Boston University Institute for Iraqi Studies has had the privilege of hosting annual lectures from esteemed figures in Islamic and middle-eastern studies in addition to the IIS Annual Workshop. These lectures span topics as broad as the internal and global politics of Iraq with respect to war and political upheaval, and also include the agricultural dynamics and social anthropology of a terrain which has, in fact, hosted civilizations almost continuously since the 6th millenium BC.
The Institute has hosted these speakers:
Sami Zubaida is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck College, University of London and Research Associate of the London Middle East Institute at SOAS. He has held visiting positions in Cairo, Istanbul, Beirut, Aix-enProvence, Paris, Berkley CA and NYU, written and lectured widely on themes of religion, culture, law and politics in the Middle East, with particular attention to Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. His other work is on food history and culture, and is Professorial Research Associate of the Food Studies Centre at SOAS.
Books: Islam, the People and the State: Politial Ideas and Movements in the Middle East (3rd edition 2009); A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (edited, with R Tapper, 2nd edition 2000); Law and Power in the Islamic World (2003) and Beyond Islam: A New Understanding of the Middle East (2011).
Inaugural Lecture: “Iraq, the Next 10 Years”
Amb. Crocker is Dean and Executive Professor at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, where he also holds the Edward and Howard Kruse Endowed Chair.
He retired from the Foreign Service in 2009 after a career of over 37 years and was an ambassador five times: Iraq (2007-2009), Pakistan (2004-2007), Syria (1998-2001), Kuwait (1994-1997), and Lebanon (1990-1993). Ambassador Crocker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award in 2009. He also holds the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service, the Presidential Meritorious Service Award and the National Clandestine Service’s Donovan Award as well as the State Department Distinguished Honor Award, Award for Valor and the American Foreign Service Association Rivkin Award for Creative Dissent. In September 2004, President Bush conferred on him the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the Foreign Service. In May 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the establishment of the Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Expeditionary Diplomacy.