The Middle East

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with Dr. Charles E. Ziegler, who is Professor of Political Science as well as Distinguished Research Scholar at the University of Louisville. He specializes on the domestic, foreign, and security policies of Russia and Eurasia, and he recently gave an address at the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations entitled "Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect: The Rest Against the West?" Dr. Ziegler has published over eighty book...

On this edition of our show, we offer a conversation with author Hisham Matar. His first novel, "In the Country of Men," was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Novel Prize, and his latest book, his third, is a memoir entitled "The Return." This work tells the story of his father's kidnapping by Muammar Qaddafi's government -- and of the fallout endured by Matar and his family over the ensuing decades. (Matar was born in New York City to Libyan parents.) Matar is...

On this installment of ST, we speak with Blaise Misztal, the director of the National Security Program at the Bipartisan Policy Center, which is a Washington-based think tank aimed at developing principled, politically viable policy solutions. Over the years, Misztal has researched a variety national security issues, including U.S.-Turkey relations, Iran and its nuclear program, cybersecurity, stabilizing fragile states, and public diplomacy in the 21st century. He has published op-eds in The...

On this edition of ST, our guest is Yuval Rabin, son of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who will appear at the Circle Cinema tonight (Tuesday the 20th) as part of the 3rd Annual Oklahoma Jewish Film Festival. This event is a special screening-plus-Q&A gathering co-presented by the Circle Cinema, the Jewish Federation of Tulsa, and the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art. Mr. Rabin will present -- and then answer questions about -- a documentary film concerning his late...

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak by phone with John Kael Weston, who represented the United States for more than a decade as a State Department official. Weston has a new book out -- part memoir, part critique, part military history, and part geo-political reportage -- which he discusses with us today. It's called "The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan." As was noted by The Washington Post: "As a former Foreign Service officer, Weston is perfectly positioned to...

As noted in a 2014 article by Robert Kaplan in Forbes Magazine: "Geopolitics is the battle for space and power played out in a geographical setting. Just as there are military geopolitics, diplomatic geopolitics, and economic geopolitics, there is also energy geopolitics. For natural resources and the trade routes that bring those resources to consumers are central to the study of geography. Every international order in early modern and modern history is based on an energy resource. Whereas...

In the pre-9/11 past, threats to international security could usually be attributed to this or that "dangerous" or "unstable" nation-state. Today, however, such threats are quite often attributed not to nation-states, but to "non-state actors" like Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, or the Islamic State (IS). We're speaking about this dramatic shift in thinking -- and in action, and in policy -- with Dr. Dan Caldwell, a professor of political science at Pepperdine University’s Seaver College. Dr. Caldwell...

Our guest on StudioTulsa is author Andrew Solomon, winner of the National Book Award and National Books Critics' Circle Award, whose past books include "Far From the Tree" and "The Noonday Demon." He speaks with us about latest volume, a collection of essays entitled "Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change, Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years." It's a book that chronicles Solomon's stint in Moscow in 1991, when he joined artists in resisting the coup whose failure ended the Soviet...

On this segment of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to chat with Elaine Pagels, a leading theological scholar in America who has taught at Princeton University since 1982. Pagels is also a bestselling author; her landmark book, "The Gnostic Gospels," analyzed more than 50 early Christian manuscripts that had been unearthed in Egypt in the 1940s -- and it won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and National Book Award. Her most recent book, which is a New York Times bestseller and Editors'...

On this installment of ST, we speak with Frédéric Brenner, an internationally acclaimed photographer who's best known for this documentation of Jewish communities around the world. His photographs have been shown at (among other prestigious venues) the International Center of Photography in New York, the Musée de l'Élysée in Lausanne, and the Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam. Brenner (born in 1959 in Paris) is also the author/initiator of an exhibition called "This Place," which just...

On this edition of ST, we speak with the two Michigan State University professors who will be jointly delivering the Cadenhead-Settle Memorial Lecture in History tonight (Monday the 15th) on the TU campus. The lecture is free to the public; it begins at 7:30pm in Helmerich Hall. Our guests are Lewis H. Siegelbaum and Leslie Page Moch, who are also the co-authors of "Broad Is My Native Land: Repertoires and Regimes of Migration in Russia's Twentieth Century" (Cornell University Press). They'll...

On this edition of ST, a discussion with Robert W. Jordan, who is Diplomat in Residence and Adjunct Professor of Political Science in the Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. Jordan served as U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2001 to 2003, taking charge of his mission in the wake of the 9/11 attacks -- an especially critical time in U.S.-Saudi relations. Jordan spoke recently here in Tulsa, when he was guest of the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations. He's...

On this edition of ST, we listen back to an interview that originally aired in June of last year. At that time, we had an interesting conversation with the British author and scholar Toby Wilkinson, a widely respected scholar of Egyptology. His many books include the prize-winning "Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt" and "Genesis of the Pharaohs" --- and his newest book, recently issued in paperback from Vintage, is "The Nile: A Journey Downriver Through Egypt's Past and Present." As this...

On this edition of ST, we speak with Lynsey Addario, an award-winning American photojournalist whose work appears regularly in The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time magazine. Having covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur, the Congo, Haiti, and elsewhere, Addario is also the author of a well-regarded new autobiography, "It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War," which Publishers Weekly has called "a highly readable and thoroughly engaging memoir.... Addario's...

