Here, we keep a running tab of the recent events sponsored and co-sponsored by the Center. Archived information and video from past events not shown here can be found at on our YouTube Channel and photo albums from many of the events are posted on our Facebook photo stream.
Thursday April 30
The History & Future of the Middle East's Gordian Knot
A Talk by Ussama Makdisi
Ussama Makdisi is Professor of History and the first holder of the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies at Rice University. He is the author of Faith Misplaced: The Broken Promise of U.S.-Arab Relations, 1820-2001, Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East (winner of the 2008 Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association), and The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon, and is co-editor of Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa. He is currently working on a manuscript tracing the origins of sectarianism in the modern Middle East.
Friday april 10
What does the P5+1 Nuclear Agreement mean for the Struggle for Democracy in Iran?
Mehdi Noorbaksh is currently a Professor of International Affairs and Business at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and the coordinator of its General Education program. He taught at the Center for International Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Houston before joining Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in 2006. He has published extensively on the Middle East politics in journals such as Middle East Policy, the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Eurasia Critics, and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He is currently working on a book on, Democratic and Authoritarian Islam in Iran.
Wednesday april 8
A Forum with Ambassador Frederic C. Hof and Rafif Jouejati
thursday february 5
ISIS, Assad, Obama & Iraq War III
A Presentation by Reese Erlich
Video from the event will be available shortly.
Thursday January 22
The Charlie Hebdo Debate:
Islam, Europe, Freedom of Expression, and the Antinomies of Liberalism
A Korbel Faculty Panel
Is there an unbridgeable chasm between Islamic and liberal values? Are there limits to tolerance? Have European states failed to integrate Muslim migrants (and their European-born children and grandchildren)? Is it hypocritical for France to champion freedom of expression while arresting dozens on the vague charge of “defending terrorism”? Does liberalism offer a useful framework for making sense of these issues, or is it collapsing under the weight of its internal contradictions?
Wednesday January 21
In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands Before Israel
A Lecture by Adam Rovner
Adam Rovner is Associate Professor of English and Jewish Literature at the University of Denver, where he teaches transnational Holocaust literature, modern Hebrew literature and narrative theory. His new book, In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands before Israel, an intellectual history of alternative Jewish homelands, has been called a “path breaking study [that] takes us on a riveting journey [through a] little known chapter in modern Jewish history” and “a masterpiece…a must read for anyone interested in global Jewish history or in the history of Israel.”
Wednesday January 21
Returning to Palestine:
Personal Reflections on Exile, Memory and Reconciliation
A Presentation by Shafeeq Ghabra
Shafeeq Ghabra, Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University and a Visiting Scholar with DU’s Center for Middle East Studies, was born in Kuwait in 1953 to a Palestinian family displaced in 1948 during the creation of Israel. In 2012, he voyaged to Palestine for the first time in his life. In this presentation, he will share images from that haunting visit and reflect on this magical land and its traumatized people.
Monday, January 12
The Arab World between Revolution & Counter-Revolution:
A Balance Sheet
A Lecture by Shafeeq Ghabra with Discussant Nader Hashemi
Shafeeq Ghabra is Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University and Visiting Scholar with DU’s Center for Middle East Studies for the month of January 2015. He was the founding president of the American University of Kuwait and is the former director of the Center for Strategic & Future Studies at Kuwait University. He is the author of several books and his columns are syndicated throughout the region.
Wednesday, October 29
Islamist Movements & the Arab Spring
Discussant: Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies & Associate Professor of Middle East & Islamic Politics, Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
Video will be available shortly.
thursday, october 2
Liberalism for an Age of Globalization: Terrorism, State Collapse, Inequality & Hyper-Partisan Politics
A Lecture By Stephen Holmes
Stephen Holmes is the Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law at New York University (NYU) Law School, and has taught at Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Chicago. Holmes is the author of several books, including The Anatomy of Antiliberalism , The Matador's Cape: America's Reckless Response to Terror , and Passions and Constraint: On the Theory of Liberal Democracy .
This event was co-sponsored by the Josef Korbel School's Political Theory Forum. Video from the lecture will be available shortly.
Wednesday, october 1
Sectarianization: ISIS, the Syrian Conflict & the Future of the Middle East
A Panel Discussion
Monday, September 8
Wednesday, September 3
Gaza: A Nurse's Account of Working with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), A Discussion with Sarah Woznick
CMES was honored to host Sarah Woznick, an intensive care nurse who left the University of Colorado Hospital in January 2014 to work with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), for an evening presentation on her experience working in Gaza. Israel's Operation Protective Edge began on July 8, one day before what should have been the last day of her assignment. Sarah decided to stay to support the MSF team during the Israeli military campaign.
