Monday, August 25, 2008

UIS speaker series will begin with a look at modern Iran

Dr. Ali Ansari (left), professor of Iranian History and director of the Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, will speak on "Iran under Ahmadinejad: Populism and its Malcontents" beginning at 7 p.m., Monday, September 8, in Brookens Auditorium on campus at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The presentation is free and open to the public. Brookens Auditorium is located on the lower level of Brookens Library at UIS.

Dr. Ansari's talk will explore developments in domestic politics in Iran, especially since the ascendancy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and will discuss the role, influence, and consequences of the resurgence in charismatic autocracy, particularly its domestic and international repercussions.

In addition to his duties at St. Andrews, Dr. Ansari is an associate fellow of the Middle East Programme, Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House); a member of the Council, British Institute of Persian Studies; and program manager of the Institute's Modern Iran Project. His teaching and research interests include development of the state in the modern Middle East; social and intellectual history; and Islam and the West. At St. Andrews, his undergraduate teaching includes the honors course Jihad, Community, and Identity: Islamic Political Thought Past and Present.

Dr. Ansari's books include Iran under Ahmadinejad (Adelphi Papers, Routledge, 2008) and Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Roots of Mistrust (C Hurst and Co., 2006). More information about Dr. Ansari is available at

His address is presented as part of the ECCE Speakers Series at UIS -- campus-sponsored lectures by speakers who exemplify engaged citizenship. The series is also a course in the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience, the distinctive set of courses taken by undergraduates at UIS to foster appreciation for and practice of diversity and the active effort to make a difference in the world.

Upcoming programs for September include an examination of the 1908 Springfield race riot, presented by Dr. James Loewen, on September 11; the documentary "Springfield Had No Shame," written and produced by UIS staff member Dave Antoine, on September 15; a Constitution Day panel presentation on "Freedom of the Press in 2008" on September 17; and "Rethinking the Economics of Energy, Climate, and Food," with Dr. John Ickerd, on September 29. The complete schedule of speakers and topics for the 2008 Fall Semester is available at

For more information about the ECCE series, contact Kimberly Craig, series coordinator, at 206-6245 or send an e-mail to

Download a pdf file of an article titled "Iran under Ahmadinejad" by Dr. Ansari