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Collision or Intersection?  The State of Turkish-American Relations

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

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

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."

Quran, Epic and Apocalypse

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:

The Life and Afterlife of Tahirih:
Eastern and Western Perspectives

Sasha Dehghani completed his PhD in the Arabic Department of the Free University of Berlin, where his research was conducted as part of the DFG project, "Figurations of the Martyr in European and Middle Eastern Literature." He has also carried out graduate work in Islamic Studies, Political Science, and Protestant Theology/Religious Studies at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, following a DAAD fellowship at the Centre for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies of the American University of Beirut. Dehghani has been a research associate at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin, and has taught courses on Shiite Islam, Islamic intellectual history, and the Baha'i Faith at the Free University of Berlin and the Christian Albrechts University of Kiel, where he was a visiting assistant professor. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School.

What is "Fair"? The Challenges of Reporting on Israel/Palestine

Christa Case Bryant will discuss her experiences in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, with particular focus on the challenges inherent in reporting on contentious issues in contested spaces. The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Turkey and the War Against ISIS: a Reliable Ally?

Turkey has long been considered a critical ally in the ongoing fight against the forces of
ISIS by the United States. That being said, Turkey's government has been reluctant to take an active and engaged posture up until very recently, after direct ISIS attacks on Turkish soil. It has even been suggested that Turkey provided logistical support and assistance to the terrorist organization, leading some in Washington (and beyond) to question Turkey's affinity towards, and even continued membership of NATO. What are the salient factors that determine Turkey's position towards ISIS; do Turkey and the United States have a joint plan on how to defeat ISIS, and what is the likely role that Turkey will play in the future stability of the Middle East?

Last Updated: 10/22/19