Other activities and academic initiatives


Documentary Screening: "The True Story of Charlie Wilson's War", Sept. 19-20, 26

The Cameron University Honors Program presents "The True Story of Charlie Wilson's War," a documentary from The History Channel loaded with archival material, insider interviews and dramatic reconstructions. The documentary reveals the intricate details of this incredible, fascinating and completely true series of events. Learn how Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson allied with CIA agent Gust Avrakotos and Houston philanthropist Joanne Herring to secretly bankroll the Afghan Mujahideen’s resistance to the Soviet Union. Retrace the behind-the-scenes machinations that led to the CIA’s largest and most successful campaign ever. And understand the wide-ranging and long-lasting implications of this little-known episode.

Monday, September 19 and Tuesday, September 20, 3:30 p.m. each day, Nance-Boyer 3004

Monday, September 26, 4 p.m., CU-Duncan, Room 121

Documentary Screening: "Afghan Star" - Wednesday Oct. 19

Dr. Justin Walton, Faculty-in-Residence, presents the acclaimed documentary "Afghan Star."

After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, pop culture has returned to Afghanistan. Millions are watching "Afghan Star," a pop idol-style tv series in which people from across the country compete for a cash prize and record deal. Two-thousand people audition, including three brave women. The viewers vote for their favorite singers by mobile phone and for many this is their first encounter with democracy. This timely and inspired film follows the moving stories of four young contestants looking for a new life. But their journeys take a terrifying turn as one young woman dances on stage, threatening her own safety and the future of the show itself. In Afghanistan you risk your life to sing.

Wednesday, October 19, 7:30 p.m., McMahon Center at Cameron Village, Room 103

Theatre production: "The Great Game: Afghanistan", Nov. 17-20

The Department of Theatre Arts will present “The Great Game: Afghanistan” from November 17-20.  Five one-act plays will follow the story of Afghanistan from the British occupation of the 1890s to the present day.

“Durand’s Line” by Ron Hutchinson is the true story of British diplomat Sir Henry Mortimer Durant, who engages Amir Abdul Rahman in a stunning duel of wits as the former wants to subjugate the Afghan natives and the latter fights to protect his country’s borders.

Lee Blessing’s “Wood for the Fire” investigates the alliance between the CIA, the ISI (Pakistan's Intelligence agency) and the Mujahedeen, which was created to destabilize the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

In “Miniskirts of Kabul” by David Greig, a female Western journalist uses her imagination to conjure up a meeting with former pro-communist President Mohammad Najibullah, who is under house arrest in a United Nations compound. As the Taliban closes in on Kabul, their sometimes hilarious and often horrific conversation covers topics such as hemlines, the Soviet occupation, torture and more.

“Canopy of Stars” by Simon Stephens is the story of two soldiers in a bunker guarding the Kajaki Dam. They talk of chips and gravy, football, women and whether the British should start to negotiate with the Taliban insurgents. The play is a searing insight into soldiers at war and what happens when they go home.

Naomi Wallace’s “No Such Cold Thing” explores the American war in Afghanistan in human terms through the story of two Afghan teenage sisters divided by conflict and the U.S. serviceman who finds an intimately human connection to their tragedy.

University Theatre, Thur-Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2 p.m.

Dr. Fredrick Hiebert - March 27, 2012

Presented by the Cameron University Department of Art

On March 27, 2012, the Cameron University Department of Art will present guest lecturer Dr. Fredrick Hiebert, archeologist, explorer, and curator of National Geographic’s exhibition “Afghanistan:  Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul,” which is currently being displayed at museums around the world. The collection contains some of the most remarkable archaeological finds in all of Central Asia and includes pieces that are not only artistically splendid but also reveal a diverse and thriving ancient culture. In addition to a visual lecture, Dr. Hiebert will preview a film about the collection, “Lost Treasures of Afghanistan.”

In addition to festival funding provided by the McCasland Foundation, this event is made possible by a grant from Cameron University Lectures and Concerts Series.


Film Screening: "The Kite Runner" - August 25, 2011

The International Film Club will present "The Kite Runner," the 2007 film adaptation of the best-selling novel, on Thursday, August 25. The film begins at 3:30 p.m. in Nance-Boyer, Room 3003.

"Understanding 'The Kite Runner'" - August 30, 2011

Faculty members Dr. Mary Dzindolet, Dr. David Fennema and Dr. John Morris will examine the meaning of “The Kite Runner” on Tuesday, August 30. The session takes place in Room 116 of the Cameron University Library from 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. The event is open to the public at no charge.

 Presented by the Cameron University Library.

Film Screening: "Charlie Wilson's War", Sept. 19-20

The Cameron University Honors Program presents "Charlie Wilson's War," the 2007 feature film based on based on Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

Monday, September 19 and Tuesday, September 20, 3:30 p.m. each day, Nance-Boyer 3003

In the classroom

Portions of Cameron’s curriculum will incorporate Afghanistan into both fall and spring classes. As a precursor to the academic festival, Dr. Vivian Thomlinson, Director of the Honors Program and Professor of English, included a section about Afghanistan in her Great Ideas II seminar, an Honors class, last spring, leading her students through a study of the history and culture of Afghanistan and examining its history of trade and other social interactions with the rest of the world. The class also considered how Islam has helped to shape Afghanistan and how familial, clan and tribal affiliations affect the culture even today.

“I want my students to know where Afghanistan is on the world map,” says Thomlinson. “More importantly, I want my students to know about Afghanistan’s history, culture, religion and people.”

During the Fall 2011 semester, Thomlinson will feature Afghanistan in her Survey of World Literature through the Renaissance class. “I will pay special attention to the early religions and cultures that affected what is now Afghanistan,” says Thomlinson. “This will include having students read the literary works of the Mesopotamian region including the cuneiform epic of ‘Gilgamesh,’ studying  stories in the Jewish ‘Torah,’  examining the impact of Persian Zoroasterian thought and religion, and the influence of Hindu and Buddhism thought from India. We will also read many suras from the Koran, works written by the Afghanistani mystic Sufi poet Rumi, and travel narratives of the Islamic traveler/adventure writer Ibn Battuta.”