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Arab World Lecture to Present 'Feminism in Islam' Feb. 27 at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Feb. 12, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — The inaugural presentation of the Arab World Lecture series will feature Dr. Miriam Cooke's lecture titled "Feminism in Islam" at 5:15 p.m. Feb. 27 in Phillips Recital Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Dr. Miriam Cooke
Cooke

Cooke — one of the pioneers in the Western academic tradition of Middle East women's studies — currently teaches at Duke University. An author of several books and the recipient of numerous awards and honors, Cooke earned her Ph.D. in Arabic literature from Oxford University in England.

Cooke's visit is possible because of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation's Arab World Lecture Fund, which supports a lecture series that focuses specifically on Middle Eastern and Arab world issues.

Cathy Sultan, a peace activist, author of "Israeli and Palestinian Voices: A Dialogue with Both Sides" and a UW-Eau Claire honorary alumna, and Dr. Kate Lang, chair of the history department, established the Arab World Lecture Fund to help educate the campus and greater Eau Claire community about Arab world issues.

Many individuals from the Middle East who are living in Eau Claire have donated to the fund because they believe education about Arab world issues is essential given current world politics, said Sultan, who received the honorary alumna from the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association for her work on Middle East peace initiatives.

"More than at any other time in our nation's history, it is essential we educate ourselves about the Middle East." Sultan said. "This lecture series will go a long way toward filling in that gap of basic knowledge."

Lang said she is delighted that the Arab-American community in Eau Claire is so supportive of the university's effort to broaden students' education about the Middle East.

"The funding will allow us to bring people like Dr. Cooke — scholars with national and international reputations — to Eau Claire at a time when it is critical for our students and others to learn about Arab countries," Lang said.

The lecture is sponsored by the Arab World Lecture Fund of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation; the departments of history, curriculum and instruction, English, geography and anthropology, philosophy and religious studies, political science, sociology, and women's studies; McIntyre Library; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Education and Human Sciences; Provost's Office; Center for History Teaching & Learning; Visiting Minority Scholars and Artists Program; and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

For more information, contact Dr. Kate Lang, associate professor and chair of the department of history, at 715-836-4765 or langkh@uwec.edu.

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JB

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