Texas A&M University at Qatar hosted attendees from around the world for the sixth annual Liberal Arts International Conference, “Local Dreams, Global Visions: Multidisciplinary Perspectives.”
The conference theme was inspired in part by Qatar’s recent experience on the world stage, said Dr. Mark van de Logt, chair of the conference’s organizing committee and an assistant professor of political science at Texas A&M at Qatar.
“We see the effects of globalization or transnationalism all around us,” Van de Logt said. “The question is, in an age of globalization, how do we maintain local identity and authenticity while engaging with the rest of the world? The world must reckon with the challenges of globalization, while seizing all of the opportunities it presents. We hope that this conference will provide us with answers, show us where to look for solutions, and educate us on what local entities can do to improve our lives as members of the global community.”
The conference featured keynote addresses and panel sessions, and a slate of more than 70 speakers, including eight Texas A&M at Qatar students and 24 presenters from Qatar. Other countries represented include the U.S., UK, Canada, Brunei, Japan, Germany, Poland, India, Bangladesh, Oman, Cyprus and the Netherlands. Conference participants also came from France, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Uruguay.
Panel sessions were sponsored by The Initiative in Professional Ethics at Texas A&M at Qatar and QAPCO.
The Liberal Arts Program at Texas A&M at Qatar hosts the conference each year to explore a wide variety of regional and global topics from a multidisciplinary perspective. Started in 2011 by faculty members Dr. Troy Bickham and Dr. Hassan Bashir, the event serves as a rich opportunity in Qatar for scholars in the social sciences, arts and humanities to engage with colleagues from around the world and to stimulate research and learning efforts. Collaborations from past conferences have led to several academic articles and several books.
Dr. César O. Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said that though Texas A&M is known internationally for being leaders in engineering education, excellence in the liberal arts — not just engineering — is cultivating the next generation of engineering leaders in Qatar.
Dr. Zohreh Eslami, Dr. Sara Hillman, Dr. Phillip Gray and Dr. Paul Lee comprised the organizing committee, with assistance from Khadija El-Cadi and Olena Snitko.
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