Her presentation, co-sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies and the Global Health Affairs Program, focused on her experiences working with the MSF team in response to the humanitarian crisis.
Monday, May 12 & Tuesday, May 13
CMES was proud to host a series of May events with Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies & International Relations at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Thursday, May 1
Rising Up Against Assad's War Crimes: The Siege of Syria and What the International Community Can Do to End It, with Qusai Zakarya
CMES was honored to host Qusai Zakarya, Syrian civil society activist and citizen journalist, for an afternoon presentation on the continuing human rights catastrophe in his home country. Zakarya gained international recognition and acclaim for his hunger strike during the Assad regime's starvation siege of his hometown, Moadamiya. He also survived a sarin gas attack during the siege. Video from his moving presentation will be available shortly.
Monday, April 28
Why the United States is Giving Up on Middle East Democracy, and Why That's a Big Mistake. A Lecture by Shadi Hamid
The Center for Middle East Studies hosted Shadi Hamid, Fellow with the Project on US Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy, for an afternoon lecture and discussion with Amb. Christopher Hill, Dean of the Josef Korbel School, on shifting U.S. foreign policy priorities in the Middle East. Prior to taking up his position at the Saban Center, Dr. Hamid served as Director of the Brookings Doha Center and Director of Research at the Project on Middle East Democracy. His new book is Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East. Video from the event will be available shortly.
Thursday, April 24
The Israel-Palestine Peace Process: The End, A New Beginning, or More of the Same? A Lecture by Norman Finkelstein
The Center for Middle East Studies was pleased to host Norman Finkelstein - esteemed political scientist, author, activist, commentator - for a talk on the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Finkelstein is the author of numerous books, including Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel is Coming to an End (2012), This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion (2010), Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History (2005), and The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (2000). Video from the event will be available shortly.
Friday, April 4
The Failure of the Post-Colonial State in the Middle East: A Conversation between Chris Giannou and Nader Hashemi
The Center for Middle East Studies was honored to host an afternoon discussion with Chris Giannou, longtime war surgeon and former Head of Unit Surgery for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Dr. Giannou has led a distinguished medical career through some of the world's most dangerous conflicts: in Lebanon, Somalia, Chechnya, Liberia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is author of Besieged: A Doctor's Story of Life and Death in Beirut (1991) and lead author of War Surgery: Working with Limited Resources in Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence (2009). Video of his far-reaching and prescient remarks is now available on our YouTube page.
Wednesday, march 5
"Boycott Israel?" a Discussion of the American Studies Association to Join the Academic Boycott with Steven Salaita
CMES co-sponsored an open forum event with the DU chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine on the American Studies Association's (ASA) recent announcement to join an academic boycott of Israel. Steven Salaita, Associate Professor of English at Virginia Tech, led the discussion. He is the author of six books and writes frequently about Arab Americans, Palestine, and decolonization. His current book project is entitled Images of Arabs and Muslims in the Age of Obama. Professor Salaita was joined by Korbel Professor Joseph Szyliowicz as discussant.
Tuesday March 4
Is Democracy in Global Decline? A Lecture by Larry Diamond
CMES co-sponsored an afternoon lecture with Stanford University professor, Larry Diamond. Larry Diamond is Director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford, and Faculty Co-Director of the Haas Center for Public Service. He is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy. His book, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World, explores the sources of global democratic progress and stress and the future prospects of democracy. Video from the event will be available shortly.
Inter-national Affairs or Inter-city Affairs? Why the Sovereign State is Over: A Lecture by Benjamin Barber
On the evening of March 4, mere hours after Larry Diamond's lively presentation, CMES co-hosted esteemed political theorist and author, Benjamin Barber, for a lecture on the future of state sovereignty. Benjamin R. Barber is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at The City University of New York's Graduate Center and Walt Whitman Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Rutgers University. He is the author of numerous books on political theory and current trends in international politics, including "Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age" (1984), "Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism are Reshaping the World" (1996), "Fear's Empire: War, Terrorism, and Democracy in an Age of Interdependence" (2003), and "If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities" (2013). The event was co-sponsored by DU's Political Theory Forum.
Tuesday February 18
A Conversation with Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Islamic Republic of Iran
Tuesday January 21
Israel-Palestine Peace: What if the Two-State Solution Fails? A Lecture by David Kretzmer
On January 21, CMES welcomed Israeli legal scholar David Kretzmer for a lecture on the current political realities facing Israeli, Palestinian, and American negotiators in their renewed attempts to resolve the ongoing conflict in Israel, the Occupied Territories, and Gaza.
