Catawba College Professor Chairs Panel Conference, Delivers Conference Paper
October 24, 2007
Dr. Aaron Butler, assistant professor of English at Catawba College, traveled to Jacksonville, Florida for the Popular Culture in the South / American Culture in the South Conference, which was held September 27-29.
At the conference, Dr. Butler chaired the panel "Contemporary Warfare and the National Conscience," and as part of this panel, he also delivered a paper entitled "Do We Really Need Jack Bauer?: 24 and the Use of Torture." In this paper, he discussed the television drama 24 and argued that the ticking time-bomb scenarios presented in this program lead characters in the show to torture others to obtain information, even people they are not certain are part of the terrorist plots depicted in the program. Butler further argued that these depictions of torture influence viewers to consider torture to be a valid interrogation technique and that, as a result, people are less likely to object to real-life examples of torture employed in the name of fighting the "war on terror."