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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Author Reza Aslan Named Keynote Speaker for UCM’s Annual Politics and Social Justice Week

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (March 12, 2015) – Reza Aslan, internationally acclaimed author and scholar of religions, will be the keynote speaker for the 2015 Politics and Social Justice Week, planned for March 30-April 8 at the University of Central Missouri.

Aslan will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in the Laura J. Nahm Auditorium in the W.C. Morris Science Building on the UCM campus.

Bringing Together a World Divided is the theme for the week of presentations by speakers on a wide range of topics related to social justice. Aslan, a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, is the author of a variety of books on religion and society. His first book is the international bestseller, No God but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into 17 languages and was named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade.

Resa Aslan
Reza Aslan

Aslan also is the author of How to Win a Cosmic War, published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in a Globalized Age, as well as editor of two volumes, Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalties, Contentions, and Complexities. His most recent book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, has been translated into 28 languages and was a #1New York Times bestseller.

Aslan serves on the board of trustees for the Chicago Theological Seminary and is a member of the American Academy of Religions, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the International Qur'anic Studies Association. He is the founder of AslanMedia, a social media network for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world, and co-founder and chief creative officer of BoomGen Studios, the premier entertainment brand for creative content from and about the Greater Middle East.He is a frequent guest on news programs and talk shows on channels such as CNN and HBO.

Aslan's degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in the Sociology of Religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction.

Members of the community are invited to join the campus community at all events planned for the week. The week will open with candlelight vigil planned for 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, on the Elliott Union Mall, featuring a variety of speakers from the campus and community. In addition to Aslan’s presentation, speakers and panel discussions are scheduled throughout the week on a variety of topics, including Immigration and Policing, Media and Politics, Policing and Race, Affirmative Action and Education, North Korea and Women in Politics.

A full schedule of 2015 Politics and Social Justice Week events is available online.

Politics and Social Justice Week at UCM is jointly sponsored by the Department of Government, International Studies and Languages; Students for Political Action; the UCM Student Government Association; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Department of Communication; Department of Criminal Justice; Center for Teaching and Learning, College of Education and the Office of the University President.