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The Fall 2016 alumni newsletter is now available!


Imperfect Strangers: Americans, Arabs, and U.S.-Middle East Relations in the 1970s

Salim Yaqub (UCSB, History)


Wednesday, January 25th, 5:00 pm, HSSB 6020 (McCune)

Salim Yaqub argues that the 1970s were a pivotal decade in U.S.-Arab relations—a time when Americans and Arabs became an inescapable presence in each other’s lives and perceptions, and when each society came to feel profoundly vulnerable to the political, economic, cultural, and even physical encroachments of the other. Throughout the seventies, these impressions aroused striking antagonism between the United States and the Arab world. Over the same period, however, elements of the U.S. intelligentsia grew more respectful of Arab perspectives, and a newly assertive Arab American community emerged into political life. These patterns left a contradictory legacy of estrangement and accommodation that continued in later decades and remains with us today.

*Books will be available for purchase and signing.

ySalim Yaqub is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Director of UCSB’s Center for Cold War Studies and International History. He is the author of Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East (University of North Carolina, 2004) and of several articles and book chapters on the history of U.S. foreign relations, the international politics of the Middle East, and Arab American political activism. His second book, Imperfect Strangers: Americans, Arabs, and U.S.-Middle East Relations in the 1970s, was published by Cornell University Press in September 2016.

Sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies


The Reception of Aristotelian Science in Early Islam:
A Historical Account

Dimitri Gutas
(Yale University)


Monday, February 13th
5:00 pm
HSSB 6020 (McCune)

Hellenic science in late antiquity in its historical, social, and political context. The consolidation of the Aristotelian/(Neo-)Platonic curriculum of higher studies, expressing the scientific outlook on reality of Hellenism in its defense against Christianity. The beginning of translations of parts of the curriculum into Syriac and Middle Persian, culminating with its wholesale translation into Arabic after the appearance of Islam. The social and historical context of the reception of the Aristotelian treatises into Arabic and their role in the formation of classical Islamic civilization, successor to the Hellenic.

Dimitri Gutas, Professor of Arabic and Graeco-Arabic in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Yale University, has devoted a large part of his scholarly career to the edition and study of Greek philosophical texts translated into Arabic and their influence in the Islamic world. In this field he has published Greek Wisdom Literature in Arabic Translation: A Study of the Graeco-Arabic Gnomologia (New Haven 1975), Greek Philosophers in the Arabic Tradition (Aldershot, Hampshire 2000), and has been involved from the beginning as co-editor in Project Theophrastus. He has also been involved in the longstanding project to compile A Greek and Arabic Lexicon. Dr. Gutas is also the author of Greek Thought, Arabic Culture (winner of the 2002 Special Honorary Award for the Study of Civilization, awarded by the Greek Society of Letters), Introduction to Reading Avicenna’s Philosophical Works (Leiden 1988; second, revised and augmented edition, including an inventory of Avicenna’s authentic works, Leiden 2013), and numerous articles.

Image: MS Istanbul, Topkapi Palace Library, Ahmet III 3206, f. 90r., copied and illuminated in mid-13th century. Al-Mubashshir ibn-Fatik, Choice Maxims and Best Sayings (Mukhtar al-hikam wa-mahasin al-kalim), composed in 1048-49.
F. 90r includes the last section on Aristotle’s life and depicts him holding an astrolabe while delivering a lecture to students, one of whom has an open book in front of him written in uncial (capital) Greek letters.

Presented by the Center for Middle East Studies, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, and the Departments of History, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, and Religious Studies at UCSB

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Fall 2016 alumni newsletter available now!

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