Professor John Casterline on how the Middle East is distinctive in terms of demographics

Professor John Casterline will talk about how the Middle East is distinctive, from a global standpoint, in terms of demographic dynamics and various family outcomes (marriage, childbearing). Statistics are a powerful way to place Middle East in global context, and Professor Casterline is an expert in that arena as director of OSU’s Institute for Population Research.

Jane Hathaway on the Ottoman Origins of the Modern Middle East

On Wednesday, May 12th we spoke with Professor Jane Hathaway about the Ottoman origins of the modern Middle East. We explored the social, cultural, and economic processes that helped form what is now known as the Middle East in all its richness and diversity. Dr. Hathaway addressed some of the prominent historical narratives, such as the idea of steady decline. Such narratives aren’t helpful in explaining historical challenges faced by the Ottoman empire. Dr. Hathaway discussed these challenges in terms of crises and adaptations that occurred.

Listen to “2021-05-12-The Ottoman Origins of the Modern Middle East with Professor Jane Hathaway” on Spreaker.

The Ottoman Origins of the Modern Middle East with Professor Jane Hathaway

Join us next Wednesday, May 12th at 10:00 am ET on our Facebook site. We will be speaking with Professor Jane Hathaway about the Ottoman origins of the modern Middle East. We might touch on several topics, including political developments, and the social, cultural, and economic processes that helped form what is now known as the Middle East. Dr. Hathaway will deconstruct a lot of the most common assumptions about the nations, peoples, and communities that make up the modern nation-states of the region and bring out their richness and diversity. She will also illuminate the complex nature of the historical Ottoman “state.”

If you would like some materials to listen to or read beforehand, we recommend the following. Professor Hathaway and her students discuss the Middle East in this Origin’s podcast from 2015: https://origins.osu.edu/sites/origins.osu.edu/files/history-talk/mp3/It%20Takes%20a%20Historian.mp3

Her book Arab Lands Under Ottoman Rule is a comprehensive source on the subject of the Ottoman origins of the Middle East, with an emphasis on the Arabic-speaking communities and territories under Ottoman rule.

 

Cover of Arab Lands Under Ottoman Rule

Arab Lands Under Ottoman Rule by Professor Jane Hathaway, History Department, Ohio State University

 

What do religions teach us about agriculture?

Water and soil are critical components of food security. But their importance to human life is not only enshrined in science, they have also been revered in religion for thousands of years. Both of these elements can be found in religious scriptures as sacred and highly protected. Mediterranean and Asian religious traditions, such as the ancient Greek pantheon, Buddhism, Hinduism, and the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, emphasize our responsibility to take care of life-sustaining elements of the earth. In “Soil and Sanskriti” (2013) Dr. Lal’s explain how the traditions of nature conservation in India and around the world teach us that civilization can only be ensured through sustainable agriculture. Sanskriti can be translated as civilization. Dr. Lal and I discussed what the aforementioned religions teach us about soil and water in practice.

Listen to “2021-04-28-The Spiritual Meanings of Water and Soil with Professor Rattan Lal” on Spreaker.

Key Concepts and Terms:

Sanskriti. Word for culture or civilization in Hindi, Bengali.

Soil Carbon Sequestration. The process in which carbon is absorbed from the Earth’s atmosphere into the soil.

Tikkun Olam. Concept from Judaism which means repairing or restoring the world (Lal, 2013, p. 273).

 

 

Dr. Lal’s Courses at Ohio State:

Soils and Climate Change

Environmental Soil Physics

 

Project:

One Health Concept: health for animal plants planet humans planet are indivisible

 

Resources:

 Ibn al-Awam, a great botanist and soil scientist of the Islamic Andalusian Empire that existed on the Iberian Peninsula (756-1491 – Wikipedia) Islamic Civilizations reached an advanced level of soil and irrigational sciences. Filaha, is the Arabic word for Husbandry, or Agriculture, in English. See more Ibn al-Awam’s Kitab al-Filaha, or The Book of Agriculture. Article and summary from Filaha.org 

