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Islamic Societies and Change: Conversation with Ira Lapidus, Professor Emeritus of History, University of California, Berkeley: 1/14/03 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Ira Lapidus, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley, and the founding Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies on the Berkeley campus. Professor Lapidus has traveled extensively across the Muslim world and written many articles and books on Islam and book coverrelated subjects. His publications include Islam, Politics, and Social Movements, edited with Edmund Burke, and Contemporary Islamic Movements in Historical Perspective. He is also the author of A History of Islamic Societies, which was published in 1988 and has recently been issued in a second edition.

  1. Background ... influence of parents and teachers ... choosing Middle Eastern  and studies ... history and the imagination ... photography and nonverbal arts ... love of travel
  2. Complexity of Islam ... diversity ... belief system ... life of Muhammad ... universal appeal ... cross-class and cross-cultural appeal
  3. Politics and Religion ... adaptations to modernity ... religious vs. secular spheres ... multiple identities and complex ties
  4. Women and Islam ... guidelines vs. practice ... education and the media ... the veil
  5. Islam after 9/11 ... disastrous effects on relations ... using "clash of civilizations" as justification for violence ... globalization and Western consumer culture ... oppressive regimes ... technology and the globalization of Muslim identity ... al Qaeda and bin Laden
  6. Revivalist Islam ... religious, educational, social welfare ... party politics and legislative work ... U.S. foreign policy mistakes
  7. Conclusion ... advice for students ... internationalism in all disciplines ... common ground in complexity of photography and Islamic studies

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