Arab Spring, Middle East topic of SUNY Cortland lecture

This article was written by SUNY Cortland Communications Office writing intern Jamie Winsper.

Syracuse University political scientist Mehrzad Boroujerdi, in his 30 years studying the Middle East, has never seen it with as many failed or fragile states.

“This is a region we can’t afford to ignore,” said Boroujerdi, professor and chair of Syracuse University’s Political Science Department. “It is not Vegas. What happens there doesn’t stay there.”

Mehrzad Boroujerdi

Boroujerdi will discuss the series of conflicts that began late 2010 in the Middle East and North Africa — known as the “Arab Spring” — on Wednesday, March 8, at SUNY Cortland. “The De/Reconstruction of the Middle East” begins at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2125.

His talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the 2016-17 Rozanne M. Brooks Lecture Series at SUNY Cortland. A reception to welcome Boroujerdi precedes the lecture at 4 p.m. in the Rozanne M. Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126.

According to Boroujerdi, these conflicts were a response to the increasing gap between the rulers and the ruled. He will discuss what has happened in this region, as well as what could occur going forward, both with U.S. relations as well as domestically in the Middle Eastern states.

Since 2015, he has served on the Provost’s Faculty Fellow for Internationalization at Syracuse University and as a member of S.U’s University Leadership Team. Since 2014, he has co-chaired its Working Group on Enhancing Internationalization. He has been a member of the Near East Foundation Board of Directors for the past seven years.

Boroujerdi joined Syracuse University in 1992 after serving as a Rockefeller Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin. He has a doctorate in international relations from American University, a master’s degree in political science from Northeastern University and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Boston University.

He is the author of I Carved, Worshiped and Shattered: Essays on Iranian Politics and Identity, published in 2010 by Tehran: Nashr-e Negah-e Mo`aser; and Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism, released in 1996 by Syracuse University Press.

Brooks series events will continue throughout the semester.

This year’s Brooks lecture series theme reflects the changing nature of the world around us, especially the destruction of cities, societies and environment.

The 2016-17 Brooks Lecture Series is sponsored by a grant from Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) and the Cortland College Foundation.

For more information, contact Sharon R. Steadman, SUNY Cortland professor of sociology/anthropology and Rozanne M. Brooks Museum director at 607-753-2308.