Joshua Landis

Contributor, World Views

Joshua Landis is the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an Associate Professor in the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies.

His daily newsletter and blog Syria Comment attracts some 50,000 readers a month. It is widely read by officials in Washington, Europe and Syria. Dr. Landis travels frequently to Washington, D.C. to consult with government agencies and speak at think tanks.

Beyond KGOU, he is a frequent analyst on the PBS Newshour, The Charlie Rose Show, al-Jazeera, Frontline, NPR, Public Radio International, WBUR's Here and Now, and the BBC.

He is a frequently published contributor to Foreign Policy, Middle East Policy, and TIME Magazine.

Ways to Connect

Syria Comment blogger Joshua Landis provides analysis of President Bashar Assad’s interview this week with the BBC, and Rebecca Cruise discusses German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit with President Obama, and what they’re trying to accomplish regarding Ukraine. 

Then Rebecca talks with Kathryn Bolkovac, who sued her employers for unfair dismissal after she lost her job for trying to expose sex trafficking in Bosnia. Her story was dramatized in the 2010 film The Whistleblower.

Rebecca Cruise explains this week’s court ruling that no genocide was proven in the 1990s Serbia-Croatia conflict, and Joshua Landis describes the complex relationship between Jordan and the self-proclaimed Islamic State in light of the brutal murder of a Jordanian fighter pilot.

Then I’m joined by journalist Franz Bumeder. As a German radio correspondent in the 1990s, he reported on those wars in Kosovo, Bosnia, Croatia, and Macedonia.

Joshua Landis discusses Tuesday night’s State of the Union address and President Obama’s proposal to combat the self-proclaimed Islamic State, and Rebecca Cruise provides an update on anti-Islam protests in Leipzig, Germany.

Then Joshua and Suzette Grillot talk with University of Oklahoma sociologist Loretta Bass about first- and second-generation immigrant populations in France, and revisit issues of race and identity.

Rebecca Cruise discusses Wednesday's attack on a satirical newspaper in Paris, and Joshua Landis explains Saudi Arabia’s role in the ongoing fall of global oil prices.

Later, a conversation with Jan-Willem Rosenboom. He’s a senior program officer for water, sanitation and hygiene at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and he and Suzette Grillot talk about market solutions to the sanitation crisis in developing countries. 

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss day-after-Christmas traditions around the world, and Joshua Landis provides an update on how economies around the world have fared during 2014.

Then, a conversation with photojournalist and activist Paula Allen. For a quarter century, she has chronicled the stories of these women during and after the search for their missing family members. She published her photos in the book Flowers in the Desert.

Joshua Landis, Rebecca Cruise, and Suzette Grillot  discuss the release of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA's detention and interrogation practices.

Then Rebecca talks with photojournalist and filmmaker Mimi Chakarova, whose film The Price of Sex personalizes East European human trafficking.

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot discuss riots in Egypt after a court in Cairo dropped its case against deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak, and about how a focus on counterterrorism has overtaken all hopes for democracy in the Middle East.

Then a conversation with literary critic Warren Motte about his work collecting tens of thousands of moments where characters gaze into mirrors.

Joshua Landis compares what he calls the “Great Sorting Out” in the Middle East to historical conflicts in Eastern Europe that also stretched across ethnic and religious lines.

Then Joshua and Rebecca Cruise talk with Matthew Barber. He was one of the first bloggers to write about the capture of thousands of Yazidi  women and girls as the minority community of northern Iraq was wiped out this summer.

An Iraqi Yazidi girl with her family at the Newroz refugee camp in Syria, on August 15th.
Rachel Unkovic / DFID - UK Department for International Development

In the Iraqi province of Kurdistan, women of the Yazidi ethnic minority are disappearing. At the most recent count, between 6,000 and 7,000 women and girls have been kidnapped, and many of those have been enslaved.

When Matthew Barber visited northern Iraq earlier this year, his goals were to conduct research and learn Kurdish. When he arrived he was faced with an enslavement crisis unfolding all around him and he knew that being an American academic gave him resources he could use to help.

Rebecca Cruise explains how a proposed internet tax drew tens of thousands of Hungarians to the streets of Budapest in protest, and Joshua Landis provides an update on a victory by secularists in Tunisia’s elections.

Later, a discussion with Oklahoma City imam Imad Enchassi. As a child in Lebanon’s refugee camps, he witnessed the massacre of thousands of his fellow Palestinians. Suzette Grillot talks about humanitarian work in the Middle East with Enchassi and Oklahoma City University political scientist Mohamed Daadoui.

Joshua Landis provides an update on the attacks by self-proclaimed Islamic State militants near the Turkish border, and the Syrian government’s ability to focus on battling rebels because the United States is devoting its energy to combating ISIS.

Later, a conversation with Ron Burton. He’s a Norman resident who just finished a year-long term as the president of Rotary International.

Joshua Landis provides an update on airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, and U.S. strategy to combat the Islamic State.

Later, a conversation with Akash Patel, the founder and executive director of the Aspiring Americans Initiative. His Oklahoma City-based non-profit works to connect undocumented students with educational opportunities.

Joshua Landis explains President Obama's strategy to confront ISIS without pursuing the kind of nation building projects that past administrations have attempted. 

Rebecca Cruise reports on the pros and cons of a possible Scottish independence including questions of currency, EU membership, industry and nationalism.

Later in the program, an interview with Puerto Rican author Esmeralda Santiago exploring her ties to her native country and her relationship with art and activism.

Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis discuss the turmoil in Iraq caused by ISIS. Rebecca Cruise reports on state of Ukraine and its possible cease fire with Russia.

Later in the program, an interview with Boston College Near East Historian and political scientist Franck Salameh about the many dialects of Arabic and the future of teaching it.

Arabic Keyboard
Francesco_G / Flickr Creative Commons

The beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by the radical group the Islamic State, and continued tensions in Gaza reignite long-standing questions about why there’s so much tumult in the region.