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Liberal Arts Distinguished Lecturer Series

Spring 2019 Lineup

A Short History of Islamphobia from the Age of Reagan to the Age of Trump

Douglas Little, Ph.D., Clark University

March 7 (Thursday) | 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. | 109 HLC

Islamophobia in America dates from the early 1980s, when Ronald Reagan demonized rogue states like Iran and Libya while playing with fire in Afghanistan.  Civilizational warfare between America and the Muslim world loomed in the 1990s, and following the 9/11 attacks radical Islam replaced communism in George W. Bush’s global war on terrorism.  Barack Obama sought a “dialogue of civilizations” based on reforms in the Arab world and improved relations with Iran, but Donald Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric has helped unleash another outburst of Islamophobia. 

Douglas Little is the Robert and Virginia Scotland Professor of History and International Relations at Clark University, where he has taught since 1978. He is the author of American Orientalism: The United States and the Middle East since 1945, 3rd edition (Chapel Hill, NC, 2008) and Us versus Them: The United States, Radical Islam, and the Rise of the Green Threat (Chapel Hill, NC, 2016).  His current research focuses on Ronald Reagan and the Third World, with special emphasis on the Middle East.

Math and Music:  The Greatest Hits

Gareth Roberts, Ph.D., College of the Holy Cross

March 28 (Thursday) | 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. | 109 HLC

The connections between mathematics and music are numerous, deep, and fun to investigate. While this may sound surprising to some, early educational traditions, such as those proposed by Plato and later Boethius, grouped music with the subjects of arithmetic and geometry. Using a “music first” approach, Dr. Roberts will reveal the hidden connections between these two fields, and in the process, encourage a greater appreciation and desire for mathematical thinking. 

Gareth E. Roberts is a professor of mathematics at the College of the Holy Cross. He received his B.A. in 1992 from Oberlin College where he studied mathematics, music, soccer, and ultimate frisbee. He later studied dynamical systems, particularly celestial mechanics, at Boston University, earning his Ph. D. in mathematics in 1999. In 2016, he published his first book, From Music to Mathematics: Exploring the Connections, an undergraduate textbook designed to motivate mathematical thinking through music. Professor Roberts plays jazz piano and is the proud papa of two wonderful children, Owen and Vivian.

The Distinguished Lecturer Series is grateful to Professor of Mathematics, Andreana Grimaldo for making Dr. Roberts' visit to QCC possible.