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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded AUB two grants totaling $1.5 million to support and advance archives and interdisciplinary research in the humanities.
Dr. Nadia El Cheikh, dean of FAS, and Dr. Kaoukab Chebaro will lead the $1 million, three-year grant to pilot an oral history project entitled The Arab Oral History Archive: Gender, Alternative Histories, and the Production of Knowledge. This ambitious project aims to create a gender archive on marginalized and under-represented groups in the region, incorporating new collections of oral histories, all of which will be housed at AUB. This project, which involves close collaboration between FAS-AUB and the Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS), will contribute to the broader field of gender studies, as well as knowledge production practices and research methodologies in, from, and about the region.
“We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant that will support the creation of a transformative gender archive and the development of a research and training hub focused on gender research, oral history, and archival practices here at AUB,” said Dean El Cheikh. “Our partnership with Mellon is reaffirming the role of FAS in pioneering the humanities at AUB and in the region, and we look forward to increasingly strengthen this collaboration.”
Dr. Anaheed Al-Hardan, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Media Studies, and Dr. Tariq Mehmood Ali, assistant professor in the Department of English, will also lead a $500,000, four-year grant under the Early Career Scholars initiative for a project entitled Afro-Asian Futures Past. This grant will support setting up the first postcolonial research program in both AUB and the region. This project, which includes the University of Ghana, the University of Cape Town, and the University of the Witwatersrand as partners, revisits the Afro-Asian pasts of the decolonization era, to further an archive of literature and primary source documents that will form the basis of contemporary humanities and humanistic social sciences of and for the Global South.
“We would like to thank the Mellon Foundation for their support and vote of confidence in the importance of Afro-Asian Futures Past,” said Dr. Al-Hardan. “With this grant, we look forward to working towards making AUB a pioneer in Arab colonial and postcolonial research over the next four years.” Dr. Mehmood Ali added, “We look forward to building closer links with our partner universities in Africa and, also, developing this cross-disciplinary research program at AUB.”
Since its establishment in 1866, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, AUB’s oldest and largest faculty, has been an essential hub for teaching and research in the humanities, and continues to shape and redefine liberal arts higher education in the region.