Events AY 2010-2011

Public Roundtable: “Fallout in the Middle East: Where Do We Go From Here?”

Norton_printApril 14, 2011

In order to gain a better grasp of the continuing developments in the Middle East, Professor A.R. Norton shares his insights on what is occurring in the region. As a country with certain “interests” in this region, the United States is obviously concerned about what role we should be playing as these events continue to unfold. We ask that Professor Norton, and colleagues if possible, help us to understand what sort of expectations may be reasonable of our leaders.

Public Lecture: “People Power and the Possiblities of Democratic Transition in the Middle East,”

Bellin2_000April 12, 2011
by Prof. Eva Bellin

In light of recent events, Professor Eva Bellin speaks on the possibility of democratic transition in the Middle East. Bellin is author of Stalled Democracy: Capital Labor and the Paradox of State-Sponsored Development and has written extensively on the authoritarian persistence in the Middle East, the political economy of development, the evolution of civil society, and the politics of cultural change. She has been a Carnegie Scholar and a Princeton University Fellow and has served as an editor of the Journal of Comparative Politics since 2005.

Negotiating the Arts in Afghanistan

jaber-636x476March 8, 2011
by Corinne Jaber

Corinne Jaber directed an extraordinary production of Shakespeare’s early comedy, Love’s Labor Lost, in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2006. Jaber’s production was the first Shakespeare play performed in Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion in 1979 and the later rise of the Taliban. Jaber also directed Sisters, by Fabrice Melquiot, in Kabul and Paris in 2008.

Public Lecture: ” The Symbolic Possession of the World: European Cartography in Mughal Allegory.”

ebba_koch_185_20061113March 7, 2011
by Ebba Koch

Ebba Koch is an architectural historian, an art historian, who defines and discusses cultural issues of interest to political, social and economic historians. Presently, she is a professor at the Institute of Art History in Vienna, Austria and a senior researcher at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She completed her doctorate in philosophy and her Habilitation at Vienna University.

Panel Discussion: Role of Women in the Current Uprisings in the Middle East

Slide13March 5, 2011

The panel will address the role of women in the current uprisings in the Middle East and their impact on the future perspective of women’s rights in the region. Dr. Val Moghadam is Professor of Sociology and director of Women’s Study at Purdue University, Dr. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo is the President of the Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy, Inc., and Mrs. Mehrangiz Kar is an author and fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. Moderated by Dr. Haghighatjoo and this discussion was free and open to the public.

“Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History.”

barfieldMarch 2, 2011
by Professor Thomas Barfield

Thomas Barfield introduces the audience to the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, explaining what unites them as Afghans despite the regional, cultural, and political differences that divide them. Barfield vividly describes how Afghanistan’s armed factions plunged the country into a civil war, giving rise to clerical rule by the Taliban and Afghanistan’s isolation from the world. He examines why the American invasion in the wake of September 11 toppled the Taliban so quickly, and how this easy victory lulled the United States into falsely believing that a viable state could be built just as easily.  Video of this lecture is available on BUniverse.

The Iranian Film Series.

Iran_mag_film_1970February 28-April 11, 2011

“The Pastry Girl” Dokhtare Sirini Foroosh (2002) directed by Iraj Tahmasb, “The Color of Paradise” Rang-e Khoda (1999) directed by Majid Majidi, “The Last Supper” Shaam-e Akhar (2002) directed by Fereydoun Jeyrani, and “Donya” (2003) directed by Manuchehr Mosayyeri.
A screening series featuring recent films from Iran, open to members of the BU community.

Introduction to Persian Calligraphy:A workshop with Bahman Panahi

1Bahman_Panahi,_Calligraphist,_Musician_IranianNovember 29, 2010
by Bahman Panahi

Today he studies at the doctoral school of the Sorbonne in Paris. There he devotes himself to showing the links that exist between calligraphy and music by studying contemporary art. Participants in this event had an opportunity to learn to write with traditional Persian instruments. All materials was provided.

“Iraq: The Next 10 Years.”

Ryan_C_CrockerNovember 17, 2010
by Amb. Ryan Crocker

The Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations was pleased to announce the Inaugural Annual Lecture for the Institute for the Iraqi Studies. IIS invited Ambassador Ryan Crocker, former ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Iraq to speak on the future of that country.  Video of this lecture is available on the Institute for Iraqi Studies website.

“Topkapi Palace: The Luxe Life, Sultan Style.”


Photo courtesy of

November 8, 2010
by Serif Yenen

Serif Yenen offers this illustrated behind-the-scenes peek at a sumptuous bygone world strategically placed on a hill with commanding views of the Bosporus Sea. Yenen, a leading tour guide in Turkey, is the author of Quick Guide Istanbul and Quick Guide Topkapi Palace.

“Rhetoric, Ambition and the Function of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo.”

466px-Islamic_art_angelOctober 20, 2010
by Dr. Beat Brenk

Renowned University of Rome Professor Dr. Beat Brenk considers the meaning and use of sacred and architectural space in Sicily’s twelfth-century Cappella Palatina, looking at the development of the chapel and its dialogue with the temporal and political concerns of the day. The Cappella reflects a melange of influence based on participation not only of its Norman benefactors, but its Byzantine, Islamic, Sicilian and Italian artists and builders.

“Muslims Through Christian Eyes: From the Prophet to the Present”

coxOctober 5, 2010
by Harvey Cox

Among the issues Prof. Cox explores are urbanization, theological developments in world Christianity, Jewish-Christian relations, and current spiritual movements in the global setting (particularly Pentecostalism). He has been a visiting professor at Brandeis University, Seminario Bautista de Mexico, the Naropa institute and the University of Michigan. Dr. Cox is also a prolific author whose latest book is The Future of Faith (Harper Collins, 2009).  Video of this lecture is available on BUniverse.