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News and Events ~ fall 2018

MENA Lecture

What's New about the New Middle East?

James L. Gelvin, Distinguished professor of Middle East
studies and expert on post-Arab Spring Middle East, UCLA
September 20, 2018
Lecture Hall 9 ~ 5:00 pm

An award-winning teacher, he is the author of "The Modern Middle East: A History" (2015, fourth edition), "The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know" (2015), "The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War" (2014), "Divided Loyalties: Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire" (1998) and numerous shorter works. He is also coeditor of "Global Muslims in the Age of Steam and Print."

MENA Lecture

Quran, Epic and Apocalypse
A lecture by Todd Lawson, Professor Emeritus of Islamic Thought at the University of Toronto
Thursday, September 27, 2018, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
AM (Admissions Center) 189

About the lecture:
How do people understand the Quran to be divine revelation? What is it about the text that inspires such devotion and commitment in the reader/believer? Todd Lawson will explore how the timeless literary genres of epic and apocalypse bear religious meaning in the Quran, communicating the sense of divine presence, urgency and truth. Grounding his approach in the universal power of story and myth, he will embark upon a fascinating inquiry into the unique power of one of the most loved, widely read and recited books in the world.

About the speaker: 
Todd Lawson is Emeritus Professor of Islamic Thought at the University of Toronto. A prolific scholar, a well-known and highly-regarded expert on Shii Islam, the Quran, and the Babi movement, and an engaging speaker, he is the author of an exciting new book on literary aspects of the Quran (, with another book on Quranic exegesis ( forthcoming. Information on previous publications is available at his website:

Sponsored by:
The Departments of Classical & Near Eastern Studies (CNES), Judaic Studies, Asian and Asian American Studies, Africana Studies, Comparative Literature, and History; the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Studies Program; the Translation, Research and Instruction Program (TRIP); the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CEMERS; the Religious Studies Program; with special thanks to the Dept. of Judaic Studies' Bernard Lasky Lecture Fund and the Harpur College Visiting Speaker Fund

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Last Updated: 9/19/18