Center for Regional Studies

Kylan Jones-Huffman Lecture Series, 2007-2008

Spring 2008


10 January 2008
Eboo Patel
"For and Against: America, Islam and Prospects for Peace in the 21st Century"

Eboo Patel is the founder and Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit working to build mutual respect and pluralism among religiously diverse young people by empowering them to work together to serve others. He is the author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, released by Beacon Press in June 2007. Dr. Patel holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship. Dr. Patel is an Ashoka Fellow, part of a select group of social entrepreneurs whose ideas are changing the world, and was named by Islamica Magazine as one of ten young Muslim visionaries shaping Islam in America.


4 February 2008
Juan Cole
"The Three Wars of Iraq"

Juan R. I. Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Prof. Cole received his PhD in Islamic Studies from UCLA, his MA in Arabic and History from the American University in Cairo, and his BA in the History of Religions from Northwestern University. He has written extensively about Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and South Asia. Prof. Cole has given numerous media and press interviews on the War on Terrorism since September 11, 2001, as well as concerning the Iraq War and the building conflict with Iran from 2003. He has a regular column at He continues to study and write about contemporary Islamic movements, whether mainstream or radical, whether Sunni and Salafi or Shi'ite. Prof. Cole commands Arabic, Persian and Urdu and reads some Turkish, knows both Middle Eastern and South Asian Islam, and lived in a number of places in the Muslim world for extended periods of time. For three decades, he has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context, and his most recent book is Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He also writes on current events, and his articles on contemporary Sunni radicalism include "Muslim Religious Extremism in Egypt" in Middle East Historiographies (University of Washington Press, 2006) and "The Taliban, Women, and the Hegelian Private Sphere," Social Research (Fall 2003). He has authored several recent journal articles on Shi`ite movements in present-day Iraq, as well as an extended essay, "The Ayatollahs and Democracy in Iraq." (Amsterdam University Press, 2006). These works were foreshadowed by an earlier book, Sacred Space and Holy War: The Politics, Culture and History of Shi`ite Islam (IB Tauris 2002), as well as in his monographs, edited books and articles of the 1980s and 1990s.


7 February 2008
David Damrosch
"The Buried Book: The Loss and Recovery of the Greek Epic of Gilgamesh"

Prof. Damrosch received his B.A. and PhD at Yale University. A specialist in modern literature, Prof. Damrosch is also interested in narrative theory, hermeneutics, ancient literature, and the Bible. He is the author of The Narrative Covenant: Transformations of Genre in the Growth of Biblical Literature (Harper and Row, 1987; Cornell, 1991); We Scholars: Changing the Culture of the University (Harvard UP, 1995), a study of academic culture; Meetings of the Mind; What Is World Literature? (Princeton UP, 2003); and articles on Freud, Kenneth Burke, Kleist, Wordsworth, Norse sagas, Bernard of Clarivaux, and Aztec poetry. He is general editor of The Longman Anthology of British Literature and of The Longman Anthology of World Literature (2004). For 2001-2003 he was President of the American Comparative Literature Association.


6 March 2008
Mike Tucker
"Sea Change: On Victory Against Al Qaeda"

Author of RONIN: A Marine Scout/Sniper Platoon in Iraq, Mike Tucker is a counterterrorism and guerrilla war specialist, poet, and Marine infantry veteran. An American expatriate, he has led and witnessed counterterrorist raids in Spain, Burma and Iraq; patrolled on deep reconnaissance with Karen guerrillas behind Burmese Army lines; and seen action with Special Operations Task Force 121, US Army Special Forces, Kurdish peshmerga, 10th Mountain light infantry, Marine scout/snipers and other elite units in 21 months in the Iraq War. A Visiting Scholar on Counterterrorism at James Madison University in fall 2006, his oral history on the Kurds in post-Saddam Iraq, Hell Is Over, was a finalist for the 2005 Ben Franklin Award in History. He received Honors in Poetry in 1982 and 1983 from J.M.U. (BA: History, 1982, MA: English, 1999). His fourth book on the Iraq War, The Ghost Killers: Behind Enemy Lines in Iraq, should be released in November 2008.


8 April 2008
Greg Mortenson
"Three Cups of Tea: Creating Peace Through Education and Literacy"

Greg Mortenson is the co-founder of the nonprofit organizations Central Asia Institute and Pennies For Peace and is the co-author of New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea. As of 2007, Mortenson has established over 61 schools in rural and often unstable regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. His schools provide daily education to over 25,000 children, including 14,000 girls from areas where few education opportunities existed before. Mortenson is a living hero to rural communities of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he has gained the trust of Islamic leaders, military commanders, government officials and tribal chiefs through his tireless efforts to champion children's education. Lt. Col. Montanus, XO of USMC Special Operations Advisory Groups says Mortenson's work is the ideal for what the U.S. should be doing across the globe, and his book is mandatory reading for all USMC Special Ops Advisory Officers.

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