David Kretzmer is Professor Emeritus of international law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a professor of law at the Transitional Justice Institute at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. He was a founding member of the Minerva Center for Human Rights at Hebrew University and served on the UN's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which he co-chaired in 2001 and 2002. He is the author of Israel and The West Bank: Legal Issues (1984), The Legal Status of the Arabs in Israel (1990), and The Occupation of Justice: The Supreme Court of Israel and the Occupied Territories (2002).
Tuesday, January 14
Interfaith Leadership in a Time of Global Religious Crisis. A Lecture by Eboo Patel
On January 14, CMES had the privilege of hosting Eboo Patel, founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core, for a lecture on the changing dynamics of interfaith leadership and activism in the contemporary global environment of religious tension or hostility.
Eboo Patel is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization building the interfaith movement on college campuses. Author of the books Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, which won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America, Dr. Patel is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today, NPR, and CNN. He served on President Obama's Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Monday, January 13
The Iran Project: A Discussion with Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Jim Walsh, with moderator Nader Hashemi
The Center for Middle East Studies was proud to work with World Denver in bringing esteemed US diplomat Amb. Thomas Pickering and MIT Security Studies Research Associate Dr. Jim Walsh to Denver for an evening discussion on US relations with Iran, the Iranian nuclear program, and the US sanctions regime. CMES Director Nader Hashemi moderated the discussion, which took place at Denver's storied Brown Palace Hotel. Our thanks to Karen de Bartolome and Jan Goerzen at World Denver for making the event possible!
Amb. Thomas R. Pickering is a retired US Foreign Service Officer. In his four decade-long career with the State Department, Amb. Pickering served as United States ambassador to Jordan, Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India, Russia, and the United Nations. He retired in 2001, having attained the highest rank in the Senior Foreign Service, Career Ambassador.
Dr. Jim Walsh is a Research Associate with MIT's Security Studies Program, focusing on nuclear weapons proliferation and terrorism. Before MIT, Dr. Walsh was Executive Director of the Managing the Atom project at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a visiting scholar at the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Wednesday, November 13
The State of Democracy in Turkey: Assessing Erdoğan and the Justice & Development Party (AKP). A Lecture by Mustafa Akyol
On November 13, CMES hosted Mustafa Akyol, prominent Turkish writer and social commentator, to discuss the current political trends in Turkey, specifically with regard to Turkey's democratic evolution under the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice & Development Party.
Mustafa Akyol is a political commentator and public intellectual based in Istanbul. He is a columnist for Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey's foremost English-language daily, and Al-Monitor. He is the author of Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty (2011). He is also the author of five books in Turkish, including Rethinking the Kurdish Question (2006). His writings have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Guardian, the Washington Post, and the Financial Times, among other publications.
Thursday, november 7
US Foreign Policy Challenges in the Twilight of the Obama Presidency. A Panel Discussion with Stephen Kinzer, David Sanger, & Amb. Christopher Hill
On November 7, CMES co-hosted two spectacular events featuring our guest, renowned journalist and author, Stephen Kinzer. The first event, "US Foreign Policy Challenges in the Twilight of the Obama Presidency," featured not only Stephen Kinzer, but his former colleague at the New York Times and equally distinguished journalist, David Sanger. Moderated by Dean Christopher Hill, the panel discussion touched on numerous topics ranging from US nuclear negotiations with Iran to the future of cyber security and "killer robots." The event was part of the Korbel School's Public Diplomacy Speaker Series, generously co-sponsored by the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy, the Edward W. & Charlotte A. Estlow International Center for Journalism & New Media, and the University of Denver's Department of Media, Film & Journalism Studies. Video from the panel is available here.
Upheaval as Opportunity: Proposals for a New American Role in the Middle East. A Lecture by Stephen Kinzer
Later in the evening, Stephen Kinzer delivered a solo lecture, "Upheaval as Opportunity: Proposals for a New American Role in the Middle East," in which he discussed promising - if challenging - opportunities for the US to pursue in its foreign policy towards the Middle East. Video of his lecture is available here.
Thursday, October 24 & Friday, October 25
American Mediation between Israel and the Palestinians: The First Time as Tragedy, the Second Time as Farce? A Lecture by Rashid Khalidi
The Center for Middle East Studies was honored to host Rashid Khalidi, Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, for a series of events that kicked off with his lecture on the evening of Oct. 24, which addressed the long and - in his view - deceitful history of US involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
A Panel Discussion with Rashid Kahlidi
On Friday, October 25, Prof. Khalidi brought his arguments before a panel of Korbel faculty members - Professors Tom Farer & Micheline Ishay. Videos from both events are available on our YouTube Channel.
