Professor speaks on interrogation, terrorism

 Michael C. Hickey For immediate release: Oct. 4, 2011

BLOOMSBURG — Michael C. Hickey, professor of history at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, will discuss “Interrogation, Torture, and the Pursuit of Terrorists under Stalin: Boris Podvitskii and the Smolensk Terror Group, 1937-1938,” on Monday, Oct. 17, at 4 p.m. in Centennial Hall, room 239. This event, sponsored by BU’s Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), is open to the public free of charge.

“The title of my presentation is framed in light of the 10th anniversary of the current ‘war on terror’ in the U.S. and the ongoing debate over the use of ‘extraordinary pressure’ during interrogations,” said Hickey.

Based on secret police files, he will examine how Stalinist interrogators made suspects tell investigators what they wanted to know – but not necessarily what was true. The presentation comes from Hickey’s current research on the impact the Stalin regime’s “great terror” and mass persecution had on Jews living in the Smolensk region of Russia.

Hickey is the author of “Competing Voices from the Russian Revolution” and several articles and book chapters on Russian and Russian-Jewish history. He is also editor of the scholarly journal On the Jewish Street/Na Evreiskoi Ulitse.

ICS, founded in 2001, strives to promote scholarly research, creative activity and educational excellence. The organization encourages sharing knowledge, both on BU’s campus and around the world.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.