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  • Originally published 08/19/2013

    Egypt boils over: Harvard prof. E. Roger Owen explains how unrest rolled out, and where it may lead

    The tension and unrest that arose in Egypt last month after the army ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi exploded this week, with hundreds of people killed as security forces broke up camps of protesters demanding Morsi's return.The widening violence raised questions about the democratic future of a key American ally and an important partner in Middle East peace efforts, and also cast a shadow over the durability of changes wrought in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.To better understand what's going on in Egypt, Gazette staff writer Alvin Powell spoke with Harvard's E. Roger Owen, A. J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History Emeritus, about the fighting and about what Egypt's future might hold.GAZETTE: What is at the roots of the clashes going on in Egypt today?OWEN: Well, I think there are two roots. One is a very long antipathy—or fight to the death—between the army and the Muslim Brothers. Most of the time since the [Gamal Abdel] Nasser revolution of 1952, the army has been involved in putting Muslim Brothers in jail. So there's no love lost between them.

  • Originally published 05/14/2013

    Niall Ferguson Meets with Students; Harvard Faculty Clarify Stance

    Credit: Flickr.UPDATE 12:13PM: David Armitage, chair of the Harvard history department, wrote in an email to Inside Higher Ed that the department requested a "post in the modern history of gender and sexuality (jointly with Harvard's program in women and gender studies) long before the recent debate arose." He also pointed to the work of Afsaneh Najmabadi, Nancy Cott, and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich as an example of Harvard's pre-existing strength in the field of gender and sexuality studies.Historian Niall Ferguson, in an attempt to blunt criticism of his recent controversial remarks about John Maynard Keynes's sexuality, spoke on Monday to students at a lunchtime panel at the Harvard College Women's Center.

  • Originally published 05/07/2013

    Harvard historian apologizes for homophobic remark

    The prominent academic and public intellectual Niall Ferguson posted an “unqualified apology” to his blog Saturday after coming under fire for making seemingly anti-gay remarks at a recent public appearance.Ferguson, a historian at Harvard University and regular contributor to Newsweek, told attendees of the Tenth Annual Altegris Conference in Carlsbad, Calif., that the mid-century British economist John Maynard Keynes “didn’t care about future generations” because “he was a homosexual and was married to a ballerina, with whom he likely talked of ‘poetry’ rather than procreated,” according to a financial journalist who attended the conference....

  • Originally published 03/28/2013

    James T. Kloppenberg: The 2012 Election And The Future of The Parties

    James T. Kloppenberg is the Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University. He has a Ph.D. in History and Humanities from Stanford and has held fellowships from the Danforth, Whiting, and Guggenheim foundations, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His 2010 book Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition explores Obama’s political philosophy and commitment to democratic deliberation.The election of 2012 is behind us. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have completed their last campaigns and given their final victory and concession speeches.It is time to reflect on the persistent themes that characterized the campaign and locate the election in relation to the parties’ trajectories in recent years. Identifying those themes might explain, better than pundits’ fascination with demography or with politics as a game of imagery and maneuver, the reasons why the president was reelected by a larger margin than many analysts predicted.

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