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The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies supports events that increase awareness of the history and cultures of the Middle East and Muslim civilizations, and values diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding. Events listed here originate from a variety of campus units and community organizations. The listing of an event does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein.

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October 2021

Lecture: “The Afterlife of the Great Mosque of Cordoba” with Michele Lamprakos (University of Maryland) (virtual)

October 18, 2021 | 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

  The Convivencia Lecture series welcomes Michele Lamprakos, Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation from the University of Maryland to discuss architecture and "The Afterlife of the Great Mosque of Cordoba."   Trained as an architect and architectural historian, Michele Lamprakos specializes in the early modern/modern Arab-Islamic world and critical heritage studies. Her research focuses on two main themes: the lives and layers of buildings and sites; and contacts between faith-cultures in the Mediterranean. She is author of Building a…

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Lecture: “The Well and the Water Machine: The History of Desalination and Fossil-Fueled Water in the Long Shadow of Arabia’s Climate-Altered Future” with Prof. Michael Low (Iowa State University) (virtual)

October 18, 2021 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

  It is an undisputed truism that the story of the 20th-century Arabian Peninsula is synonymous with the story of oil. Particularly after the 1973 oil crisis, exploding oil prices launched the region into significant socio-economic transformations. And while oil infrastructure has rightfully been understood as the lifeblood of this growth, another infrastructure remained virtually invisible, desalination facilities. Despite this seeming invisibility, desalination has become a defining material feature of life in the Arabian Peninsula. Since the 1970s and even…

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McLester Lecture Series: The Beauty of the Houri: Images and Interpretations of the Heavenly Virgins” with Dr. Nerina Rustomji (St. John’s University) (virtual)

October 27, 2021 | 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

  This UNC Religious Studies McLester lecture by Dr. Nerina Rustomji, St. John’s University, will address the images of the pure female companions or houris of Islamic paradise that appear in Arabic, French, and English texts. The houri offered a feminine ideal of purity for a variety of interpreters, including Qur’anic commentators, Latin Christendom theologians, British and French travel writers, eighteenth and nineteenth century poets and writers, and twentieth and twenty-first century interpreters of Islam. The talk considers how an…

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