Spring 2020, Volume 34 Number 2

Thumbnail image of Centerpiece cover spring 2020Life at the Weatherhead Center—like the rest of the world—changed drastically over the past few months. In our Message from the Director column, Interim Director Melani Cammett shares the struggles and resilience of Center affiliates during the COVID-19 pandemic thus far. In our first feature, "In Conversation with Melani Cammett, Ali Asani, and Payam Mohseni," we talk to the leadership team of our new Project on Shi'ism and Global Affairs about the scope of this new project, along with Shi'ism and sectarianism more broadly. In our second feature, "China in a Changed World," we ask a few members of our Graduate Student Associates Program their perspectives on some of the long-term—and perhaps less frequently discussed—consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on China and the rest of the world. We also share updates from some of our research groups, including the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations and their recent ambassador visit, and the Weatherhead Initiative on Afro-Latin American Studies, which is wrapping up its final year at the WCFIA.  

Download: Spring 2020, Volume 34 Number 2 [ PDF: 774 KB ]

Message from the Director
by Melani Cammett

When the semester launched in January, none of us at the Weatherhead Center imagined the harrowing ride we would take, together and in isolation. Those who study global pandemics—in real time and in the past—have been busier than they could have imagined. Many of our colleagues and students who study related topics are also sharing data and analyses in productive ways...

In Conversation with Melani Cammett, Ali Asani, and Payam Mohseni
by Michelle Nicholasen

From civil strife in Syria to the war in Yemen to US-Iran tensions, Shi'a groups are emerging as major players on the geopolitical landscape. The 200 million Shi'as around the world comprise 15–20 percent of all Muslims, yet little is understood about their culture, historical legacy, and political dynamics. Shi’as are the majority sect in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Bahrain, and comprise substantial minority groups in Africa, South and Central Asia, and countries throughout the Middle East...

China in a Changed World
by Naima Green-Riley, Kibrom Teweldebirhan, Ruodi Duan, and Erez Manela

Several WCFIA graduate students, along with GSA Program Director Erez Manela, weigh in on some of the long-term repercussions for China—and the rest of the world—in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic...

At the Center

Centerpiece Spring 2020, Volume 34, Number 2774 KB