Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Iran and Contemporary World Developments Conference

I wanted to take the opportunity to call attention to the 1st Conference on Iran and Contemporary World Developments, which will be held at Imam Khomeini University in Iran on 19-20 August 2009. Here's a link to the conference website:

My colleague Bob Mayer and I will be chairing a panel, so feel free to put in a proposal. Also, please send this information along to anyone who might be interested. Thanks.


International and Inter-Civilizational Dialogue

In the year 2000 the United Nations, as part of its Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, encouraged all “Member States, regional and international organizations, civil society and non-governmental organizations to continue to develop appropriate initiatives at all levels to promote dialogue in all fields with a view to fostering mutual recognition and understanding among and within civilizations.” These are laudable goals, obviously, but how much progress have we made in achieving this “mutual recognition and understanding?” This panel is designed to explore efforts to inspire international and inter-civilizational dialogue, as well as the obstacles that remain. Taking the UN Resolution 55/23 as a guide, we are particularly interested in proposals on efforts to promote “human rights and fundamental freedoms,” celebrate “cultural pluralism and creative human diversity,” explore the changing role of women, or examine the opportunities/threats presented by the increased interrelatedness caused by globalization. These efforts at achieving dialogue may relate to specific programs launched by international, governmental or non-governmental agents, but can also consider educational, cultural or technological projects. Proposals should be sent to the co-chairs: Dr. Gary Scudder ( and Dr. Robert Mayer (

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