Bahá’í Chair Presents Fall Lecture Series

The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace is pleased to announce the upcoming fall lecture series; all events are open to the public and are free. These events bring leading thinkers to campus to examine obstacles to global peace, and solutions for overcoming those obstacles.

The series begins with the annual lecture on Sept. 21 with Dr. Valerie Hudson, professor and George H.W. Bush Chair in the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University. Professor Hudson will be examining how the development of male-female relations in society affects nation-state level phenomena, including food security, health, economic prosperity, demography, governance, and intra- and inter-state conflict. Dr. Hudson, along with three colleagues, has created the largest extant database on the status of women in the world today. Join us on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Atrium of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union.

On Sept. 26, Dr. Nicole Hirschfelder, associate professor for American Culture and Literature Eberhard Karls University of Tubingen, Germany, will discuss the language and terminology used in relation to refugees, specifically the term “refugee crisis” and the underlying, problematic implications of the use of this terminology. Dr. Hirschfelder will also address how Germany’s past informs attitudes towards the current situation, and why this frequently makes dialogue between opposing camps difficult. Join us on Sept. 26 at 3 p.m. in the Special Events Room (6137), McKeldin Library. 

The Structural Racism and Roots Causes of Prejudice lecture series will continue on Oct. 10, with an important lecture by Dr. Sheri Parks, former associate dean for research, interdisciplinary scholarship and programming for the College or Arts and Humanities, an associate professor of American studies, and the first director of the Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy at the University of Maryland. Dr. Parks will explore the Western cultural conceptualization of darkness, as exhibited in old and new mythologies, and how it has created a foundation and rationale for racial marginalization of people described as “dark.” Join us on Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. in the Atrium of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union.

The series will conclude on Oct. 24, with a lecture by Dr. Mehnaz M. Afridi, associate professor of religious studies and director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College. In her lecture Dr. Afridi will examine the portrayal of Jewish, Christian and Muslim relations and the ways in which the many positive and lost stories of reconciliation, rescue, and religious roots have been buried by extremist agendas and media. Dr. Afridi will also discuss how the Holocaust is connected to Muslims and why this connection is significant in creating a bridge of understanding between Jews and Muslims. Join us on Oct. 24 at 3 p.m. in the Special Events Room (6137) of McKeldin Library.

The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland is an endowed academic program that advances interdisciplinary examination and discourse on global peace. While drawing certain initial insights from religion, the program aims to develop a sound scientific basis for knowledge and strategies that lead to the creation of a better world. Its incumbent, Dr. Hoda Mahmoudi, collaborates with a wide range of scholars, researchers, and practitioners to advance interdisciplinary examination and discourse on global peace. She promotes a sound scientific basis for knowledge and strategies to explore the role of social actors and structures in removing obstacles to peace and creating paths to a better world.

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