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October 2003

Release Date: October 21, 2003

Holland Symposium to Explore Global Conflict of Western, Islamic Values

Angelo State University's E. James Holland Symposium on American Values will examine the overriding international issue of our time the conflict between Western and Islamic values Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 27-28, on the ASU campus.

Dr. Kamran Aghaie, associate director for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and Dr. Thomas Gouttierre, dean of international studies and director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, will explore the symposium theme "American Values and the World: Understanding and Misunderstanding."

Having studied and lived in Muslim cultures, both Aghaie and Gouttierre will bring unique perspectives to the international issues and challenges facing the United States. Aghaie will deliver the opening address, "Muslim Perspectives on American Values," at 1:45 p.m. Monday. Gouttierre will speak on "What In the World Is Going On" at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. The symposium will conclude at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday with a panel discussion featuring both participants and Dr. Guoquiang Zheng of the ASU history faculty.

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

Aghaie is an authority on modern Islamic history with a particular focus on Shi'i symbols and rituals in contemporary Iran. His primary research areas include Islamic rituals as well as Islamic social and cultural history, religious and political discourses, historiography and nationalism. He teaches courses on a variety of Middle Eastern topics, including Islamic mysticism and spirituality, modern Iranian history/historiography and the Islamic Revolution of Iran.

Aghaie replaces on the program Georgetown University's Dr. John L. Esposito, who cancelled his scheduled participation in the Holland Symposium.

Gouttierre has served with the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission to Afghanistan as a senior political affairs officer. Since 1986 he has participated 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.

By vote of the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System, the longstanding ASU Symposium on American Values was re-named in honor of Dr. E. James Holland, who retired this summer after 36 years at ASU.

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