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CAJEF Global Fellows Program Announces Four-Week Seminar

The Center for International Education at Washington and Lee University will hold a Winter 2016 Global Fellows Seminar: Tradition and Change in the Middle East and South Asia. The seminar is supported by the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation.

The four-week session, from Jan. 18–Feb. 13, 2016, has been organized by Joel Blecher, assistant professor of religion; Seth Cantey, assistant professor of politics; and Shikha Silwal, assistant professor of economics. Each week will take a different approach to the study of the region.

Mark Rush, director of the Center for International Education, described the program as “an example of cutting edge, interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching. Thanks to the generosity and support of the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, W&L has the opportunity to explore new curricular initiatives in innovative and transformative manners.”

“The 2016 Global Fellows Seminar brings together a dynamic group of faculty whose research and teaching interests add new emphases and depth to our already robust curriculum. The focus on the Middle East and South Asia complements the Mellon Seminar on Human Rights in Africa that is also taking place during the 2015-16 academic year.”

The seminar will address issues of Education in South Asia and the Middle East, Capitalism and Islam in India and the Arabian Peninsula, and Islam and Conflict in the Levant. It will engage students; faculty; and guest speakers to lay the foundation for a new, gateway course that will introduce future students to the study of the Middle East and South Asia.

Speakers will contribute to seminar and classroom discussions, provide radio interviews, give public lectures (three) and collaborate with faculty.

Jan. 18–20, 2016: Jayanth Krishnan is a professor of law, a Charles L. Whistler faculty fellow and director of the Center on the Global Legal Profession at Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. He will give a classroom seminar for faculty and students which will focus on the state of lawyers and higher education in India.

January 19-22, 2016: M. Najeeb Shafiq is an associate professor of education, economics and international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. His recent research papers are on the social benefits of education (using public opinion data), household schooling and child labor decisions, and education reform, particularly educational privatization and accountability and incentive-based reforms.

  • Shafiq’s public lecture is Jan. 20 at 5 p.m. in Hillel 101. It is titled “Is Education a Panacea? Evidence from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.” He will also conduct a seminar discussion on “Returns or Revolution? Schooling, Earnings and Protest Participation during the Arab Spring and Arab Winter” (forthcoming publication, co-authored with Anna Vignoles, University of Cambridge).

January 26-28, 2016: Caroline Osella is a reader in anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Since 1989, Osella has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Kerala, South India and the United Arab Emirates.

  • Osella’s public lecture is Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. in Hillel 101. She will speak on “A Space of Possibilities: How Gulf Migration Impacts South Indian Muslim Family Life and Gendered Relationships.”

February 7-13: Nico Prucha is a Violent Online Political Extremism (VOX-Pol) Research Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at the Department for War Studies, King’s College London. His current project is titled “Viral Aspects of Jihadism: The Lingual and Ideological Basis of Online Propaganda and the Spill Over to Non-Arabic Networks.”

  • Prucha’s public lecture is Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. in Hillel 101. The lecture is titled “The Islamic State and the War for Hegemony in the Middle East.”

For more information on the seminar, see W&L’s Center for International Education’s website or contact Mark Rush, director of the Center, at rushm@wlu.edu.          

Founded in 1952, the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to the life of the mind and spirit. It focuses its attention primarily on the field of education, in particular liberal arts education, which can help individuals realize their highest aspirations and fullest human potential.