American Univesity of Beirut



​​​​​​​​​​​Forthcoming Book and Summer Institute At Georgetown

A new volume entitled Latin America, al-Andalus and the Arab World: Essays on Cultural Transmission and Artistic Reimaginings, an homage to the celebrated medieval scholar, the late María Rosa Menocal, will be published this year by AUB Press. The volume, which is co-funded by CASAR, traces the routes of cultural transmission from the East, through medieval Iberia to Latin America. Contributors include major international scholars from the fields of literature, language, history, translation and theater, including Christina Civantos, Luce López-Baralt, Emilio Gónzalez Ferrín, Michel Sleiman, Jason Weiss, and Enass Khansa. The book, which is based in part on a conference at AUB in 2018 sponsored by CASAR, will be edited by CASAR director, Robert Myers, who also contributed a chapter. The volume will also serve as the basis of a summer institute in August 2021 funded by the U. S. Department of Education and organized by Susan Douglass, Education Outreach Director at Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, and sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) and the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) ​​at Georgetown.


​New Play About Anthony Shadid Set to Premiere at Yale

​Shadid: 1000 Strange Places, a new play about the career of the renowned Lebanese-American journalist Antony Shadid, by CASAR director Robert Myers,  produced by the Council on Middle East Studies at Yale University in conjunction with CASAR, is scheduled to premiere in the Spring of 2022 at Yale's Whitney Humanities Center. The play, which is based in part on the Shadid archive housed at AUB's Jafet Library, will take place in conjunction with a panel, organized by prominent journalist and AUB professor Rami Khouri, of celebrated foreign correspondents and journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Columbia School of Journalism who knew and worked with Anthony Shadid. These events were developed by the CASAR Working Group on Anthony Shadid, which was initiated and is directed by Rami Khouri. Other members of the Working Group include prize-winning photographer George Azar, who teaches in the Department of Media Studies at AUB, Associate Professor of English at AUB Amy Zenger, and Kaoukab Chebaro, formerly a curator at AUB's Jafet Library and currently the director of special collections at Columbia University. Marcia C. Inhorn, the William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at Yale and Chair of the Council on Middle East Studies, says, “We are looking forward to hosting the premiere of this extraordinary new play and panel about Anthony Shadid at Yale and to working again with our partners at CASAR and AUB." 

​International Advisory Board​ Reconvened with New and Returning Members

After a period of inactivity, CASAR reconvened the International Advisory Board (IAB). The new IAB is comprised of six esteemed scholars from various universities in Egypt and the United States.  Among the returning members are Marwan Kraidy, a leading authority on Arab Media and the newly appointed Dean and CEO of Northwestern University-Qatar; Mounira Soliman, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cairo University; and Moustafa Bayoumi, award-winning author and Professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. The new members of the IAB are David Shumway, cultural ​theorist and Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University; Robert Reid-Pharr, Professor of both Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and African and African American Studies at Harvard University; and Marcia Inhorn, medical anthropologist, specialist on the Middle East and gender, and Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at Yale University.​ The board's first meeting in June 2020 served to define significant areas of focus and paths forward for the center. CASAR is looking forward to benefitting from the insights and support of these accomplished scholars as it navigates a very challenging period for the university, the country, and the globe.

​​New Volume on Syrian Playwright Sa'adallah Wannous Forthcoming From Cambridge University Press

​​The Theatre of Sa'dallah Wannous: A Critical Study of the Syrian Playwright and Public Intellectual​ ​( ​) will be published in April 2021 by​ Cambridge University Press. Co-edited by CASAR Director Robert Myers and Professor of English Literature Sonja Mejcher-Atass​i, this volume contains articles by Marvin Carlson (CUNY), Edward Ziter (NYU), Margaret Litvin (Boston University), Zeina Halabi (AUB), Nada Saab (LAU), Sahar Assaf (AUB) and a number of other renowned scholars and artists. The volume grew out of a conference at AUB entitled “On Wannous,” which was co-sponsored by CASAR and celebrated the acquisition by AUB’s Jafet Library of the private library of Sa’dallah Wannous.​ It is first book in English to provide a clear sense of the significance and complexity of Wannous' life and work. It is unique in bringing cross-disciplinary scholarship on Wannous together and aligning it with cultural practice and memory by including contributions from leading academics as well as renowned cultural figures from the Arab world. This volume should be of interest to literary and theatre studies scholars, cultural historians, theatre practitioners and anyone who cares about contemporary theatre, Syria and the Arab world. Collectively, the contributions demonstrate the role of cultural production - especially dramatic literature - in providing a portrait of and shaping a culture in the throes of profound transformation. The ​following podcast with Robert Myers discusses this volume and is part of a series called "Professors at Work" initiated by Rami Khouri, professor of journalism at AUB - tune in for more information!


​The Center for American Studies and Research at AUB is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this grant will be used for the creation of a Global Humanitie​s Institute (GHI) during the summer of 2021. This is the fifth GHI to be funded by the CHCI-Mellon partnership, and it will focus on the topic of “Climate Justice and Problems of Scale." The institute will also serve as the culmination of CASAR's 2020-2021 year of climate-themed programming, “Environments East and West." This exciting initiative is a collaboration between CASAR and five other humanities centers across the globe: the Humanities Institute (University of Texas at Austin), the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship (University of Pretoria), the Sydney Environmental Institute (University of Sydney), the Institute for Humanities Research (Arizona State University), and the Humanities Center (Carnegie Mellon). Stay tuned for more details on planned programming for CASAR's 2020-2021 theme and the summer Global Humanities Institute.​​

CASAR mourns the loss of former Edward Said Chair, Noel Ignati​ev


CASAR mourns the loss of our friend, the former Edward Said Chair, Noel Ignatiev, who passed away on November 9, 2019. We fondly recall his courses with us on Huckleberry Finn, his revolutionary zeal, his lectures on his years working in the steel mills of Gary, Indiana and the theories of C. L. R. James, and his relentless struggle against the destructive fiction of whiteness. He will be sorely missed, but his ideas will live on in the pages of the journal Race Traitor and his renowned study How the Irish Became White.  ​Read Ignatiev's obituary in The New York Times and a tribute by one of his former students in The New Yorker:

​​​CASAR forms first international working group responding to the loss and legacy of famed journalist, Anthony Shadid

 CASAR has created the first of several international working groups on issues related to the Middle East and the Americas to study the work of the Pulitzer Prize-winning  Lebanese-American journalist, Anthony Shadid, who passed away in 2012. The working group, a new initiative created in 2017 by CASAR's director from 2016-2018, Amy Zenger, was organized by Zenger, an AUB associate professor of English who has written extensively on writing, rhetoric and race; the renowned journalist Rami Khouri , who is an adjunct professor of media at AUB; CASAR's current director, Robert Myers ; and Kaoukab Chebaro, assistant professor and associate university librarian for special collections at AUB. The working group, which will include international scholars, journalists and artists, will draw on the extraordinary archives of Anthony Shadid, housed at AUB's Jafet Library, and overseen by Rami Khouri and Kaoukab Chebaro, to teach journalism and writing, develop a range of new pedagogical tools, create a theatrical performance about Shadid's life and career, and develop films and media on Shadid's work, as well as a number of other important projects.​

​CASAR's international symposium: Localizing Transnational American Studies

This symposium was a meeting of American studies scholars from locations all over the world, such as South Korea, Denmark, Egypt, and Italy, which took place in the spring of 2018. This symposium was an opportunity to discuss, explore, and develop practical and theoretical methods for grounding the increasingly sprawling field of transnational American studies in specific, localized realities. 


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