The Edward Said Chair in American Studies was established in 2008 to create an additional faculty position at CASAR. Through this chair position, the center brings an ever-growing group of world-class scholars in the field of American studies to AUB, with each chair spending a year or more teaching, participating in our lecture series and conferences, and working on their research. The former Edward Said Chairs in American Studies are as follows:
Ken Seigneurie (fall 2017 - spring 2018)
Ken Seigneurie researches modern Arabic, French and British fiction, literary theory and the history of humanist thought. His translation (from Arabic) of ‘Awdat al-almānī ila rushdih by Rashid al-Daif appears in: What Makes a Man? Sex Talk in Beirut and Berlin. His most recent book is Standing by the Ruins: Elegiac Humanism in Wartime and Postwar Lebanon. He is currently working on a book dealing with Arabic literature in a world literature paradigm and is also serving as General Editor of the five-volume Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature. Dr Seigneurie’s teaching aims at showing how literary texts are responses written at particular times and places to problems we face as human beings. Along the way, he seeks to kindle awareness of contexts and enthusiasm for “close reading,” which he defines as teasing out meanings from texts according to logics of association. His pedagogical objective is to see students master the take-away skills of critical reading, cogent writing, and a keener appreciation for human values.
Steven Salaita (fall 2015 - spring 2017)
Steven Salaita is an American scholar, author, and public speaker, best known for the work he has done to expose censorship in the American academy when it comes to critiquing the state of Israel and discussing the Palestinian cause. He has published eight books, ranging from literary criticism to indigenous studies to cultural critique. The Holy Land in Transit: Colonialism and the Quest for Canaan (2006), The Uncultured Wars (2008), Israel's Dead Soul (2011), and Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine (2016) all discuss the relationship between settler-colonialism in the United States and Israel and the need to read the ongoing Palestinian crisis in relation to the crisis of indigenous American peoples. Two of his works that focus on contemporary Arab American literary criticism are Arab American Literary Fictions Cultures and Politics (2007) and Modern Arab American Fiction: A Reader's Guide (2011). Salaita joined CASAR as the Edward Said Chair after he had become virtually un-hirable in the United States following a hiring controversy at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, wherein he was denied a tenured teaching position because of his openly critical stance towards Israel. The controversy radicalized Salaita, making him a public figure in the fight to expose academic censorship.
Lisa Hajjar (fall and spring 2014- 2015)
Lisa Hajjar is a professor of sociology at the University of California - Santa Barbara, and in 2014-2015 she became the Edward Said Chair in American Studies at the American University of Beirut. Her research and writing focuses on law and legality, war and conflict, human rights, and torture. She is the author of Courting Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza (University of California Press, 2005) and Torture: A Sociology of Violence and Human Rights (Routledge, 2013). In addition to being a co-editor at Jadaliyya, she serves on the editorial committees of Middle East Report and Journal of Palestine Studies. She is currently working on a book about anti-torture lawyering in the United States.
Vijay Prashad (fall and spring 2013- 2014)
Prior to serving as the Edward Said Chair in American Studies at CASAR, Vijay Prashad authored sixteen books, most recently The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (New Delhi: LeftWord and New York: Verso, 2013). He also edited several books, most recently (along with Paul Amar), Dispatches from The Arab Spring (New Delhi: LeftWord and Minneapolis: University of Minnesota). He is a journalist who writes regularly for Frontline and The Hindu (both based in Chennai, India), as well as Counterpunch and Jadaliyya (both on the web). He is a contributing editor for Himal (Kathmandu, Nepal) and Bol (Lahore, Pakistan) and a part of the team for Newsclick.com (New Delhi, India).
Jasbir Puar (fall and spring 2012-2013)
Jasbir K. Puar is associate professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University. She is the author of Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (Duke University Press 2007) winner of the Cultural Studies Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies. Her articles appear in Gender, Place, and Culture, Social Text, Radical History Review, Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and Feminist Legal Studies. Her edited volumes include a special issue of GLQ titled, "Queer Tourism: Geographies of Globalization" and co-edited volumes of Society and Space ("Sexuality and Space"), Social Text ("Interspecies"), and Women's Studies Quarterly ("Viral").
Her writings also appear in the Guardian, the Huffington Post, Jadaliyya, The Feminist Wire, Oh! Industry, and Bullybloggers.
Marwan Kraidy (fall and spring 2011-2012)
Marwan M. Kraidy is professor of global communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the Edward Said Chair in American Studies at the American University of Beirut. He is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. His books include Reality Television and Arab Politics: Contention in Public Life (Cambridge, 2010), which won the 2010 Best Book Award in Global Communication and Social Change, from the International Communication Association, the 2011 Diamond Anniversary Best Book Award from the National Communication Association, and the 2011 Roderick P. Hart Outstanding Book Award from the Political Communication Division, National Communication Association; Arab Television Industries (BFI/Palgrave, 2009, with J. Khalil), Hybridity, or, The Cultural Logic of Globalization (Temple, 2005), and the co-edited volumes Global Media Studies: Ethnographic Perspectives (Routledge, 2003), The Politics of Reality Television: Global Perspectives (Routledge, 2010), and Communication and Power in the Global Era: Orders and Borders (Routledge, forthcoming).
Robert Reid-Pharr (spring 2011)
A Distinguished and Presidential Professor of English and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Robert Fitzgerald Reid-Pharr holds a PhD in American studies from Yale. Before coming to the Graduate Center he was an assistant and associate professor of English at the Johns Hopkins University. In addition, he has been the Drue Heinz Visiting Professor of English at the University of Oxford, the Carlisle and Barbara Moore Distinguished Visiting Professor of English at the University of Oregon, and the Frederic Ives Carpenter Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago. A specialist in African-American culture and a prominent scholar in the field of race and sexuality studies, he has published three books and numerous articles in, among other places, American Literature, American Literary History, Callaloo, Afterimage, Small Axe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Women and Performance, Social Text, Transition, Studies in the Novel, The African American Review, and Radical America. His research and writing have been supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Noel Ignatiev (fall and spring 2009-2010)
Noel Ignatiev received his PhD from Harvard in the history of american civilization. He is author of How the Irish Became White (recently reissued as a Routledge Classic), coeditor of Race Traitor (winner of the 1996 American Book Award), editor of Lesson of the Hour: Wendell Phillips on Abolition and Strategy, and author of numerous articles. He has been a fellow at the W.E.B Du Bois Institute at Harvard University and a Regents Fellow at the University of California-Riverside. Ignatiev now teaches in the Liberal Arts Department at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He recently published A New Notion: Two Articles by C.L.R. James from PM Press.
William Marling (fall and spring 2008-2009)
William Marling was the first Edward Said Chair in American Studies at CASAR, AUB during the year 2008-2009. He has been a distinguished foreign professor in France, Spain, Austria, and Japan. His home is Cleveland, Ohio, where he currently teaches at Case Western Reserve University. His research focuses on American poetry, fiction, and popular culture, especially as they are influenced by art and technology. His current work concerns world literature. He was formerly a financial journalist for Fortune and Money magazines. Marling is the
author of seven books, the most recent of which is Killers in Titus