Islam traditions, Middle East revolutionary uprisings to be explored in conference

March 27, 2012 | Events, UToday
By Nicolette Jett

The University of Toledo is partnering with the University of Michigan for a two-day joint academic conference that will confront the issue of the role of Islam after the Arab Spring by bringing together scholars whose areas of expertise provide insight into the social and political culture in the Middle East.

More than a dozen academic presentations by leading modern Middle East specialists, as well as emerging young scholars, will be featured during “Islam in the New Middle East: Traditions, Transitions and Trajectories” Thursday and Friday, March 29 and 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Michigan.

UT will stream live the speakers and presentations in Memorial Field House Room 1050 on Main Campus.

“The academic conference demonstrates UT’s commitment to supporting cutting-edge scholarship on issues of national and international import,” said Dr. Ovamir Anjum, UT Imam Khattab Endowed Chair of Islamic Studies. “All presenters and volunteers for the conference are enthusiastic and committed to their ongoing research.”

The conference will combine current analysis of the revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East with the long-standing scholarly conversations on the region.

In the spirit of the joint conference, keynote addresses will be held on both the University of Michigan and University of Toledo campuses.

Dr. Nathan Brown, professor of political science and international affairs at Georgetown University, will give a keynote address, “Islamist Movements in Post-Revolutionary Egypt,” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in the University Unions Hussey Room at UM.

At UT, Dr. Juan Cole, the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, will give a keynote address on “Arab Spring to Arab Transitions” at 7 p.m. Friday, March 30, in the Driscoll Alumni Auditorium.

“UT is honored to put on an academic conference with the University of Michigan,” Anjum said. “We are grateful for their ongoing support of our scholastic achievements and research, and we will continue to show the same gratitude and respect toward them.”

The joint conference is the first major academic collaboration in philosophy and religious studies between UT and the University of Michigan.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to visit Ann Arbor for the presentations. The presentations at the University of Michigan and the live web stream in the Memorial Field House, as well as the keynote addresses, are free and open to the public.

A complete conference schedule is available at

The conference is sponsored by the UT Department of Philosophy and the Center for Religious Studies and the University of Michigan’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies and Islamic Studies Program.

For more information, contact Anjum at or 419.530.4598.

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