April 7, 2015

High-Profile Lectures at the Middle East Center Raises Awareness  

The Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania continues to enhance the knowledge about the region throughout the campus community and general public through high-profile lectures on a frequent basis. Just to highlight a few, in the past two weeks, two very distinguished academics, Dr. Abbas Milani from Stanford University and Dr. Michael Cook from Princeton University, traveled to Penn to participate in academic lectures hosted by the Middle East Center. 

On March 25th, Dr. Milani, the Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institute, spoke about the Future of Modernity in Iran. He began his discussion by commenting on alternative paradigms of modernity in Iran in the 1950's and 1960's and finished up with the current state of affairs in Iran and the future prospects of the country. The event was well attended by both Penn students and students from neighboring campuses like Drexel and Temple in addition to many members of the interested public in Philadelphia. Dr. Milani led an informative and engaging Q&A session with around 70 people attending the event. 

On April 2nd, Dr. Cook, the Class of 1943 University Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton, explored the relationship between Muhammad and the Deputies he left in charge of Medina in his absence. Dr. Cook was able to decipher complex, ambiguous historical evidence and gave an extremely informative presentation that was academically accessible to many. His lecture was extremely well received, with around 65 students, academics and community members in attendance. His lecture was also covered by the Daily Pennsylvanian (Click here to view article in its entirety). 

These types of academic lectures, that are always free and open to public, are just one of many ways in which the Penn Middle East Center is contributes to the knowledge about the region at Penn and beyond.