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Victor Bailey
Hall Center for the Humanities
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International human rights lawyer to kick off Humanities Lecture Series

Thu, 09/05/2013

LAWRENCE — Arsalan Iftikhar, author of “Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era,” will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, in the Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. His lecture, "The Role of Islam in Post 9/11 America," is the first installment of the Hall Center for the Humanities' 2013-2014 Humanities Lecture Series. The event is free and open to the public.

The Hall Center will also host a more informal public question-and-answer session the following day. "A Conversation with Arsalan Iftikhar" will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13, in the Hall Center Conference Hall. This event is also free and open to the public.

Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, author and founder of the popular TheMuslimGuy.com. He regularly comments on NPR's "Tell Me More" and contributes to CNN, Esquire and other publications. His most recent book, “Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era,” (2011) argues for a pacifist alternative to religious extremism, advocating for a nuanced understanding of Islam in the face of both religious extremism and racism and violence.

Iftikhar's funny, incisive commentary and writing have earned him the reputation as one of the most effective and thoughtful ambassadors for a critical understanding of the post-9/11 Muslim experience, "giving voice to the vast majority of Muslims who see violence as an abomination and a sacrilege."

Over the years, Iftikhar’s interviews, commentaries and analyses have regularly appeared in virtually every major media outlet around the world, including CNN, BBC World News, Al-Jazeera English, “The TODAY Show,” National Public Radio, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, Associated Press, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Agence France-Presse, USA TODAY, “NBC Nightly News,” The Washington Post, “ABC World News Tonight,” Los Angeles Times, CBS News “Up to the Minute,” The New York Times, Rolling Stone, TIME, The Economist and Newsweek magazines (among dozens others worldwide).

Iftikhar’s published columns and written articles have appeared in major publications around the world including: CNN.com, USA TODAY, TIME.com, Esquire Magazine (Middle East edition), Houston Chronicle, Detroit Free Press, The Providence Journal, San Diego Union-Tribune, Charlotte Observer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star.

Founded in 1947, the Humanities Lecture Series is the oldest continuing series at KU. More than 150 eminent scholars from around the world have participated in the program, including author Salman Rushdie, poet Gwendolyn Brooks and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Recent speakers have included Stephen Greenblatt, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Mary Oliver. Shortly after the program’s inception, a lecture by one outstanding KU faculty member was added to the schedule. For information on the series, visit the Hall Center website.



David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he works with KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, are important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.” Tags: #KUcommunities #CivilRights #History American Studies at KU
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Lauded race and class historian becomes KU Foundation Professor David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he leads KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, is important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.”


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