Timothy Longman Appointed Director of CURA

September 8, 2017


Timothy Longman, Associate Professor of International Relations and Political Science at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, has been appointed as the new director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs (CURA). His appointment is for the period of 2017-2020, and he succeeds Prof. Robert Hefner as CURA Director. 

In making the appointment, Pardee School Dean Adil Najam thanked Hefner for his leadership and numerous contributions to CURA, and welcomed Longman to the position.

“Under the founding guidance of Prof. Peter Berger and then the leadership of Prof. Robert Hefner, CURA has become one of the leading academic institutions on religion and world affairs,” Najam said. “Prof. Longman brings not just a wealth of leadership experience, but also exciting and broad scholarly expertise to CURA. I have no doubt that he will take it to even greater heights of scholarly contribution and recognition. I would also take this opportunity to thank Prof. Hefner for his leadership in steering the institute over the last many years and especially through its transition to the Pardee School.”

Longman, who previously served as the Director of the African Studies Center at the Pardee School, said he is excited for the opportunity to lead an institute at the forefront of religion and world affairs.

“CURA was the first center to focus on religion and world affairs, and it has a strong international reputation for producing influential scholarship,” Longman said. “Following in the footsteps of Peter Berger and Robert Hefner is daunting, but I am excited by the opportunity to lead CURA in new directions.”

In his first semester as CURA Director, Longman has already announced the new CURA Fellows program and a Religion and World Affairs Colloquium which will feature CURA Fellows sharing critiques and providing valuable insight of in-progress papers. 

“We are planning some exciting new programs that we hope will engage a larger group of BU faculty and students with an academic interest in religion and world affairs,” Longman said. “We’ve set up a CURA Fellows program, and we’re starting a colloquium series where the fellows and others will have an opportunity to present working papers to be discussed. We’ll be maintaining a calendar of religion-related scholarly events at BU and in the area. We’ll continue to sponsor public lectures and other events. CURA already has a fantastic reputation, and I hope that over the next few years, we’re able to further increase CURA’s visibility and reach a larger audience within BU and beyond.”

The first installment of the colloquium will take place on September 15, 2017 and will feature Peter Mandaville, Professor of International Affairs at George Mason University. Mandaville will discuss “Assessing the Impact of Transnational Religious Soft Power: Theoretical and Methodological Issues.” View the full schedule for the 2017-18 Religion and World Affairs Colloquium

Longman recently published Memory and Justice in post-Genocide Rwanda (Cambridge University Press, 2017)  book which follows on his earlier book  Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda (Cambridge University Press 2011)He teaches courses on religion and politics at the Pardee School. 

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