Islamic Studies expert is guest of World Cultures class on April 24

April 23, 2013
Contact: Karen Eldridge, Director of Communications

Harrison Akins, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies Research Fellow at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, D.C., will give a presentation on U.S. and Muslim relations at 1 p.m., April 24 in the Lawson Auditorium of Maryville College’s Fayerweather Hall.

Akins, who was the lead research associate for the new book The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam, will address students enrolled in Dr. Daniel Klingensmith’s World Cultures course, “Introduction to Islam and Islamic Societies.”

The Thistle and the Drone was written by Akbar Ahmed, a world-renowned author and scholar and former Pakistani ambassador to the United Kingdom. Ahmed is currently the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University.

The book examines relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world after 9/11. It is based on 40 current case studies analyzing the war on terror. Beginning with Waziristan in Pakistan and expanding to similar tribal societies in Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere, it offers a new understanding of the war on terror in respect to historical tensions between the countries and tribes at the war's center and those surrounding it.

The 50-minute presentation is free and open to the public.

Akins, a 2002 graduate of Maryville High School, is the son of Darrell and Debbie Mount Akins '73. He holds a bachelor’s degree from American University and master’s degrees from St. John’s College and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.