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October 2003

Release Date: October 2, 2003

Holland Symposium on Values to Provide Perspectives on Islam and the West

Two scholars who have studied and lived in Muslim cultures will explore the theme of "American Values and the World: Understanding and Misunderstanding" Oct. 27-28 during Angelo State University's E. James Holland Symposium on American Values.

Featured speakers Dr. John L. Esposito, professor and founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Dr. Thomas Gouttierre, dean of international studies and director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, will examine America's place among the cultures and politics of the world.

Esposito will deliver the opening address, "How Others See America," at 1:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27. Gouttierre will speak on "What In the World Is Going On" at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28. The symposium will conclude at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 with a panel discussion featuring both participants and Dr. Guoquiang Zheng of the ASU history faculty.

All sessions are open free to the community and all are in the C.J. "Red" Davidson Conference Center in the Houston Harte University Center at 1910 Rosemont on the ASU campus.

Earlier this year the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System renamed the annual Symposium on American Values in honor of Dr. E. James Holland, who retired this summer after 36 years at ASU. Holland, who served many years as ASU's dean of liberal and fine arts, established the annual fall symposium and served on the symposium's organizing committee.

Through the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Esposito uses education to minimize the clash of Islamic and Christian cultures and to alleviate the West's fears of Islam as a global threat. His specialty is Islamic politics and the impact of Islamic movements from North Africa to Southeast Asia. He teaches classes at Georgetown on Islam and the West, Women in Islam, and Politics and Islam. He is the author of more than 25 books, including What Everyone Should Know about Islam: Questions and Answers, Unholy War: Terror in the name of Islam and Women in Muslim Family Law.

Gouttierre has served with the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission to Afghanistan as a senior political affairs officer and has testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the U. S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations. Since 1986 he has served as the American specialist on Afghanistan, Tajikistan and South Asia at the meeting of the U.S. and Russian Task Force on Regional Conflicts. Gouttierre has published numerous articles on Afghan society, culture, and politics. He also is the author of a language text, Dari for Foreigners.

The Holland Symposium annually brings outstanding scholars to ASU. In addition to the three public lectures, the two-day symposium allows students to meet with the speakers in small groups and during class visits. In conjunction with the symposium, the university sponsors a creative contest for students.

Additional information on the program may be found at the symposium Web site at The 2003 Symposium Committee is chaired by Dr. Laurence F. Jones of the ASU government faculty. Jones can be contacted for additional information at 942-2262, Ext. 281, or at