Arab Spring, One Year Later

Michigan history professor Juan R.I. Cole will discuss the monumental changes happening across the Middle East over the last year.
Feb. 20, 2012
20th annual Sabbagh Lecture: "The Arab Spring One Year Later"
Thursday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.
Marriott University Park, 880 E. Second St.
University of Michigan professor Juan R.I. Cole
University of Michigan professor Juan R.I. Cole

It has been more than one year since a series of demonstrations and protests sprung up around North Africa and Western Asia, later to be termed the Arab Spring.

Giving a one-year retrospection on the Arab Spring, University of Michigan Professor Juan R.I. Cole will deliver the Sabbagh Lecture at the University of Arizona this month.

Cole's lecture, "The Arab Spring One Year Later," marks the 20-year anniversary of the lecture series, which is presented by the UA's School of Anthropology.

His Feb. 23 lecture will be held 7 p.m. at the Tucson Marriott University Park, 880 E. Second St. Both the lecture and a reception that follows the talk are free and open to the public.

These lectures focus on the Arab cultures of the Middle East from an anthropological perspective and are supported by Tucsonans Entisar and Adib Sabbagh. 

"For two decades now, the Sabbagh's generosity has made possible this annual event, which is unique to Tucson," said Regents' Professor John Olsen, interim director of the School of Anthropology. 

Each year, an expert in Arab cultures is brought to campus for a public lecture and a master seminar for graduate students. 

"The lecture is the cornerstone of the School of Anthropology's public outreach program and offers everyone in the community the opportunity to learn from and interact with a wide spectrum of scholars interested in Arab cultures of the Middle East," Olsen said. 

In this talk, Cole will review the political and social changes in the Arab world over the last year, while also considering what such shifts mean to workers, women, intellectuals and businesses in the region.

Cole also will consider the outcome of the Tunisian and Egyptian elections, and survey continued protest movements, as well as look at the role of armed forces in Egypt and Libya during the transition.

Cole, the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at Michigan, has written widely about Egypt, Iran, Iraq and South Asia, and has commented extensively on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the Iraq War, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Iranian domestic struggles and foreign affairs.

For three decades, Cole has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context.

His most recent books are "Engaging the Muslim World" and "Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East." Also, Cole has been a regular guest on PBS's "Lehrer News Hour," and he also has appeared on "ABC Nightly News," "Nightline," the "Today" show, "Charlie Rose," "Anderson Cooper 360," "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," "The Colbert Report," "Democracy Now!" and other programs. He has a regular column at Truthdig