Informal dinner starts at 6pm, discussion is from 6:30 to 8pm.
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Benjamin Brower (Ph.D. Cornell University 2005) is assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a historian of modern France and its colonies, with a focus on Algeria. His research centres on the colonial situation and its impact on the societies of the colonized and colonizers. His interests also include European imperialism, questions of secularism and Islam, and violence. In 2010, his first book, A Desert Named Peace: The Violence of Empire in the Algerian Sahara, 1844-1902 (Columbia University Press, 2009), won the best book prize of both the Society of French Historical Studies and the Middle East Studies Association. Professor Brower is currently working on a second book entitled The Colonial Hajj, 1798-1962, exploring the history of pilgrimage to Mecca and the Holy Places made by Muslims subject to French colonial rule.