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Release: March 20, 2001

Israeli scholar of Modern Islam to visit the UI March 26-28

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Emmanuel Sivan, a scholar of contemporary Islam, will visit the University of Iowa as an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor March 26-28.

Sivan, who has focused his scholarly energies on tracing the historical and intellectual roots of religious radicalism in the Middle East, will give a free public lecture during his visit. His presentation, "Democracy and Islam," takes place Monday, March 26, from 4-5:30 in room S401 Pappajohn Business Building. He will also meet with undergraduates in classes and speak to faculty and graduate students in the UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication. On Tuesday,
March 27, he will take part in a brown bag lunch with UI students at the Hillel Foundation.

Sivan is a professor of history at Hebrew University in Israel. In his work on religious radicalism, he has begun to look beyond Islam to explore the phenomenon of fundamentalism in other major religions.

In addition, Sivan is actively involved in civic affairs in the Middle East. He served for many years as an op-ed writer for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz and for the London-based Arab daily Al-Hayat. From 1993-1996, Sivan was an advisor to Prime Minister Rabin for negotiations with the PLO on civilian affairs.

Sivan's visit is co-sponsored by five College of Liberal Arts departments -- history, political science, religion, sociology and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications -- and by UI International Programs.

Sivan's activities at the UI are supported by the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program, which brings outstanding scholars to the UI campus for residencies ranging from a few days to an entire academic year. A native of Vinton, Iowa, Beam willed her farm to the UI in 1977. Proceeds from the sale of the farm were used to establish the visiting professorships program in her name. Since 1977, hundreds of eminent scholars and scientists have visited the UI campus to give public lectures and to meet with students and faculty.