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Understanding Iran: Images and Realities


The Fall 2006 Public Policy Lecture Series.


PORTLAND, OR (October 11, 2006)–Reed College invites you to attend the fall Public Policy Lecture Series, “Understanding Iran: Images and Realities.”

Mad mullah, hostage taker, warrior brother, veiled sister—these are some of the images of Iran prevalent among Americans. This fall, Reed’s Public Policy Lecture Series brings together speakers with a remarkable depth of experience and understanding of Iran to explore the issues behind the images, and address what is likely to be a central, American foreign-policy challenge in coming months: relations with Tehran.

Speakers include William Beeman, professor of linguistic anthropology and director of Middle East studies at Brown University; Gary Sick, senior research scholar, adjunct professor of international affairs, and former director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University; Minoo Moallem, professor of gender and women’s studies at UC Berkeley; and Darius Rejali, Carnegie Scholar (2003) and professor of political science at Reed College.

Friday, October 27, William Beeman
“The ‘Great Satan’ vs. the ‘Mad Mullahs’: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other"
4:30 p.m., Vollum lecture hall
William Beeman is professor of linguistic anthropology and director of Middle East studies at Brown University. In his latest book, The “Great Satan” vs. the “Mad Mullahs,” Beeman argues that an unprecedented mutual process of demonization has characterized relations between the U.S. and Iran. He claims that the accusations of each nation consist largely of public invective and symbolic rhetoric conforming to their own mythologies of evil. Presented in cooperation with the American Iranian Friendship Council.

Saturday, November 4, Gary Sick
“The United States and Iran: Is a Military Clash Inevitable?”
2 p.m., Vollum lecture hall
Gary Sick served on the National Security Council under presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan. He was the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis, and is the author of two books on U.S.–Iranian relations. Sick is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy, having served in the Persian Gulf, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, where he is senior research scholar, adjunct professor of international affairs, and former director of the Middle East Institute. Sponsored by the Munk-Darling Lecture Fund in International Relations and co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council.

Monday, November 6, Minoo Moallem
“Between Warrior Brother and Veiled Sister: Transnational Formations of Islamic Nationalism and Fundamentalism in Iran”
7 p.m., Vollum lecture hall
Minoo Moallem is professor of gender and women’s studies at UC Berkeley. Trained as a sociologist, she writes on transnational feminist cultural studies, religious nationalism and fundamentalism, immigration and diaspora studies, and Iranian cultural politics and diasporas. She recently published Between Warrior Brother and Veiled Sister: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Politics of Patriarchy in Iran (University of California Press, 2005). Sponsored by the David Robinson Memorial Fund for Human Rights.

Monday, November 13, Scott Sagan
“How to Keep the Bomb from Iran”
7 p.m., Vollum lecture hall
Scott Sagan is a professor of political science and director of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. He has also served as special assistant to the director of the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon, and as a consultant to the office of the Secretary of Defense and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is the author of numerous books on national security and nuclear strategy. In his article, “How to Keep the Bomb From Iran” (Foreign Affairs, September/October 2006), he argues that the United States should work to prevent Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons by addressing the security concerns that are likely motivators for Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Monday, November 20, Darius Rejali
“Sickness, War, and Remembrance: A Visit to Iran”
7 p.m., Vollum lecture hall
Darius Rejali is a Carnegie Scholar (2003) and professor of political science at Reed College. He is the author of Torture and Modernity: Self, State, and Society in Modern Iran (Westview, 1994) and the forthcoming books Torture and Democracy (Princeton, 2007) and Approaches to Violence (Princeton, 2008). Iranian-born, Rejali has spent his scholarly career reflecting on violence and, specifically, reflecting on the causes, consequences, and meaning of modern torture in the contemporary world.

The Fall 2006 Public Policy Lecture Series