Oct 3, 2013 · 6:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m. · 5 Ivy Lane
Oct 17, 2013 · 4:30 p.m.– 6:00 p.m. · TBA
Samir Khalaf is professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Behavioral Research at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. Educated at AUB (BA 1955, MA 1957) and Princeton University (Ph.D 1964), he has also held academic appointments at Princeton, Harvard, MIT and New York University. He is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on comparative modernization, socio-cultural history, urbanization, and post-war reconstruction. Among his books are Sexuality in the Arab World (with John Gagnon, 2007) The Heart of Beirut (2006), Civil and Uncivil Violence in Lebanon (2002), Cultural Resistance: Global & Local Encounters in the Middle East (2001), Beirut Reclaimed (1994), Recovering Beirut (with Philip Khoury, 1993), Lebanons Predicament (1987), Persistence and Change in Nineteenth-Century Lebanon (1973) and Hamra of Beirut (1973). He has been a recipient of several international fellowships and research awards and appointed on the international jury to review master plans for the post-war reconstruction of Beirut. He is a trustee of several foundations and serves on the editorial boards of a score of international journals and publications. He has been recently honoured at Harvard (April 2007) and three programs in the university of Sydney and Melbourne in Australia (April 2009).
Oct 24, 2013 · 6:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m. · 5 Ivy Lane
Nov 14, 2013 · 4:30 p.m.– 6:00 p.m. · Room 137, 1879 Hall, Dept. of Religion
In recent years the new mind sciences have provided new ways to study the mind in general and meditation in particular. I will argue that the humanity scholars should take this new emerging paradigm seriously for it fills important gaps in our understanding of meditation and other religious phenomena. In particular it offers a welcome break from extreme social constructivism and provides new tools to understand subjective experience and its place in religious practice. I will also argue, however, that the reintroduction of notion of experience should not signal a return to the old mistakes and that the new paradigm, particularly in its embodied cognition form, provides ways to integrate the important insights of social constructivism within this new paradigm.