Oct 14, 2010    #105
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

UMKC Hosts 44th Annual Carolyn Benton Cockefair Continuing Education Series

Juan R.I. Cole presents "Engaging the Muslim World" Nov. 15

Instructor Carolyn Benton Cockefair believed that everyone - not just traditional college-age students - should continue learning. In honor of this sentiment, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is hosting its 44th annual Carolyn Benton Cockefair Continuing Education Series.

At 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15, Juan R.I. Cole will present "Engaging the Muslim World" at the University Center's Pierson Auditorium, 5000 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, Mo. Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan. Admission is free and open to the public. A book sale and signing will follow the lecture.

A scholar, public intellectual and historian of the modern Middle East and South Asia, Cole has spent three decades trying to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. He has written widely about Egypt, Iran, Iraq and South Asia, and has commented on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the Iraq War, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iranian domestic struggles and foreign affairs. His most recent books are "Engaging the Muslim World" (2009) and "Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East" (2007).

Proficient in Arabic, Persian and Urdu, Cole lived in the Middle East for almost 10 years and continues to travel widely there. In 2002, he launched Informed Comment, his award-winning blog about politics, religion and the War on Terror in the Middle East and South Asia. He has a regular column at, and has written op-eds for The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Nation and many other publications. A frequent guest on PBS' Lehrer News Hour, Cole has also appeared on ABC Nightly News, Nightline, The Today Show, Charlie Rose and Anderson Cooper 360.

The Series, formed in 1966 by Cockefair's former students, has brought such intellectuals as Tess Gallagher, James Michener, Jeane Kirkpatrick, John Updike and Tom Wolfe to Kansas City. Its purpose is to continue what Cockefair started when she first came to the then University of Kansas City in 1947.

Throughout her 17 years at the University, Cockefair drew a following from students and non-credited students who were attracted to her Socratic style of teaching and her ability to link history to current events.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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