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Fiddick Lecture to Discuss “Changing Views of Islam”

Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013

The University of Evansville’s Department of History is proud to welcome Olivia Remie Constable, professor of medieval history and the Robert M. Conway Director of the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame, for the annual Thomas C. Fiddick Memorial Lecture.

Constable will present “Changing Views of Islam in Spain Between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period” at 7 p.m. Friday, November 1, in Eykamp Hall (Room 252, Ridgway University Center). Her lecture is free and open to the public.

“Olivia Remie Constable is one of the most distinguished medieval historians working in America today, and we are absolutely thrilled to bring her to the University of Evansville to deliver the Fiddick Lecture and interact with students in class,” said James MacLeod, UE professor of history and director of the Fiddick Memorial Lecture. “As the Western world struggles with its problematic relationship with Islam, and as tensions between the two continue to rise, it is the perfect time for our community to hear from one of the world’s foremost authorities on the relationship between the West and Islam.”

Constable holds a PhD in Near Eastern studies from Princeton University and has taught at the University of Notre Dame since 1995. Her publications include Trade and Traders in Muslim Spain: The Commercial Realignment of the Iberian Peninsula 900-1500 (Cambridge University Press, 1994), which won the John Nicholas Brown Prize from the Medieval Academy of America; Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997; second edition 2011); and Housing the Stranger in the Mediterranean World: Lodging, Trade, and Travel in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2003). She is currently working on a new book examining Christian perceptions of Muslim identity in late medieval and early modern Spain.

Constable has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and was named a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 2009.

Thomas Fiddick, for whom the Fiddick Memorial Lecture is named, served as professor of history at the University of Evansville from 1963 to 2002. In his 39 years at the University, he was a dedicated teacher, a productive scholar, and a tireless fighter in the cause of justice. His untimely death on the day of his retirement in 2002 stunned the entire UE community, especially his many former students. It was from the former students’ efforts in particular, with the support of Fiddick’s friends and the University, that the annual Thomas C. Fiddick Memorial Lecture was established.

“The Fiddick Lecture is one of the best events of the year, as we get to celebrate the career of a truly outstanding faculty member here at UE,” MacLeod added. “Tom Fiddick was a brilliant scholar and an incredible teacher who made a life-transforming impact on generations of students.”

For more information, please contact the Department of History at 812-488-2963.

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