When J. B. Owens walked into the early Friday morning session at the 2006 American Historical Association (AHA) meeting, it pleased him to see a packed room of people excited to hear the College of San Antonio discussion of their GIS-based world history pedagogical project. But it shocked him when the presentation opened with a quotation from his 1999 World History Association (WHA) paper about using geographic information systems
(GIS) for world history (based on a 1998 funding proposal). When leaving the session a few hours later, a prominent world-systems sociologist asked Owens, “How does it feel to be recognized as a prophet, ahead of your time?” Owens stammered a response about how there were several other people in the room who had played more important roles in stimulating interest in the use of GIS for historical research and teaching. He thought, however, that all of this interest, including the strong response to their 2004 AHA paper about Idaho State University’s innovative, GIS-based Master’s degree program (Owens and Woodworth-Ney 2005), presented a challenge because the discipline lacked an adequate research infrastructure to prepare historians, historical social scientists, and their students for this type of work. This GIS training manual constitutes a partial response to Owens’s concern. It offers tutorials that will introduce historians to the basic elements of GIS. The first ten chapters use a free, open-source GIS software package so that interested researchers, teachers, and students can try the technology without cost.
This training manual was proposed as part of the collaborative project “Understanding Social Networks within Complex, Nonlinear Systems: Geographically-Integrated History and Dynamics GIS [SOCNET]”, which was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under Grants No. 0941371 ($1, 290.704; lead project Principal Investigator Dr. J. B. Owens, Idaho State University) and No. 0941501 ($471, 193; Principal Investigator Dr. May Yuan, University of Oklahoma), for a total award of $1, 761, 897 (2009-2013).
Muslims Engaging the Other and the Humanum
Call unto to the path of your Lord with wisdom, and good counsel, and engage them by those means which are the finest.'(Q. 16:125)
How do Muslims engage the religious other  in a world that increasingly defies geographical, political, religious and ideological boundaries? This is a world where the âenemyâ is often the internal self (e.g., the Saudi/Iranian/Sudanese regime or the Shi'ite/Qadiani/modernists) and the asylum provider the external other (Christian relief organizations, Amnesty International / your non-Muslim neighbor, etc). How do Muslims respond when we come face to face with the humanum, the essentially human, and its manifestation in lives of a tireless quest for compassion and commitment to justice that the other may lead? How do the various forms of engagement with the other facilitate or…