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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Fall 2016 - Spring 2017 Events

islamic civilization and societies

Stephen Walt, "What Grand Strategy for America?: Why Offshore Balancing is Best”

September 29, 2016

6:00 p.m, McGuinn 121

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University. He previously taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, where he served as Master of the Social Science Collegiate Division and Deputy Dean of Social Sciences. He has been a Resident Associate of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution, and he has also served as a consultant for the Institute of Defense Analyses, the Center for Naval Analyses, and the National Defense University. He presently serves on the editorial boards of Foreign Policy, Security Studies, International Relations, and Journal of Cold War Studies, and he also serves as Co-Editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, published by Cornell University Press. Additionally, he was elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in May 2005.


Phyllis Bennis, "The Crisis in Syria"

October 11, 2016

Time and location TBD.

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). She directs the New Internationalism Project at IPS, working as a writer, activist and analyst on Middle East and UN issues. She is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. In 2001 she helped found and remains active with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. She works with many anti-war organizations, and writes and speaks widely across the U.S. and around the world as part of the global peace movement. She has served as an informal adviser to several top UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues.

This event is co-sponsored with the History Department.


Shadi Hamid, "Islamic Exceptionalism"

October 13, 2016

6:00 p.m., McGuinn 121

Shadi Hamid is a senior fellow in the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and the author of the new book "Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World" (St. Martin's Press). His previous book “Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East” (Oxford University Press) was named a Foreign Affairs "Best Book of 2014." Hamid served as director of research at the Brookings Doha Center until January 2014. Prior to joining Brookings, he was director of research at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and a Hewlett Fellow at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Hamid is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and the vice-chair of POMED's board of directors.

This event is also a book signing for his recent book of the same name.


Rumi Night on the Heights

October 14, 2016

This event is co-sponsored with Theology Deptartment.


Derrick Dortch, "Careers in Government and International Relations"

October 17, 2016

6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Stokes S195  

Derrick T. Dortch is President of The Diversa Group, a global management and strategic consulting firm providing advice, services, and solutions to organizations and individuals to assist them achieve success. He is also the Director of Career Services at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC and the former Assistant Director for Georgetown University's Career Education Center.


Kanan Makiya, "The Rope: The Failure of Iraq after Saddam"

November 10, 2016

6:00 p.m., McGuinn Auditorium

Kanan Makiya is the Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University. He is the author of Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq  and The Rope. In 2003, he founded the Iraq Memory Foundation, a NGO based in Baghdad and the US dedicated to issues of remembrance, violence and identity formation. The Memory Foundation has collected and digitized nearly 10 million pages of Ba'th era documents and has been supported by both the Iraqi and US Governments and well as many foundations.


Tzvi Langermann, "On Maimonides"

12:00 p.m., McGuinn 3rd floor lounge

Tzvi Langermann is a professor in the Department of Arabic, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.  


Daniel L. Byman, "A Progress Report on the War on Terror"

February 15, 2017

6:00 p.m., McGuinn Hall 121 Auditorium

Daniel Byman is a professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is also a part-time Senior Fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. From 2002 to 2004 he served as a Professional Staff Member with the 9/11 Commission and with the Joint 9/11 Inquiry Staff of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Before joining the Inquiry Staff he was the Research Director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the RAND Corporation. Previous to this, Professor Byman worked as an analyst on the Middle East for the U.S. government. He is the author of Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Global Jihadist Movement: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2015); A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism (Oxford, 2011); and The Five Front War: The Better Way to Fight Global Jihad (Wiley, 2007). Professor Byman has also written extensively on a range of topics related to terrorism, international security, civil and ethnic conflict, and the Middle East. His recent articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy, as well as journals including Political Science Quarterly, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, International Security, and Journal of Strategic Studies.

This event is co-sponsored by the Middle Eastern and Islamic Student Association


Donald M. Bishop

The date and time of this event has not been set.

Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. He served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors. In 2009, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke asked Mr. Bishop to lead communication and Public Diplomacy at the American Embassy in Afghanistan as the "civilian surge" began. He arrived three weeks later to direct the Embassy’s Public Affairs Section, to help develop the Afghan government's relations with the media, and to cooperate with the U.S. and NATO commands.  Other Public Diplomacy portfolios included media relations, education and exchanges, English teaching, the preservation of cultural heritage sites, and the network of Lincoln Learning Centers throughout Afghanistan. For his work in Afghanistan, he received the Distinguished Honor Award from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


Douglas E. Streusand, "The Caliphate: Memories, Dreams, Reflections"

March 16, 2017

5:30 p.m., Higgins Hall 300 Auditorium

Douglas E. Streusand is a Professor of International Relations at the Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia, and Adjunct Professor at the Institute of World Politics. An Islamic historian by training, he has written and taught on a wide variety of historical and national security related topics. His major publications include The Formation of the Mughal Empire (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1989) and articles entitled "Choosing Words Carefully: Vocabulary to Fight Islamic Terrorism," Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin (2006); "Managing the Iranian Threat to Sea Commerce Diplomatically," Getting Ready for A Nuclear Ready Iran (Strategic, Studies Institute, 2005); "Sir Hamilton Gibb, Abu Yusuf, and the Concept of Islamic Civilization," History and Historiography of Post-Mongol Central Asia: Studies in Honor of Professor John E. Woods (2006); "Geopolitics versus Globalization," Globalization and Maritime Power (NDU 2003); "European Islam or Islamic Europe," (New Europe Review 2004); and "What Does Jihad Mean," (Middle East Quarterly, 1997). A second book, The Islamic Gunpowder Empires in World History, was released by Westview Press in 2010.


Noah Feldman

The date and time of this event has not been set.

Noah Feldman specializes in constitutional studies, with particular emphasis on the relationship between law and religion, constitutional design, and the history of legal theory.  Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, he is also a Senior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard. In 2003 he served as senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and subsequently advised members of the Iraqi Governing Council on the drafting of the Transitional Administrative Law or interim constitution.