Third International Conference on Islam – April 13th-14th, 2012

This upcoming weekend the Third International Conference on Islam will convene in Madison, Wisconsin and will be focused on “Islam and Democracy” amongst other engaging Middle East and Islamic related discussions.  Some of the topics to be included, through papers, lectures and discussions, are:

  • Islamic Theological Perspectives on Democracy
  • Islam, Liberalism, and Pluralism
  • Islam, Secularism, and the State
  • Islam and Nationalism
  • Muslim Women and Democracy
  • Islam and Democracy in the Middle East
  • Islam and Democracy in Central Asia
  • Islam and Democracy in Europe
  • Islam and Democracy: Turkey Model
  • Arab Spring

More information on this huge gathering of minds can be found at  It promises to be an intellectually stimulating conference about the ever-changing political and cultural landscape of the Middle East and sure to be of interest to anyone concentrating in the area of Middle East Studies.


International Studies Lecture on Friday, April 13th, 2012

This week an interesting lecture, not related to the Middle East, is coming up that might be of interest to those engaged in International studies and foreign affairs.  Firstly, on Friday, April 13th, at 4:00 p.m., a lecture by Thuslisile Madonsela, the Public Protector of South Africa, will be delivered.  This lecture will take place in the On Wisconsin Room, Red Gym, 716 Langdon Street, Madison and is entitled “Righting State Wrongs: Enforcing the South African Constitution through the office of the Public Protector.”  Madonsela will be talking about the changing constitution and political system in South Africa and how this has affected government efficiency and accountability in the last decade.  It promises to be an intellectually engaging lecture on a country trying to rise above the status of a ‘typical’ African nation.

Gaza Strip lecture on Thursday April 12th, 2012

The Center of Middle East Studies is proud to co-sponsor a talk by Dr. Mads Gilbert this upcoming Thursday April 12th at 7:00 P.M. in 180 Science Hall.  Dr. Gilbert is a Norwegian doctor who has worked with the citizens of Gaza over the past three years, particularly during Israel’s 2009 bombardment of the Gaza Strip.  He treated scores of bombing victims during his time in Gaza and has been back to Gaza recently as well.

He has been a vocal critic of the lack of international aid to the bombing victims of Gaza and co-authored a memoir of his experiences entitled Eyes in Gaza about his experiences.  Dr. Gilbert will deliver a speech covering his time in Gaza and feelings towards the Gaza situation – and then the floor will be opened up to any questions or discussions from the audience.  It will be a great opportunity to learn first-hand about the Gaza situation and it’s consequences on an international and local level.