The Spiritual Meanings of Water and Soil with Professor Rattan Lal

Water and soil are critical components of food security and indeed to life on earth. But their importance to human life are not only enshrined in science, they have  been revered in religion for thousands of years. Both of these elements can be found in religious scriptures as sacred and highly protected. Mediterranean and Asian religions, such as the ancient Greek pantheon, Buddhism, Hinduism, and the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, make the connection between human health and life and Earth’s health. These religions focus on our responsibility to take care of life-sustaining elements of EarthProfessor Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, School of Environmental and Natural Resources, and Director of the CFAES, will join us to discuss the spiritual meanings of soil in the Middle East and South Asia on Wednesday, April 28th 10:00am ET on Facebook live – https://www.facebook.com/mesc.osu

image of professor lal

Professor Lal, Laureate of the GCHERA World Agriculture Prize (2018), Glinka World Soil Prize (2018), the Japan Prize (2019), and the U.S. Awasthi IFFCO Prize (2019), and the World Food Prize (2020), speaks around the world on matters relating to the environment and food security.  He is acquainted with nearly every type of environment and local climate and how agricultural practices adapt to diverse circumstances. He spoke at the U.N. Climate Summit in Morocco in 2016 and 2019 (pictured below), in Spain in 2019, and in Bonn, Germany in 2018. He presented Distinguished Service Medals to the Minister of Agriculture of Morocco in 2019, to the Minister of Environment of Germany in 2018, and to the Minister of Agriculture of France in 2017. Professor Lal remains very generous with his time, however. Especially when it comes to educators, Professor Lal makes every effort to free himself up to give a lecture and converse with interested teachers at every level and in every discipline. He spoke to teachers in our Global Seminar on agriculture last summer on the critical role of soil in saving our atmosphere, protecting the living things on Earth, and how humanity can ensure food security into the future.   

image of Professor Lal at the Climate Summit in Morocco

Professor Lal at the Climate Summit in Morocco

 

Further reading:

Rattan Lal: Translating Science into Action | CFAES. (2018). Retrieved January 14, 2021, from https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/videos/rattan-lal-translating-science-action

Dr. Rattan Lal Gives 2019 Summer Commencement Address. (2019). https://cmasc.osu.edu/news/dr-rattan-lal-gives-2019-summer-commencement-address

Lal, R. (2004). Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security. Science. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1097396

Lal, R. (2013). Soil and Sanskriti. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, 61(4). https://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:jisss&volume=61&issue=4&article=editorial

LAL, R. (2015). The soil–peace nexus: Our common future. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 61(4), 566–578. https://doi.org/10.1080/00380768.2015.1065166

Lal, R. (2019). 2019 Japan Prize Commemorative Lecture: Prof. Rattan Lal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEpCv9BwEWc

Lal, R. (2020a). Soil Matters. https://u.osu.edu/globalteacherseminar/resource-guide-middle-east/

Lal, R. (2020b). Soil Science Beyond COVID-19. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation.

Lal, R. (2020c). Where Does our Food Come From? It’s the Soil Stupid.

Lal, R. (2020d). World Food Prize Digital Dialogue: Live with the Laureate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYVYvWv2S1w

Semantic Scholar Link. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2020, from https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Soil-carbon-sequestration-impacts-on-global-climate-Lal/9151910efb402f695ec52f006c5628fb29791d49

Hannah Ritchie (2017) – “Water Use and Stress”. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: https://ourworldindata.org/water-use-stress

 

Next podcast: “The Ottoman Origins of the Modern Middle East” w Prof. Jane Hathaway

Join us for our next podcast live stream on Wednesday, May 5th – now May 12th! – at 10:00 am ET on our Facebook site. We will be speaking with Professor Jane Hathaway about the Ottoman origins of the modern Middle East. We might touch on several topics, including political developments, and the social, cultural, and economic processes that helped form what is now known as the Middle East. Dr. Hathaway will deconstruct a lot of the most common assumptions about the nations, peoples, and cultural communities that make up the modern nation-states of the region and bring out their richness and diversity. She will also illuminate the complex nature of the historical Ottoman “state.”

