Internationally known expert to speak on Middle East issues
RELEASED: April 24, 2008
DANVILLE, KY—Richard Norton, professor of international relations and anthropology at Boston University and visiting Woodrow Wilson Fellow, will speak on the emergence of Arab Shi'i Muslims in alliance with the Islamic Republic of Iran on Tuesday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Centre College's Vahlkamp Theatre on campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Norton's talk, "The Shi'i Crescent? Discordant Notes from the Field," surveys several important Arab Shi'i community projects and assesses whether the "Shi'i Crescent" is a convenient fallacy or emerging reality. He draws on recent fieldwork in Bahrain (2008), Kuwait (2007) and Lebanon (2007), as well as evidence from Iraq.
The lecture will include a number of the speaker's photographs of political and religious rituals practiced by Arab Shi'i Muslims.
Norton headed the Ford Foundation's "Civil Society in the Middle East" program at New York University in the 1990s, co-chaired by Farhad Kazemi. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, co-founder of the Conference Group on the Middle East, and a co-founder of the Boston Forum on the Middle East. In 2006-07 he held a Senior Fulbright Research Fellowship in Egypt, Kuwait and Bangladesh. He also has held Senior Fulbright Fellowships in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Norway. A former Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Islamic Studies, Norton serves on the Centre's Academic Advisory Board.
Says Centre Associate Dean Nayef Samhat: "Richard Norton is one of the most thoughtful and insightful scholars of the Middle East today, and we are fortunate to have him at Centre College as a Wilson Fellow. His recent book, 'Hezbollah: A Short History,' is an excellent and accessible account of a powerful movement in the region."
Through its array of programs, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has been privileged to support the development of more than 21,000 leaders—teachers and scholars, leaders and businesspeople, artists and innovators. The original Woodrow Wilson Fellows now include eleven Nobel Laureates, as well as many others internationally recognized for their accomplishments. At the same time, Fellows from all Woodrow Wilson programs are also everyday heroes, deeply committed to their professions and to the importance of education, many of them the first in their families to earn advanced degrees.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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