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Renowned Islamic Historian Juan Cole
to Speak at UW-Eau Claire Forum

RELEASED: Feb. 19, 2008

Juan Cole
Juan Cole

EAU CLAIRE — Juan Cole, one of the world's foremost Islamic historians, will speak on "The Iraq Crisis and the Future of America" March 4 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Forum program will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.

Dr. Kate Lang, chair of the UW-Eau Claire department of history, will host a pre-Forum hors d'oeuvres reception from 6-7 p.m. with Cole in The Dulany of Davies Center. Tickets are $5 in advance or at the door.

The Richard P. Mitchell Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Cole has written extensively about Egypt, Iran, Iraq and South Asia, and he has a regular column at Salon.com. His Web site is a highly regarded source of insight, information and analysis. Cole studies and writes about contemporary Islamic movements, and he is a leading expert on Iraq and the role of the United States and the Iraqi resistance in the war.

"The U.S. military cannot shore up this government, even with an extra division, because the government is divided against itself," Cole has written. "It is over with. Iraq is in for years of heavy political violence of a sort that no foreign military force can hope to stop."

Cole is president of the Global Americana Institute and author of numerous books and articles on Islam and the Middle East. His most recent book, "Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East" (2007), deals with issues of the Iraq crisis and the future of America. Cole's work as a historian has examined Shi'i Islam as a world religion that has faced modernity on its own terms and the ways in which the Shi'is have sought to define space and time as sacred, defending those spaces from encroachment by the "Other," whether that other be Sunni Arab, Hindu, Jew or Christian.

The Forum program will be interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing. Cole's presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session and an informal reception in the auditorium.

Tickets for The Forum are $7 for the public, $5 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $3 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets are available at the Service Center in the east lobby of Davies Center and will be sold at the door.

Patrons may also charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support. Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites (715-838-9989) at 3340 Mondovi Road is the exclusive accommodations partner for The Forum.

Funded by UW-Eau Claire students, The Forum is administered by the Activities and Programs office.

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JS/NW

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