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Academic Lecture Series: Middle East Geopolitics


Steve Van Riper delivered a fascinating presentation on geopolitics of the Middle East to an enthralled audience of pupils and parents for the Academic Lecture Series.

Steve’s expertise in based on his many years living and working throughout the region. His overview covered historical influences, cultural aspects, physical geography, human geography, education, sustainability, the lives of girls and women, economics, politics and religion. He looked at macro-topics, such as water, oil, food and sustainability (below) and drilled down with detailed examples at national levels. Steve’s talk was followed by a long Q&A section, allowing the intrigued audience to field their many questions. They clearly enjoyed hearing Steve’s candid, thoughtful answers.

Mr Van Riper gave really in-depth, descriptive overview of the Middle East. Considering that I did not have that much prior knowledge, I enjoyed hearing how the geography of the region impacts the politics and power distribution between countries in the Middle East.” – Leila (College II)

I found the talk really useful. I like that I now know more about where the different countries are, and I have a better understanding of how ecological, social and environmental factors impact growth in that region.” – Rebecca (College I)

I found it very interesting because it is something that I did not have much prior knowledge about, so it was good to learn about the Middle East.” – Josephine (College I)

I thought it was a really good talk. I learned a lot and I love these education talks, they’re really interesting.” – Emily (College I)

Audience members had the opportunity to enjoy supper beforehand in the Dining Room with the pupils. The next presentation of the Academic Lecture Series is by Vicki Fong on 3 March. Vicki is an Old Scholar and established the Royal College of Art’s MA in Textiles.

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