Upcoming Lectures, Seminars, and Colloquia

For previous events, click here.

Fall 2019

photo of ShatzmillerDr. Maya Shatzmiller

Research Initiative on the Economics of the Middle East

Fourth workshop, Panmure House, Edinburgh 
14-15 November 2019

Keynote lecture: Maya Shatzmiller, University of Western Ontario, ‘Structural change and economic development in the Islamic Middle East, 700-1500’                           

The Programme for the workshop may be accessed through the following link:

photo of participants at the talk


Image of Ingrid Hehmeyer

Ingrid Hehmeyer
Associate Professor
History of Science and Technology
Ryerson University

The Transmission of Knowledge:
Examples from Classical Arabic Medicine

October 29th, 2019
Lawson Hall 2270 C
In Greek humoralism, the cause of illness is explained as a disturbance of the natural balance of the four bodily humors. This theory formed the unchallenged basis of classical Arabic medicine. Using text examples from one of the most influential books in the history of medicine, Ibn Sīnā’s Canon of Medicine (completed in 1023), we will examine the theoretical framework of the Canon and how it is reflected in recommendations for medical treatment. The translators of the Greek medical texts faced serious difficulties and we will look into how they solved them. The talk will conclude with some medical scenes from Arabic manuscripts that show the challenges involved in the transmission of medical knowledge.

photo of participants at the talk


Professor Mohammad Fadel                                                                          
Professor of Law
University of Toronto
Economic Reasoning in Early Islamic Law, Several Cases from the Muwatta   
Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018
3:00pm, 1227 Lawson Hall

A look at Muwatta’of Malik b. Anas as evidence for the willingness to use economic reasoning in the law, and the efficiency-enhancing nature of Islamic law. 

For Professor’s Fadel’s research project on Malik’s Muwatta’ see and


Dr. Feyzi Baban                                                                                           photo of Feyzi Baban
Associate Professor, Department of Political Studies
Trent University

Can Turkish Democracy Survive the Rule of the AKP?
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
4PM Room 2270C Lawson Hall

Feyzi Baban is working on two SSHRC funded five year research projects. The first project investigates why, how and under what conditions some communities in various European countries are more open to cultural difference than others; what types of projects facilitate openness to newcomers and how do citizens and non-citizens participate in these projects in ways that transform understandings of citizenship and belonging. The second project studies humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees and rights claims emerging from legal, political and economic precarious conditions Syrian refugees face in Turkey.

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Sara Khorshid
PhD candidate in History
University of Western Ontario

Egypt Post the Arab Spring: Political Developments Since 2011
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
1:30pm Room 1227 Lawson Hall

A look at how the political situation in Egypt has evolved since the 2011 Uprising, and why what started as a revolutionary triumph for democratization has spiraled into a tense political situation and an unprecedented crackdown on dissidents 


Dr. Zheger Hassan                                                                                      photo of Zheger-Hassan
Adjunct Professor of Political Science
King's University College at the University of Western Ontario

The Kurdish State in the Middle East: a New Power Broker
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
3:30-5:00 Room 2270C Lawson Hall

The talk by Professor Hassan discussed the factors that provided the opening for the emergence of Iraqi Kurdistan as an important player in the politics of Iraq and the Middle East.  It explained that the presence of ISIS in Iraq and Syria provided Iraqi Kurdistan with opening to become a strategic actor in the Middle East. Specifically, the fight against ISIS propelled regional and international actors to enter into a political and military alliance with Iraqi Kurdistan. This furnished the Kurds with unprecedented influence and leverage in Iraq and the broader Middle East.

Dr. Hassan published an op- ed in the Globe and Mail – July 7, 2017

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Dr. Maya Shatzmiller
Department of History
University of Western Ontario

Friday, March 11, 2016
18th Annual Graduate Student Conference

 The talk addressed the recent developments in the Middle East and reflected on them in light of the two research projects I am conducting: “Women in Islamic Law.”, and “Structural change and economic development in the medieval Middle East.” The research projects may be accessed through the following link:

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Dr. Vivian McAlister
Professor, Division of General Surgery
University of Western Ontario

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
3:30-5:00 Room 2270C Lawson Hall

The signature weapon in recent conflicts in the Middle East is the Improvised Explosive Device (IED). When it is directed against individuals it is known as the anti-personnel IED. Dr McAlister and his colleagues cataloged injuries caused by this device. They demonstrated how the injuries are much worse than those seen with conventional anti-personnel landmines, against which the Ottawa Treaty was designed. McAlister and colleagues report that was published in the British Medical Journal demonstrates that use of the Anti-personnel IED might be a war crime. 

About Dr McAlister:
Dr McAlister is a general surgeon, at University Hospital London, with special interest in hepatobiliary, endobiliary, transplant and combat surgery. He is the Angus D. McLachlin Professor of Surgery at the University of Western Ontario. He was a regular force member of the Royal Canadian Medical Service, Canadian Armed Forces, (rank Lieutenant Colonel) and has deployed overseas many times. His research interests include fundamental and clinical research in these areas as well as their history. He has been president of the Canadian Society of Transplantation and the Canadian Organ Replacement Registry. Dr McAlister was a member of council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and was chair of Region Advisory Committee (RAC) 3 (Ontario and Nunavut) of the Royal College. As editor-in-chief, he increased the Impact Factor of the Canadian Journal of Surgery fivefold. Dr McAlister was awarded the John McCrae Memorial Medal by the Canadian Medical Association and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian Association of Transplantation in 2019.


Dr. Tarek Loubani                                                                                   
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
University of Western Ontario
Consultant physician, Division of Emergency Medicine
London Health Sciences Centre

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
3:30-5:00 Room 2270C Lawson Hall

The health situation in Gaza has experienced a sharp deterioration in the past decade. In this talk, Dr. Tarek Loubani examines the rising health needs and the impact of the blockade and several wars on the ability of Gaza's health system to cope. Dr. Loubani is an emergency physician working in London, Ontario and volunteering in the Gaza Strip's Al-Shifa hospital.