Middle East policy focus of Linfield anthropology lecture

The importance of incorporating anthropology in foreign affairs will be the topic discussed by William Beeman, professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota, in a lecture at Linfield College.

“Middle East Foreign Policy: Why the State Department Needs Anthropologists” will be presented Monday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall, at Linfield.

The United States has been actively engaged in foreign policy in the Middle East since World War II. This period has been tumultuous, in part because the United States had a shallow base of Middle Eastern expertise and poor understanding of Middle Eastern culture. Beeman’s lecture will outline the difficulties America has faced in the past and the significance of learning from these problems for future dilemmas, fostering stability and productive cooperation throughout the region.

Beeman earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago. His research in recent years has explored neuroscience and cognition in conjunction with music and theatrical performance. He is an internationally known expert on the Middle East and the Islamic world, particularly Iran, the Gulf region and Central Asia. He has also conducted research in Japan, India, Nepal, China and Europe.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Hillary Crane, assistant professor of anthropology, at 503-883-2286 or hcrane@linfield.edu.