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Leading Syrian Studies Scholar Joshua Landis to Speak on "ISIS, Syria and the Crisis in the Middle East"

NORMAN – Joshua Landis, one of the leading scholars internationally in Syrian studies, will discuss “ISIS, Syria and the Crisis in the Middle East” at a President’s Associates dinner at the University of Oklahoma on Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Molly Shi Boren Ballroom of Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave.

Landis is the Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at OU and is regarded by many as one of the world’s leading experts on Syria and its surrounding countries. He is most notable for his daily blog “Syria Comment,” which focuses on Syrian politics and attracts some 100,000 readers monthly in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.

“It is a privilege to have on our own campus one of the world’s leading scholars and commentators on the crisis in the Middle East,” said OU President David L. Boren. “The Associates dinner will give the OU community an opportunity to learn more and be brought up to date about this critical part of the world.”

Landis has lived over 14 years in the Middle East and speaks Arabic and French fluently. An award-winning teacher and the recipient of three Fulbright grants, he has lived four years in Syria, most recently spending 2005 in Damascus as a Senior Fulbright Research Fellow and has returned most summers until the revolution began.

Landis has written 63 articles on Syria and the Middle East, which includes more than 28 online publications. His most recent works, “Why Syria is the Gordian knot of Obama’s anti-ISIL campaign” and “Stay Out of Syria” appeared in Al Jazeera America and Foreign Policy, respectively.

Because of his expertise, Landis is a recurrent traveler to Washington D.C., where he consults with the State Department and other government agencies. He is frequently interviewed by a wide range of broadcast media and most recently appeared on the PBS NewsHour, Charlie Rose, Al Jazeera, Frontline, NPR and BBC. In addition, he has been widely quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, L.A. Times and is a guest analyst for NPR and BBC radio.

Landis also is a highly sought-after lecturer and has spoken at numerous venues, including the Brookings Institute, United States Institute of Peace, Middle East Institute and Council on Foreign Relations. 

Landis teaches Political Islam, International Relations in the Middle East, Islam, the Modern Middle East, Culture and Society in the Middle East, and the U.S. in the Middle East. In 2014, he received the OU Regents’ Award for Superior Professional and University Service and Public Outreach. He earned his doctoral degree from Princeton University after earning his master’s at Harvard.

Limited seating is available by reservation for OU students, faculty and staff, with overflow seating available to the public. For reservations, more information and accommodations, please call the OU Office of Public Affairs at (405) 325-3784 or email