If you would like some materials to listen to or read beforehand, we recommend the following. Professor Hathaway and her students discuss the Middle East in this Origin’s podcast from 2015: https://origins.osu.edu/sites/origins.osu.edu/files/history-talk/mp3/It%20Takes%20a%20Historian.mp3

Her book Arab Lands Under Ottoman Rule is a comprehensive source on the subject of the Ottoman origins of the Middle East, with an emphasis on the Arabic-speaking communities and territories under Ottoman rule.

 

Cover of Arab Lands Under Ottoman Rule

Arab Lands Under Ottoman Rule by Professor Jane Hathaway, History Department, Ohio State University

 

World War One as a Major Part of Turkish History and World History with Prof. Yiğit Akın

Our latest episode is now on Facebook, Twitter, and most podcast platforms. If you need a transcript or prefer to read it, you can also go to our Youtube channel.

Prof. Yiğit Akın delved into the topic of World War One as a major part of Turkish history and world history. He shed light on fact that the map we see today when we look at the political borders of the Middle East is a direct result of world war one, the single most important political event in the history of the modern Middle East. He also shed light on the important role the Ottoman Empire played in the Great War, and what it meant to the Turkish Republic that emerged after the war. One of the unique aspects of his work is that he includes civilian experience, not just battles, in his history. We talked about the importance of including women’s perspectives for gaining an understanding of how the battles affected the whole society. We talked about so much more. Please do check out the podcast or the video on Youtube. Ohio State Students, check out the courses he offers below! As well as videos he recorded for the WWI Museum in Kansas City.

Dr.  Akın offers a history course, “The Middle East Since 1940,” and a course on the broader history of Islam, History 2350.

Also check out his seminars, such as “WWI and the Making of the Modern Middle East,” History 4375

Currently, he is investigating the memory of ww1 in the Middle East, mostly Ottoman Turkey. The discrepancy between what he calls, “official oblivion and local memory the memory of the Great War” is of particular interest to him. His second monograph, a sequel to When the War Came Home: The Ottomans’ Great War and the Devastation of an Empire (Stanford, 2018), will focus on the twilight of the Ottoman Empire, 1918-1922. The time period of this work is basically after the empire, before the nation. Please also check out his presentations on the WWI Museum Youtube Channel

 

 

 

World War I and the Making of the Modern Middle East with Professor Yiğit Akın

Join us on March 17th 10:00am ET on Facebook Live to discuss World War I and the Making of the Modern Middle East with Professor Yiğit Akın. Dr. Akın is Associate Professor and Carter V. Findley Professor of Ottoman and Turkish History. Yiğit earned his Ph.D. at the Ohio State University in 2011 and he is a specialist in the history of the modern Middle East. His research interests include social and cultural history of the late Ottoman Empire and early Republican Turkey, with a particular focus on the First World War and its aftermath, war and society, nationalism, and social movements. Before joining the faculty at Ohio State, Dr. Akın taught at the College of Charleston and Tulane University where he received the university’s highest teaching award, the Weiss Presidential Award for Undergraduate Teaching.

World War One and how it affected the Middle East is one of the major keys to understanding the region. Dr. Akın will discuss his second book, When the War Came Home: The Ottomans’ Great War and the Devastation of an Empire (Stanford, 2018), which examines the social and cultural dimensions of Ottoman society’s catastrophic experience of the First World War and analyzes the impact of the war on the empire’s civilian population. When the War Came Home was named a 2018 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title and won the 2019  Tomlinson Book Prize for the best work of history in English on World War One, awarded by the World War One Historical Association.

 

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Professor Sean Anthony on Islam and late antiquity, March 3rd

On March 3rd we’re going to be with Professor Sean Anthony of Near Eastern languages and cultures at Ohio State University to talk about Islam and late antiquity. His interests include Early Islam & Late Antiquity, Islamic Thought, and Classical Arabic Literature. We will ask him about his recent findings regarding early Islamic Civilizations, as we discuss his new book: “Muhammad and the Empires of Faith” due to come out in April. You can find a lot of his research on his Twitter feed, as well. So come prepared to ask questions – we will be streaming live on our Facebook page at 13:00ET on Wednesday, March 3rd.

 

book cover image