UNH International Series Explores State of World Democracy

By Tracy Manforte
UNH News Bureau

DURHAM, N.H. -- The New Hampshire International Seminar Series enters its 18th year at the University of New Hampshire and this year asks the politically loaded question, "Is the World Really Moving Toward Democracy?"

The topic will be explored in a series of lectures by internationally renowned scholars and speakers beginning Friday, Oct. 29.

Leila Fawaz, dean for humanities and arts at Tufts University, will speak on "Democratic Ideals and Political Realities in Lebanon: A Historical Perspective," at 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building room 334. The time and location of each lecture will remain the same throughout the series. The lectures are free and open to the public.

A social historian of the Middle East, Professor Fawaz's publications include books titled "An Occasion for War: Mount Lebanon and Damascus in 1860" and "Merchants and Migrants in 19th Century Beirut."

Fawaz is also a member of several professional groups, including the Council on Foreign Relations, the Social Science Research Council's Middle East Regional Advisory Panel and the Harvard Center for Middle East Studies Visiting Committee. Her fellowship honors include awards from the Social Science Research Council, the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The seminar series continues Friday, Nov. 19, with a lecture by Funso Afolayan, UNH associate professor of history. An expert in African history, Afolayan will speak on "Building Democracy: Transitions, Illusions, Challenges and Prospects in Nigeria and South Africa."

Afolayan received his degrees from the University of Ise, in Nigeria, and has held fellowships and teaching appointments at Amherst College and Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

The series wraps up next semester with the following speakers and topics:

  • Feb. 4, 2000: Francis McCann, UNH professor of history, "Fernando Henrique Cardoso: A Philosopher-President and the Building of Brazilian Democracy."

  • March 3, 2000: Timothy Colton, director of the Davis Center for Russian Studies and professor of government and Russian studies at Harvard University, "Russian Democracy: Going Forward, Backward or Sideways?"

  • April 7, 2000: Sarah Meiklejohn Terry, Tufts University professor of political science, and research associate at the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard, "Factors in Successful Transition: Central Europe in Comparative Perspective."

The New Hampshire International Seminar Series is sponsored by the UNH Center for International Education with support from the Alumni Enrichment Fund, the Class of 1957, and the Yale-Maria Fund.

October 14, 1999

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