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Juan Cole speaks at IU Art Museum in conjunction with Iranian poster art exhibit

Middle East relations expert Juan Cole presented a free lecture, "Iran and the Challenge of the Arab Spring," Nov. 16 at the Indiana University Art Museum.

Cole's lecture was held in conjunction with the IU Art Museum's special exhibition, "The Graphics of Revolution and War: Iranian Poster Arts," on view through Dec. 18.

For three decades, Cole has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. His most recent book is Engaging the Muslim World, and he also recently authored Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East. He has been a regular guest on PBS' News Hour and has appeared on ABC Nightly News, Nightline, The Today Show, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper 360, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Colbert Report and Democracy Now!

Cole, who is director of the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Michigan, has written widely about Egypt, Iran, Iraq and South Asia, and has commented on issues surrounding al-Qaida and the Taliban, the Iraq war, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Iranian domestic struggles and foreign affairs.

"Juan Cole is one of the world's leading experts on modern Iran and on Shiite religious establishments. He is a thoughtful, articulate observer of the Iranian scene, and his visit will be of great interest not only to academics, but to the community at large," said Feisal A.R. al-Istrabadi, director of IU's Center for the Study of the Middle East. "In contrast to many others who comment about Iran today, he never allows personal prejudice or his own predilections to interfere with his reasoned insights."

Poster Exhibit

"White Silhouette of Fatimah," 1979 Middle Eastern Posters Collection, Box 2, Poster 30, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Print-Quality Photo

Posters on display at the IU Art Museum as part of the exhibit "The Graphics of Revolution and War: Iranian Poster Arts" are on loan from the Special Collections Research Center of The University of Chicago.

The exhibit showcases 44 posters created during the Islamic Revolution (1979) and the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), serving as visual mechanisms through which a young and unsteady nation struggled to define and defend itself.

"The exhibition of Iranian poster arts at the IU Art Museum showcases rarely seen Iranian posters of the Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War," said Christiane Gruber, guest curator and associate professor of art history at the University of Michigan. "A timely undertaking, it examines how the graphic arts have served as a powerful mechanism to create public identity, cohesion and memory during moments of trauma and violence in the contemporary Islamic world."

The exhibit and related programming are funded by the Thomas T. Solley Endowed Fund for the Curator of Asian Art, IU's Themester 2011, IU Art Museum's ARC Fund and the Center for the Study of the Middle East.

Admission to the exhibit is free.

About the Indiana University Art Museum
Since its establishment in 1941, the IU Art Museum has grown into one of the foremost university art museums in the country. The museum's collections include more than 40,000 objects, as varied as ancient gold jewelry, African masks and paintings by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, representing nearly every art-producing culture throughout history. Located at 1133 E. Seventh St. in the heart of the IU Bloomington campus, the IU Art Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays. All exhibits are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 812-855-5445.