Gay Iranian-American Artist Challenges Cultural Barriers
Commonwealth Club - Commonwealth Club
New York Times best-selling author, CBS News analyst, and political commentator Reza Aslan discusses the best of the Middle East's literary leaders. He will describe cultural luminaries from Iran, Pakistan, Morocco, and Turkey and beyond. Aslan believes that the mainstream media is creating a massive American cultural blindspot by only focusing on terrorism, suicide bombings, and escalating tensions. Aslan's intention is to change that focus and bring attention to the rich literature, history, and stories of the Middle East. Besides being an acclaimed author and the contributing editor to The Daily Beast, Aslan has also written for numerous publications including The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, and Slate. He has also appeared on television programs such as "The Rachael Maddow Show," "Meet the Press," "The Colbert Report," and "Hardball." Aslan is currently the Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside and a Research Associate at the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy.Aslan earned a B.A. in religion from Santa Clara University, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, a M.F.A in fiction from the University of Iowa, and a Doctorate in Sociology of Religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara.