Category Archives: Events

Far Away Places presents Soleiman Kiasatpour on “Morocco At the Crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle East”

Soleiman Kiasatpour is an Associate Professor of International & Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science at Western Kentucky University.  He received his PhD from the University of California, Riverside in 1998 for a dissertation on “Regime Transition in Post-Soviet Central Asia: The Cases of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan” which involved extensive field work in Central Asia in 1994 and 1996.

Born in the U.S. to Iranian parents he moved to Iran when he was 10 and lived there until his 20s.  He experienced a revolution, interstate war and being a “foreign” student upon returning to the United States as an undergraduate in Texas.

He’s taught at the University of California, Riverside, California State University, Dominguez Hills and South Texas College where he met his wife who taught French. He joined the faculty at WKU in 2002 and currently teaches classes on Middle East politics, international relations, comparative politics and political terrorism.

His research focuses on regime transitions, Middle East politics and public diplomacy and he’s frequently asked to comment about Middle Eastern affairs for various media. He’s lead Study Abroad Programs to Turkey, Belgium and the Netherlands where he taught courses on Islam and citizenship in Europe, Middle East politics and Islam and politics.

His interest in Morocco began in Brussels, Belgium where over a quarter of the population are from Turkey and Morocco.  He taught a course there on identity politics of old and new immigrants. In the spring of 2013 a Moroccan Fulbright professor teaching Arabic at WKU enrolled in his U.S. foreign policy class.  With his help, he took his first group of student to Morocco in 2015

Last summer he lead his third study abroad program to Morocco where WKU students interacted with local public officials and upon return wrote about their experience in an article entitled, “Local Governance in Morocco During Political Instability” with a focus on Tetouan, a city of some 400,000 people near Tangier on the Mediterranean Coast. He’ll be making a return trip to Morocco this June and July.

We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore when Sol will be talking about “Morocco At the Crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle East” in our Far Away Places series sponsored by the Friends of WKU Libraries.

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Far Away Places presents Theresa Rajack-Talley, author of “Poverty is a Person”

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Theresa Rajack-Talley, Associate Dean for International Diversity and Community Engagement Programs in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Louisville, was featured in our WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places speaker series on Thursday, March 22, at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Bowling Green, KY. The focus of her talk was also the title of her book Poverty is a Person: Human Agency, Women, and Caribbean Households. A book signing ensued in conclusion of her talk.

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Kentucky Live! presents Timothy B. Smith, “Altogether Fitting and Proper: Civil War Battlefield Preservation in History, Memory, and Policy”

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Timothy Smith from the University of Tennessee at Martin was the featured speaker in WKU Libraries’ “Kentucky Live series” on Thursday, March 8, at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Bowling Green. His topic was “Civil War Battlefield Preservation in History, Memory, and Policy.” The talk concluded with book signing.

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Kentucky Live! presents Mary Ellen Pethel, “College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville”

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Kentucky Live! Presented Mary Ellen Pethel on College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville  on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore (1680 Campbell Lane).

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Far Away Places presents Fedja Buric, “Bosnia: More Than Twenty Years Since Dayton”

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With support from an IYO grant, WKU Libraries invited Bellarmine Historian Fedja Buric to be our guest speaker at Barnes & Noble Bookstore on the evening of Thursday, October 26, 2017, to talk about the history and the current situation in Bosnia.

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Kentucky Live! presents Joel Pett, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist

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Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Joel Pett spoke in this year’s WKU Libraries’ “Kentucky Live” speaker series on the evening of Thursday, October 19, 2017. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, a partner with WKU Libraries for community outreach services.

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Kentucky Live! presents Fred Minnick on “Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey”

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On the evening of September 14 at Barnes & Noble Books, Bowling Green, KY, WKU Libraries featured Fred Minnick in its Kentucky Live! speaker series as part of its community outreach initiatives. Fred Minnick is the “Bourbon Authority” for the Kentucky Derby Museum. He talked about his newly published book Bourbon: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of An American Whiskey and signed it at the conclusion of his talk.

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Ricardo Marin Ruiz and “Cycling in Spain”

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Our first speaker in this year’s Far Away Places series Ricardo Marin Ruiz spoke on cycling in Spain on Thursday, September 21 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Ricardo Marin Ruiz is a native of Albacete, a market town located in Southern Spain, where his family has lived for generations in a region immortalized in Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha.

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WKU Summer Start Program

On July 17, 2017, the library hosted 46 students from the WKU Summer Start program. This program is a new offering that lets first-year first-time freshmen start college a month early. The students take two classes in order to create effective study habits and begin experiencing college before the fall semester begins.

The Summer Start program contains a mixture of social and academic events. The participants work with peer mentors who teach them effective time management and study skills. They also receive introductions to various offices and services on campus that all students need to know about.

Derek Olive and Erin Holderman from Summer Start believe that the Libraries are one of the most important stops on campus. To Derek and Erin, the Libraries are so vital for college success that one of their first stops was the Helm-Cravens Library. In fact, students moved in on Saturday, started classes on Monday, and came to Helm-Cravens Library on Monday afternoon!

The Summer Start students toured the library with library faculty members Dr. Brian Coutts, Dr. Bryan Carson, Government & Law Coordinator Rosemary Meszaros, and Health Sciences Librarian Carol Watwood. Dr. Carson provided handouts and demonstrated the libraries’ website.

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Chinese artist Liu Shuling visits WKU Libraries

Liu and class in the Confucius Institute in WKU Libraries

In the Confucius Institute in WKU Libraries (from left to right): Dr. Wei-Ping Pan, Selina Langford, Carol Watwood, Shaden Melky, WKU students, Bryan Carson, artist Liu Shuling, Daniel Peach, Haiwang Yuan, WKU student, Dr. Bryan Coutts, and Liu’s daughter Liu Jiamei

On Wednesday morning, May 3, WKU Libraries faculty, staff, and students received a  lesson in Chinese calligraphy from famous Gongbi artist Liu Shuling in the Helm Library. Gongi is a careful realist technique in Chinese painting using highly detailed brushstrokes that delimits details very precisely and without independent or expressive variation. Hosted by the Confucius Institute at WKU, Liu Shuling, with assistance from his daughter Liu Jiamei and WKU Librarian Haiwang Yuan who served as translator, discussed his art on display in Helm library and taught library personnel and WKU students the history and art of Chinese calligraphy.

Liu Shuling teaches Chinese calligraphy

Liu Shuling teaches Chinese calligraphy, demonstrating one-on-one with librarian Bryan Carson

The exhibit received media coverage in China.

For more information about the exhibit, see an article from WKU news. See below for example’s of Liu’s recent artwork.

Liu's work in progress

Liu’s work in progress

Liu's work in progress

Liu’s work in progress, depicting an eagle

Liu's recent work featuring azaleas

Dr. Pan, artist Liu Shuling and his daughter Liu Jiamei, looking at Liu’s recent work featuring azaleas.

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