Husson University to Host Foreign Policy Speakers Series

Date of Release: October 4, 2013

With more than 1.5 billion followers, Islam is the world’s second largest religion. Despite the size of this faith worldwide, many individuals in the United States fail to understand the impact Islam has on international politics and American diplomacy.

In an effort to help our local community better understand the many foreign policy issues that affect their lives and the world around them, Husson University’s Sawyer Library and the Bangor Public Library are sponsoring: “The World at Your Library: A Foreign Policy Lecture Series.” This series is offered thanks to a partnership grant between the Maine Humanities Council and the Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations and features presentations by Maine-based experts, scholars and practitioners on critical international issues.

The first in this series of three lectures will take place on October 8, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business on the campus of Husson University in Bangor, Maine. Robert Morrison, associate professor of religion at Bowdoin College will lead off the series with his presentation, “Thinking About Islam.” Dr. Morrison’s lecture will explain how Islam challenges many peoples’ understanding of religion. The importance of cultural context, including an understanding of how Islam functions within a given country, region, or scenario, will also be addressed.

“People are increasingly turning to their local library for help in understanding the numerous complex issues they face on a daily basis. Lectures like this provide educational opportunities that focus on real-world problems and potential solutions. As an institution devoted to the dissemination of knowledge, we are proud to make this lecture series available to students, faculty and members of the greater Bangor community,” said Amy Averre, head librarian, Husson University. Lecture presenter Dr. Robert Morrison has expertise in Islam and other world religions. His research has focused on the role of science in Islamic and Jewish texts, as well as the history of Islamic science. Morrison has contributed chapters on Islamic astronomy to the New Cambridge History of Islam and the Cambridge History of Science.

He is the author of The Intellectual Career of Niẓām al-Dīn al-Nīsābūrī. In 2009, the text received the World Prize for the Book of the Year from the Islamic Republic of Iran in Islamic studies. Morrison has also authored a monograph-length journal article entitled, “Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī’s Hypotheses for Celestial Motions.” The article was published in 2005 in the Journal for the History of Arabic Science XIII

While the lecture is free and open to the public, individuals interested in attending the lecture are asked to contact Alison Leonard, instruction librarian at the Husson University Library in advance at 207-941-7071 or at leonardaj@husson.edu so that sufficient seating will be provided.

Future presentations in the “The World at Your Library: A Foreign Policy Lecture Series,” include:

• A lecture by Ron Jarvella about “The Chinese Intelligence Network” on October 22 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 pm. This presentation discusses the intelligence apparatus of mainland China including how it is structured, how it operates, and what it is after.

• A lecture by Scott Erb about the “Social Media Revolution” on October 29 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This presentation examines the rise of social media and the power of the information revolution. It will also examine how computers and new technology are transforming life across the world and at home.

The Maine Humanities Council is an independent, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicatedto helping the people of Maine deepen their understanding of themselves, their communities, and the world. The Council works with volunteer literacy programs, educators, school systems and libraries to promote the power and pleasure of ideas through its programming; the Council also provides grants supporting projects in community history, exhibits, workshops and other areas of study.

The Bangor Public Library provides free & open access to the world of ideas and information. Founded in 1921, the library serves a population of 18,745 residents of the Bangor Area School District. This includes the communities of Bangor Borough, East Bangor Borough, Portland, Roseto, Upper Mount Bethel, Washington Township and portion of Lower Mount Bethel Township

The Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations was organized in 1983 by a small group of area residents with a special interest in the United States role in international affairs. The group includes individuals who have had considerable experience abroad with the United States government, corporations, and private agencies. Also represented are writers, physicians, educators, journalists, lawyers, business people, and others seeking to stay informed on international issues.

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