Converse-Yates-Cate International Lecture Series
in the Humanities, Society and Religion

converse yates Cate
Dr. Hyla S. Converse
Dr. Kyle Yates
Dr. Robert Cate


The Converse-Yates-Cate International Lectureship in the Humanities, Society and Religion is a lectureship organized in honor of Hyla S. Converse (picture on left), Kyle Yates (middle picture) and Robert Cate (picture on right). The first lecture was in 1991. Since then many lectures over topics of interest in the humanities have been presented.  For a list of past lectures, please email us at

2018-2019 Lecture

"GETTING CRUSADED: A MEDIEVAL MUSLIM FAMILY IN THE AGE OF CRUSADES" by Dr. Paul Cobb, Professor of Islamic History and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania, Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm in 035 Murray Hall

What did it feel like to get crusaded? This lecture will seek answers to that question by sketching the fate of one medieval Muslim family from Syria, the Banu Munqidh, whose intimate history is known so well thanks to the writings of one of their own: the memoirist, warrior, and poet named Usama ibn Munqidh (d. 1198). In the history of this family, the Crusades were only the most famous events that impinged upon their daily life, a life that witnessed the Turkish invasions, the collapse of Shi'ite political power, and the rise of the sultan Saladin.  In this context, how did the Banu Munqidh handle their annoying new neighbors from Europe?

Paul M. Cobb is Professor of Islamic History and the Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of numerous books, articles, and translations in his field, including The Book of Contemplation: Islam and the Crusades (Penguin Classics, 2008) and The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades (Oxford University Press, 2014).


Dr. Converse taught at OSU with rare vigor and excellence between 1968 and 1988 after earning degrees at Smith College, Union Theological Seminary, and Columbia University. Born of missionary parents in Lahore, India, she never lost her love for the culture of her birthplace and made its history, religion, and art come alive for countless OSU students in her religious studies and humanities classes. In her 60's she made a grueling trek across the Kashmir mountains on a research expedition into the culture of the great Mogul emperors. Wherever she went, she brought back pictures and stories which delighted and informed. She won a University Outstanding Teaching Award during the later years of her career, but by then she was a legend among many students as an exquisite combination of grace, learning, and concern for the highest standards.


Two additional exceptional teachers of Religious Studies who taught at OSU were Dr.Kyle Yates, who died in 2001, and Dr. Bob Cates, who retired in 2002. Both men held the Phoebe Schertz Young Chair in Religious Studies. They devoted themselves to their students and were deeply appreciated by the transformations they accomplished in many young men and women that were lucky enough to have enrolled in their courses.


If you wish to make a contribution to the endowment for the Converse-Yates-Cate Lecture please send your contributions to:  The Converse-Yates-Cate Lectureship, OSU Foundation Box 1749 Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74076. Checks should be made payable to the "C-Y-C Lectureship-OSU Foundation."


If you would like to be kept informed of news, please send your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address to:  OSU Religious Studies Program, 246 Murray Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078 or