UVA Sets Educational Programming Related to Conflict in the Middle East

October 31, 2023
Rotunda in the fall

(Photo by Erin Edgerton, University Communications)

Schools, centers and faculty at the University of Virginia are arranging a variety of educational opportunities for students, faculty, staff and members of the broader community seeking to better understand the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

“I’m grateful to the many faculty, departments and schools across the University who are offering a space for critical engagement on the conflict in the Middle East,” President Jim Ryan said. “Universities have a crucial role to play in bringing honesty, fair-mindedness and scholarly expertise to difficult topics, and I hope and expect that UVA will be a place for real conversations informed by multiple perspectives.”  

UVA experts and others will share their knowledge of the Middle East and its history, the current war between Israel and Hamas, and related topics. The goal of the upcoming lectures, workshops and academic programming is to foster opportunities for civil, empathetic and informed exchanges. 

“We are committed to actively advancing knowledge, sharing the intellectual insights of our community and cultivating habits of empathetic listening and debate in all times, particularly the most difficult of times,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Ian Baucom. “Collectively, we have significant knowledge about the incredibly complex historical moment we are in, and a commitment to sharing that knowledge for our common good.”

The following opportunities are already scheduled as part of this effort, and more events will be added soon. Additional programming will be posted on a website hosted by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost as plans become available.

• Thursday, 9 a.m.: “Colliding Crises: The Israel-Hamas Conflict, the War in Ukraine, and Geopolitics” (Online only, registration required)

In this live webinar discussion convened by UVA’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, experts in history, political science, economics, law and diplomacy from across the University join veteran government practitioners to discuss the array of world crises now challenging American policymakers. Speakers include William Antholis, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, Eric Edelman, John M. Owen IV, Spencer D. Bakich, Stephen D. Mull, Aynne Kokas, Harry Harding, Shirley Lin, Phil Potter and Mara Rudman.

Friday, noon, Great Hall in Garrett Hall: “Understanding Global Conflicts and Exploring Possibilities for Peace: A Dialogue With Professor Paul Martin”

For many years, professor Paul Martin has led students on a capstone experience to Northern Ireland, where they study a community that emerged from a conflict that lasted decades and claimed thousands of lives.

In 1993, the prospects for peaceful solutions to the conflict in Northern Ireland, and between Israelis and Palestinians, were highlighted by White House involvement in both conflicts, but only in Northern Ireland was a fragile peace achieved. What lessons can be gleaned from historical perspectives on conflicts elsewhere in the world? Join us for this lunch and learn and share your own thoughts and ideas.  

• Nov. 9, 1 p.m., Rotunda (or online, registration required): “Democracy Dialogues: Free Speech at Universities”

In this “Democracy Dialogues” event, experts take a close look at how free speech relates to academic freedom at universities, examining different perspectives on whether and how to protect all forms of speech on college campuses and demonstrating the importance of having deliberative dialogue around free speech issues in education.

Executive Vice President and Provost Ian Baucom will introduce the session, which includes speakers Jennifer Ruth, Jonathan Zimmerman, Jered Cooper and moderator Leslie Kendrick.

Media Contact

Bethanie Glover

Deputy University Spokesperson