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A UT history professor will explore the effect of Islam on Christian Europeans—and by extension the West in general—during the next “Conversations and Cocktails” talk on Tuesday, February 2.

Thomas Burman, professor of history and Riggsby Director of the Marco Institute at UT, will speak from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Grill at Highlands Row, 4705 Old Kingston Pike. The UT Humanities Center is sponsoring the event.

Offered in collaboration with the Grill at Highlands Row, the series provides the community an opportunity to interact with guest scholars as they discuss history while enjoying special dinner and appetizer selections.

Dinner reservations are required and seating is limited. A reservation can be made by calling the Grill at Highlands Row at 865-694-1600.

During the February 2 conversation, Burman will touch on how the West has experienced mixed feelings regarding Islam and feared it as a powerful new religion. However, it also sought to surpass its sophisticated culture and borrow its advanced science.

Burman teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the Crusades, Medieval Spain and the Mediterranean, Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and medieval and Renaissance intellectual history. He has been a visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of Islamic Societies and Civilizations at Washington University in St. Louis as well as at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, and a fellow at the UT Humanities Center.

The remaining “Conversations and Cocktails” talks include:

March 1—Tore Olsson, assistant professor of history: “How East Tennessee Transformed the World: TVA’s Global Career after WWII”

April 5—Robert Glaze, doctoral student in history: “‘Hardships, perils and vicissitudes’: The Army of Tennessee in Civil War Memory”

May 3—Mary Campbell, assistant professor of art history: “The Mormon Church’s Polygamous Suffragettes”


Joan Murray (865-974-4222,