Distinguished Lecture: “Spotlight on the Middle East” – March 10

The Emeriti Center and the Retired Faculty Association presented “Spotlight on the Middle East: Challenges to and Approaches of the New Administration”, a Distinguished Lecture and Academic Sherry Hour, on March 10, 2017.

Speaker: Professor Laurie Brand


Professor Laurie A. Brand is the Robert Grandford Wright Professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at USC, where she directed the Center for International Studies, served as Director of the School of International Relations, and currently directs the Middle East Studies Program. She served as president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) and since 2006 has chaired its Committee on Academic Freedom. A former Carnegie Corporation Scholar and a four-time Fulbright scholar to the Middle East and North Africa, she is author of Palestinians in the Arab World (1988), Jordan’s Inter-Arab Relations (1994), Women, the State and Political Liberalization (1998), Citizens Abroad: States and Emigration in the Middle East and North Africa (2006) and most recently Official Stories: Politics and National Narratives in Egypt and Algeria. Brand has conducted field research in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Her current research interests concern migration, citizenship and diaspora in international politics, national narrative construction and the politics of academic freedom in the Middle East North Africa region.

Lecture Topic: Among the foreign policy challenges discussed during the 2016 campaign, countries and issues from the Middle East region had a particularly high profile. Since the elections, cabinet and advisor nominees, and since the inauguration, further statements and executive orders have continued to keep the Middle East in the news.

In this talk, Prof. Brand focused on continuities and departures in the administration’s pronouncements and evolving policies toward the region – from refugees and ISIS to approaches to peace in Israel/Palestine – as well as regional actors’ reactions to the changes in Washington.