Conventional wisdom asserts that US policy toward the Middle East under President Trump represents a departure from his predecessorsí approach to the region and its many problems. In this talk, focusing on some of the regionís many challenges and US multi-lateral relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Professor Brann will explore the ways in which coventional wisdom overstates the differences by focusing excessively on President Trumpís rhetoric and manner. He will also analyze the ways in which President Trump represents a complete departure from his predecessors and offer some thoughts on their destabilizing effects.
Ross Brann is the Milton R. Konvitz Professor of Judeo-Islamic Studies & Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow. Ross Brann studied at the University of California, Berkeley, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, New York University, and the American University in Cairo. He has taught at Cornell since 1986 and served four terms and nineteen years as Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Brann is the author of The Compunctious Poet: Cultural Ambiguity and Hebrew Poetry in Muslim Spain (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991) and Power in the Portrayal: Representations of Muslims and Jews in Islamic Spain (Princeton University Press, 2002). He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies of the University of Pennsylvania. Brann is also the editor of four volumes and author of many essays on the intersection of Jewish and Islamic culture. He is currently finishing Andalusi Moorings: Al-Andalus and Sefarad as Tropes of Islamic and Jewish Culture (for the University of Pennsylvania Press). In 1996, he received the Stephen and Margery Russell Award for Distinguished Teaching from the College of Arts and Sciences and in 2007 he was named Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow. From 2004-2010 Ross served as the founding West Campus House Professor-Dean of Alice Cook House, Cornellís first faculty-led student-run residence.
6:00pm reception; 6:30pm lecture, gratis. Members and guests are invited to dine at The Club with Professor Brann following the lecture. The cost is $45 per person, inclusive of tax, gratuity and one glass of wine with dinner. Dinner reservations are required 48 hours prior to the program. Same-day cancellations and no shows will be charged.