American University of Beirut



    Edward Said Chairs


    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:

    Marilyn Hacker (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

    Marilyn Hacker was born in New York, has lived in London and in San Francisco, and now lives in Paris – and sometimes Beirut. She is the author of fourteen books of poems, including Blazons (2019), A Stranger’s Mirror (2015) and Names (2010). Her seventeen translations of French and Francophone poets include Samira Negrouche’s The Olive Trees’ Jazz, just published by Pleiades Press, and Vénus Khoury-Ghata’s A Handful of Blue Earth (2017). She received the 2009 American PEN Award for poetry in translation, the 2010 PEN Voelcker Award, and the international Argana Prize for Poetry from Beit as-Sh’ir in Morocco in 2011.

    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  2014 - Spring 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 2013 - Spring 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 (New Delhi, India). 


    Jasbir Puar (Fall 2012 - Spring 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 2011 - Spring 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 2009 - Spring 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 2008 - Spring ​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 (2017).  ​​


    Former Directors

    Professor Amy Zenger, AUB (fall 2016-spring 2018)

    Amy A. Zenger received her MA at Portland State University, and her PhD at the University of New Hampshire in 2004. Her research interests include composition pedagogy; writing center and writing across the curriculum theory and practice; critical race theory; and the relationship between visual and verbal texts. She teaches writing courses and is working on a book about race and the formation of university composition programs in America in the nineteenth century. Her most recent publication, edited with Bronwyn T. Williams, is New Media Literacies and Participat ory Popular Culture Across Borders, and she is currently co-editing the proceedings of CASAR's 2018 international symposium, Localizing Transnational American Studies, with Siréne Harb, forthcoming in 2019 from AUB Press.


    Professor Lisa Hajjar, University of California-Santa Barbara (fall 2015-spring 2016)

    Lisa Hajjar is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She served as the Edward Said Chair in American Studies from 2014-2015, before becoming CASAR's director in the fall of 2015. Her research and writing focus 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.


    Professor Robert Myers, AUB (fall 2009-spring 2011 and fall 2014-spring 2015)

    Robert Myers is a professor of English at AUB and co-director of AUB's Theatre Initiative​. He is a playwright and cultural historian whose areas of interest include modern and contemporary literature, theatre and arts from the U.S., Latin America, Europe and the Arab world. Myers has written seven plays for the stage which use theater to explore moments of cultural collision and historical transformation and have been staged throughout the US and Lebanon. He has also co-translated a number of plays from Arabic and he is currently co-editing and co-translating Sentence to Hope, a Wannous reader, for Yale University Press's Margellos World Republic of Letters, and Contemporary Levantine Political Theatre, an anthology and critical edition, for Brill-Leiden. He has a PhD in literature from Yale, with a focus on Spanish, Portuguese, and Hispano-Arabic literatures, and is the recipient of a Franke fellowship from Yale, two Fulbright fellowships, a Mellon grant and a New York State Individual Artist's grant. He has written on theatre and culture for The New York Times, PAJ, Theatre Research International, Middle East Critique, Folha de São Paulo and other publications.  ​

    Professor Alex Lubin, University of New Mexico (fall 2011-spring 2014)

    Alex Lubin is a professor in the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico. Lubin's scholarship engages global histories of race, the African diaspora, and America in the world, with a particular focus on U.S./Middle East relations. He is the author of Geographies of Liberation: The Making of an Afro-Arab Political Imaginary (UNC, 2014) and Romance and Rights: The Politics of Interracial Intimacy, 1945-1954. He is the editor of Revising the Blueprint: Ann Petry and the Literary Left; Settler Colonialism: A South Atlantic Quarterly Special Issue (with Alyosha Goldstein); American Studies Encounters the Middle East (with Marwan Kraidy); and Futures of Black Radicalism (with Gaye Theresa Johnson). Lubin is currently working on a history of a mid-nineteenth century naval ship called the USS Supply, a ship that was a key link in the global supply chain that enabled American expansion between the Mexican war and the Spanish American War. He is also writing a history of "free jazz," which developed in the North African context during the era of Bandung.


    Patrick McGreevy, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at AUB (fall 2004-spring 2009)

    A geographer by training, Patrick McGreevy came to AUB to serve as a professor of History and Archaeology from Clarion University in Clarion, Pennsylvania, where he had been chair of the Department of Anthropology, Geography, and Earth Science since 1991. While at Clarion, he also served as Fulbright Chair of American Studies in Hungary in 1999-2000. He received his PhD in geography from the University of Minnesota in 1984. His research and writing focus on landscape and nationalism in nineteenth century United States and Canada, and American encounters with the Middle East. He is the author of Imagining Niagara: Meaning and the Making of Niagara Falls (University of Massachusetts Press, 1994) and Stairway to Empire: Lockport, the Erie Canal, and the Shaping of America (SUNY Press, 2009). He has been serving as the dean of FAS at AUB since 2009.

    AUB Advisory Committee

    Professor Sirene Harb (​)

    Department of English

    Professor Octavian Esanu (

    Assistant Professor of Art History
    Curator AUB Art Galleries 

    Professor Sari Hanafi (

    Professor, Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES)

    Professor Nadia Bou Ali (

    Associate Professor, Critial Humanities for the Liberal Arts (CHLA)​

    Professor Fouad Fouad Mohammad (

    Associate Professor, Global Health Institute (GHI)

    International Advisory Board

    Beginning in 2008, CASAR has been directed in part with the help of an international advisory board. Its current and fourth iteration is m​ade up of the following members: 

    Professor David Shumway, Carnegie-Mellon​

    Professor Marcia Inhorn, Yale​​

    Professor Robert Reid-Pharr, Harvard​ University

    Professor Marwan Kraidy​, Northwestern University / Qatar   ​

    Professor Mounira Soliman, Cairo University​

    Professor Moustafa Bayoumi, Brooklyn College, City University of New York​​​​​​           


    Former members of the International Advisory Board include:

    Professor Djelal Kadir, Pennsylvania State University

    Professor Amy Kaplan, University of Pennsylvania

    Professor Stanley Katz, Princeton University

    Professor Rami Khouri, American University of Beirut

    Professor Melani McAlister, George Washington University

    Professor William Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham

    Professor Alex Lubin, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

    Pro​fessor Ruth Wilson Gilmore, City University of New York​​​​​​

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