AIA Lecturer/Host: Ronald A. Messier
Ronald A. Messier’s teaching and research focus on Islam and the history and archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa. He is Professor Emeritus of History at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), where he taught from 1972 to 2004. From 1992 to 2004, he was adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University, and full time Senior Lecturer from 2004 to 2008. Professor Messier has won several teaching awards, including the CASE Tennessee Professor of the Year Award for 1993. He has published over two dozen articles, and co-edited a book entitled Jihad and its Times. In 2010, he published three books: The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad; Jesus: One Man, Two Faiths: A dialogue between Christians and Muslims (now in its second, expanded edition); and The Last Civilized Place: Sijilmasa and its Saharan Destiny. From 1987 to 1998, Professor Messier directed the excavation of the ancient city of Sijilmasa in Morocco, famous for its gold trade and its contacts with Timbuktu, which we will visit on October 23rd. In recognition of that work, Professor Messier received MTSU's prestigious Outstanding Research Award in 1997. He is currently directing an archaeology project at Aghmat, near Marrakech, which we will visit on October 27th. Since 1992, he has been a lecturer on more than 40 study tours including numerous tours to Morocco (and Spain) and others throughout North Africa and the Middle East. Since 2010 he has lectured for the AIA on three voyages along the coasts of Spain and Morocco.