Understanding Muslim Societies

Moderator, Dr. Heidi Hadsell and Speaker Dr. Ellen Lust
Moderator, Dr. Heidi Hadsell and Speaker Dr. Ellen Lust

On Wednesday February 26, The World Affairs Council hosted a Global Conversation Series event “Understanding Muslim Societies.” “Understanding Muslim Societies” included a short lecture by Yale Professor Dr. Ellen Lust, and Q&A moderated by Dr. Heidi Hadsell, President of Hartford Seminary.


  • Dr. Ellen Lust is an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Yale University. She has published many books and textbooks on Middle Eastern politics, and has done fieldwork studies in the area.

For more on Dr. Lust, click here.

  • Dr. Heidi Hadsell is the President of Hartford Seminary. Her work focuses on Social Ethics in a Global Context. She has earned degrees from varied universities around the world.

For more on Dr. Hadsell, click here.

Dr. Lust used her expertise to give a brief but thorough description of Islamic culture, tenants of the religion, and an explanation of how Islam interacts with governance. She spoke about how religion may play a larger role in personal and state identity in Muslim societies. The interactive program The second half of the program was a question and answer session, moderated by Dr. Heidi Hadsell. Audience members asked their questions, and Dr. Lust responded with clarity and detailed explanations of her opinions of the matters.

Questions included

  • Brutality of the Syrian crisis
  • Possible future impact made by the Arab Spring
  • Egyptian leadership
  • The supposed moderation of the Muslim Brotherhood, and
  • Tactic used by U.S. of supporting Middle Eastern leaders that then turn on values

We had a packed house! The audience was full of council members, interested community members, teachers, and many students.  Many people even stayed after the program to discuss Muslim societies further with Dr. Lust. The audience walked away with a deeper understanding of Muslim societies and gained insight into facts about the Islamic world from distinguished academics!

This program was part of a series coordinated by the World Affairs Council of America. Many other councils hosted Carnegie Endowment for International Peace experts on Muslim societies. To find out more about these programs, click here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s