Middle East expert Juan Ricardo Cole will be at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) on Thursday, Oct. 16, to speak on "ISIL in Iraq: Fundamentalist Takeover or Urban Ethnic Revolt?" in the University Student Union's Beach Auditorium at 12:15 p.m.
Cole, the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, is a public intellectual and prominent blogger for Informed Comment.
"We are excited and honored to have Professor Cole speak about ISIL at CSULB," said Houri Berberian, a professor in CSULB's department of history and director of Middle Eastern studies. "He is one of the leading experts on the contemporary and historical Middle East and will provide perspective and context to help us understand the current situation unfolding in the region."
Cole, who became interested in Islam and Arabic while a teenager living in Eritrea when his father was stationed there in the military, has been a regular guest on "PBS NewsHour." He has also appeared on "ABC Nightly News," "Nightline," "The Today Show," "Charlie Rose," "Anderson Cooper 360," "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," "Rachel Maddow," "The Colbert Report" and "Democracy Now!," along with many others. In addition, he has given many radio and press interviews.
He has written widely about Egypt, Iran, Iraq and South Asia, and has commented extensively on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the Iraq War, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Iranian domestic struggles and foreign affairs.
Cole has a regular column at Truthdig.com and continues to study and write about contemporary Islamic movements, whether mainstream or radical, whether Sunni and Salafi or Shia. Cole's command of Arabic, Persian, and Urdu and familiarity with Turkish as well as having lived in the region for almost 10 years and continuing to travel there allow him extraordinary access and insight to both the Middle East and South Asia.
Cole was awarded Fulbright-Hays fellowships to India in 1982 and to Egypt in 1985. In 1991, he held a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for the study of Shia Islam in Iran and from 1999-2004 was the editor of The International Journal of Middle East Studies. He has served in professional offices for the American Institute of Iranian Studies and on the editorial board of the journal Iranian Studies. He was elected president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America in November 2004, and in 2006 he received the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism administered by Hunter College.
For three decades, Cole has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. His most recent work is "The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East." He is also author of "Engaging the Muslim World" and "Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East."
The event is organized by the Middle Eastern Studies Program with assistance from the Department of History and History Students' Association, and is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and College of Liberal Arts.