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News and Events ~ fall 2019


Tuesday ~ September 3, 2019 ~ 4:00 pm
IASH Room ~ LN 1106

Music, food and community. All are welcome!

MENA Lecture

Collision or Intersection? The State of Turkish-American Relations

Lecture by Dr. Ed Erickson, Scholar-in-Residence at SUNY-Cortland

Tuesday, October 16, 5 pm

AM (Admissions Center) 189

Sponsored by MENA (Middle East and North Africa Studies)

About the lecture:

Are Turkish-American interests on a course to collide with severe consequences or intersect with mutually-shared solutions? Dr. Ed Erickson examines recent events which affect the Turkish-American relationship with a view toward explaining its current trajectory. Turks are unhappy with American support for the PYG in Syria, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and Trump's embargoes of F-35s and Patriot missiles, while Americans are unhappy with the imprisonment of Pastor Brunson, the purchase of Russian S-400 missiles, and the Azerbaijan-Armenia dilemma. Superimposed on and exaggerating these issues are the strong personalities of Presidents Erdogan, Putin, and Trump. Ed Erickson will unravel and explain these factors in context.

About the speaker:

Dr. Ed Erickson recently retired as Professor of Military History at the Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. He now serves as a Scholar-in-Residence in the Clark Center for Global Engagement at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland, Cortland, New York. Widely recognized as one of the foremost specialists on the Ottoman Army during the First World War, he is the author of, among other works, Ordered To Die, A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War; Defeat in Detail, The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912-1913; Gallipoli, The Ottoman Campaign; Ottomans and Armenians, A Study in Counterinsurgency; Gallipoli, Command under Fire; and Palestine, The Ottoman Campaigns 1914-1918. Dr. Erickson is a frequent visitor to Europe and the Middle East and his latest book project is titled Phase Line Attila, The Amphibious Campaign for Cyprus.

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: 8/19/19