On this edition of ST, we speak with Brian Katulis, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where his work focuses on U.S. national security policy in the Middle East and South Asia. Katulis -- who recently gave an address to the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations, and who spoke with us while he was in town -- has served as a consultant to numerous U.S. government agencies, private corporations, and non-governmental organizations on projects in more than two dozen countries,...

On this edition of ST, we speak with Dr. Miriam Belmaker, an assistant professor of anthropology here at the University of Tulsa as well as a paleoanthropologist who studies the remains of small rodent species to determine environmental effects on human dwelling places and communities -- and on humanity's ancient ancestors. In doing so, she studies how changes in the climate over the past two million years may have affected human development and evolution. Her very interesting work, which she...

On this installment of ST, we listen back to a 1999 interview with Marcus Borg, a noted liberal theologian and New Testament scholar who was among the first -- from the 1980s onward -- to analyze Jesus as a historical figure. Borg, who died last week at age 72 of a lung ailment, appeared on StudioTulsa a few times over the years. This discussion marks his first appearance on our program. As was noted of Borg in his AP obituary: "A popular speaker, frequent television commentator, and the...

On this installment of ST, we speak with Assaf Gavron, an Israeli novelist whose widely hailed fiction has been translated into several languages. Gavron's latest novel, newly available in English from Scribner's, is called "The Hilltop." Acclaimed by at least one critic as "the Great Israeli Novel" and winner of the prestigious Bernstein Prize, this ambitious, many-layered, and occasionally quite funny story explores contemporary life in a West Bank settlement. It's a novel that is, as The...

On this edition of ST, an interesting conversation with the British author and scholar Toby Wilkinson, who earned a degree in Egyptology from Downing College, Cambridge, and has been awarded several prestigious awards in his academic field. His many books include the prize-winning "Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt" and "Genesis of the Pharaohs" --- and his newest book, just out, is "The Nile: A Journey Downriver Through Egypt's Past and Present." As this appreciative summary from Kirkus Reviews...

On this installment of ST, we offer a discussion of how oil, coal, and other energy sources are influencing today's international geo-politics. Our guest is James Clad, a diversely experienced foreign-affairs and oil-policy expert who consults for various energy and investment firms worldwide. Clad is a senior adviser at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) in Arlington, Virginia, as well as an advisor to IHS Jane's and Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). From 2002 to 2010, Clad...

On this edition of The Best of StudioTulsa, we listen back to our conversation with author and journalist Scott Anderson, who has reported from Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Sudan, Bosnia, El Salvador, and other war- and strife-torn countries. Anderson's newest book, which he speaks about on today's show, is "Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East." One New York Times book critic has hailed this work as "fine, sophisticated, richly detailed...[and]...

On this edition of ST, we chat with the author and journalist Scott Anderson, who has reported from Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Sudan, Bosnia, El Salvador, and many other strife-torn countries, and whose writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Harpers, and Outside. Anderson tells us about his newest book, Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East, which a New York Times book critic has hailed as fine, sophisticated,...

Our guest is Barbara Slavin, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center who's also the Washington correspondent for Al-Monitor.com , a website devoted to news from and about the Middle East. (You can read some her recent Al-Monitor articles here .) Slavin is also the author of "Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S., and the Twisted Path to Confrontation" --- and she regularly discusses Iran and/or America's relationship with Iran on NPR, PBS, and C-SPAN. Previously,...

Our guest on this edition of ST is Molly Williamson, a highly experienced former Foreign Service Officer who served six U.S. Presidents over the course of a long, far-flung career, eventually achieving the rank of Career Minister. Throughout the 1990's and early 2000's, she held important positions within the U.S. Departments of Energy, Commerce, State, and Defense. (She remains a member of Georgetown University's MSFS oral boards, and a board member of the American Foreign Service...

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. An award-winning author and scholar who's seen as one of the more accomplished experts in her academic field, Moss has a new book out that's certain to foster debate among readers (and believers) both near and far; the book is "The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom." This work argues that...

On this installment of ST, we welcome Dr. Elizabeth Colton, who's still pursuing an active, long-running, and wide-ranging career in diplomacy, journalism, foreign-relations scholarship, and U.S. and international politics and education. Such work has taken her to more than 100 countries; she's taught and/or delivered lectures on six different continents. Last night, Dr. Colton addressed to the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations on the topic of "Foreign Policy Challenges for the New...

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Mustafa Akyolm, a columnist for two Turkish newspapers whose work has also appeared in Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, and elsewhere. He's also spoken at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the TED conference. Akyol's latest book is "Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty," which The Wall Street Journal called "a...

The uprising in Syria continues to be a cause of great concern around the globe as fighting intensifies between rebel forces and pro-government soldiers, with much of the combat occurring in and near the ancient trading city of Aleppo, in northwestern Syria. On this installment of ST, as we listen back to an interview that first aired in late May, we offer another story of Aleppo --- and of one of Judaisms most sacred texts. Our guest is the journalist Matti Friedman, a correspondent for the...

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with the journalist Matti Friedman, a correspondent for the Associated Press who grew up in Toronto and now lives in Jerusalem. Friedmans new book --- a highly engaging hybrid of history, mystery, biblical scholarship, and good old suspense-driven storytelling --- is called The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible. As has been written of Friedmans book in a starred review in Booklist: Written in the...