John W. Kiser to Speak at U.Va.'s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

January 27, 2009 — The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia will present award-winning author John W. Kiser discussing his new book, "Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader, A Story of True Jihad," on Jan. 29 from noon until 1:30 p.m. The talk at the institute, located at Watson Manor, 3 University Circle, is free and open to the public.

El-Kader, a 19th-century Algerian Muslim who fought and lost to French colonization, later preached peaceful, respectful relations with the French and is relevant for our times, according to Kiser. Devout and tolerant of other religions when he died, the New York Times called el-Kader "one of the few great men of the century."

Kiser also is the author of "Communist Entrepeneurs, Unknown Innovators in the Global Economy," "Stefan Zweig: Death of a Modern Man," and the 2006 French Siloe Prize-winning "Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love and Terror in Algeria, an Account of Muslim-Christian Harmony."

A former international technology broker, Kiser has a master's degree from Columbia University in European history and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He resides in Virginia with his family.

The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture is an interdisciplinary research center at U.Va. dedicated to understanding contemporary cultural change.

— By Anne Bromley