

In fall 2005, Yoder served on The Carter Center's international monitoring team that observed the watershed presidential and legislative elections in Liberia. The Carter Center is a nonprofit, non-governmental human-rights organization founded in 1982 by Nobel Peace Prize winner and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.

Yoder, a professor of political studies at Whitworth, is the author of the book Popular Culture, Civil Society and State Crisis in Liberia (2003, The Edwin Mellen Press), in which he challenges popular prescriptions for Liberia's political problems.

Yoder holds a Ph.D. in African history from Northwestern University and has taught at Whitworth since 1980. His research and writings have focused on African mythology, history and politics. In 1987-88, he held a Fulbright fellowship to teach African history and politics at Liberia's Cuttington University College as well as at the University of Liberia. In 1999, he conducted research in the West African country under a grant from the Pew Foundation.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Barbara Brodrick, academic program assistant, politics & history department, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3270 or bbrodrick@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information officer, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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