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UNH International Seminar Looks at Impact of Mass Communications on Muslim Societies

By Erika Mantz
UNH News Bureau

January 23, 2001


DURHAM, N.H. -- The New Hampshire International Seminar Series at the University of New Hampshire continues Friday, Feb. 9, with a look at how the combination of mass education and mass communications is transforming the Muslim majority world.

While fax machines, satellite television and the Internet have become almost as common as the telephone and photocopy machine in the United States, this proliferation of media is relatively new to the Muslim world. Dartmouth College Professor Dale Eickelman will talk about how it is resulting in public debates about the fundamentals of religious belief and politics, as well as rapidly eroding geographical boundaries to communication among like-minded people.

His lecture,"Blurred Boundaries: New Media and the Public Sphere in Muslim-majority Societies," is free and open to the public. It will take place in the UNH Memorial Union Building room 330 at 4 p.m. Refreshments begin at 3:30 p.m.

Eickelman is the Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations. He is a former president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and is currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. Eickelman has taught and lectured extensively on the Middle East. He co-edited "New Media in the Muslim World: The Emerging Public Sphere" in 1999.

"This conjuncture of mass education and the proliferation of new media and patterns of communication is as important as the introduction of the printing press in 16th century Europe," Eickelman says.

This seminar is the seventh of the "Yale-Maria Lectures in Middle East Studies," presentations made possible through the generous support of Dr. Frank Maria in memory of his colleague and friend, Dr. William Yale, professor of history at UNH from 1931 to 1957.

The New Hampshire International Seminar Series is sponsored by the UNH Center for International Education and the UNH Center for the Humanities, in association with the Saul O Sidore Memorial Lecture Series, "Education for the New Millennium," with support from the Alumni Enrichment Fund. For more information, call 603-862-2398.

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