Tuesday, October 22
The Crisis of Zionism: A Panel Discussion with Peter Beinart
Thursday, October 17
A Lecture by Rami Khouri, American University of Beirut
Friday, september 20
"The Crisis in Egypt: Liberalism, Islamism, and the Struggle for Democracy"
A Lecture by Mohammad Fadel, University of Toronto Law School
Discussant: Micheline Ishay
The Center for Middle East Studies at DU's Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Ved Nanda Center for International & Comparative Law at DU's Sturm College of Law hosted a discussion about Egypt's ongoing political turmoil with renowned Islamic legal scholar and democratic theorist Mohammad Fadel, whose lecture was followed by commentary from Micheline Ishay, Professor at the Korbel School.
Mohammad Fadel is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Toronto, where he is cross-appointed in the Faculty of Law, the Department of Religion, and the Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the Honorable Anthony A. Alaimo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Professor Fadel has published numerous articles on Islamic legal history, international human rights, liberalism and democratic theory.
Thursday, April 25
"Challenging a Founding Amnesia and Working Towards a Decent Solution in Israel/Palestine" - A Lecture by Alan Gilbert with Discussant, Andrea Stanton
CMES was pleased to host an afternoon discussion with University of Denver John Evans Professor, Alan Gilbert. Professor Gilbert offered an insightful inquiry into the state of affairs in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based upon his recent experience in the West Bank last October with a delegation from the American civil rights movement. DU Religious Studies professor Andrea Stanton offered her thoughts as well.
Alan Gilbert is John Evans Professor at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies. His many books include Democratic Individuality (1990), Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy? (1999), and Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence (2012). He blogs at Democratic Individuality. You can view Professor Gilbert's full lecture on our YouTube Channel.
Monday, April 15
"The Future of Iraq: A Kurdish Perspective," a Discussion with Dr. Fuad Hussein
CMES was proud to host Dr. Fuad Hussein, Chief of Staff to President Massoud Barzani of Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government, for a conversation with Dean Christopher Hill of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Dr. Hussein discussed the ongoing challenges facing Iraq and Iraqi Kurds as the nation continues to rebuild and democratize after nearly a decade of war and occupation.
Stay tuned for video of the conversation, filmed in the beautiful Renaissance Room.
Thursday, April 11
"Advocating for Civilians in Conflict," a Conversation with Sarah Holewinski
CMES was pleased to welcome Sarah Holewinski, Executive Director of the Center for Civilians in Conflict, for her talk on the programs her organization manages advocating for civilian rights in war-torn areas of the world.
Sarah Holewinski has served as the Executive Director of the Center for Civilians in Conflict since 2006. She has traveled to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Lebanon, and Israel to lobby for smarter, more compassionate policies for war victims.
Wednesday, April 3
"Lessons from The Iraq War, 10 Years On"
Panel 1: 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Panel 2: 5:30 - 7:30 PM
On April 3rd, the Center for Middle East Studies, the Center on Rights Development, and the Sie-Cheou Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy hosted an afternoon of events commemorating, questioning, and analyzing the U.S. invasion of Iraq 10 years ago. Taking advantage of the beautiful main event space in the newly renovated Anderson Academic Commons, the panels of prominent scholars, policymakers, and military personnel engaged in an afternoon of discussion, debate, and reflection to mark the Iraq War's 10th anniversary.
Panelists included: Christopher Hill, Dean of the Korbel School and Ambassador to Iraq (2009-2010); Thabit A.J. Abdullah, Associate Professor of History at York University and author of Dictatorship, Imperialism & Chaos: Iraq since 1989 (2006) and A Short History of Iraq, from 636 to the Present (2011); General George Casey (Ret.), 36th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and Commander of Multinational Force Iraq (2004-2007); General Charles Jacoby, Commander of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command; and Lt. General Dana K. Chipman, Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army.
Video from Panel 1 is available on our YouTube channel.
Tuesday, April 2
"The Arab Spring and the Dynamics of Global Autocracy," a Lecture by Daniel Brumberg
Tuesday, April 2, 12:00 PM - Joy Burns Center
On April 2nd, CMES welcomed Dr. Daniel Brumberg, Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University, for a lecture on the challenges facing the Middle East and the "global network of autocracies" in the wake of the "Arab Spring." The lecture took place in the Joy Burns Center of the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, a first for CMES, and was followed by remarks by University Professor and former Dean of the Korbel School, Tom Farer.
Video from the event is available on our YouTube channel.
Tuesday, february 26
On February 26, 2013, the Center hosted Dr. Vali Nasr, Dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. As part of the official launch of the Center, Dr. Nasr gave a noon lecture on the policy implications of the Arab Spring. Dr. Nasr's remarks, shown below, received an excellent review and critique from Korbel student, Alison Lowe, on her blog.
Dr. Nasr's lecture is now being transcribed for publication as part of the Center's Occasional Paper Series. Stay tuned!