Oct. 26, 1995
Vol. 15, No. 4

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    New focus for International Studies

    Khalidi appointed Director of center Rashid Khalidi, an expert on Middle Eastern history and politics, has been appointed Director of the Center for International Studies by Provost Geoffrey Stone.

    Khalidi, Professor in History and Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations and Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, succeeds Ralph Nicholas, the William Rainey Harper Professor in Anthropology.

    "We expect to build on Ralph's fine work as we look for new directions for the center, which is re-examining its work in light of massive global changes," Khalidi said.

    A faculty committee will be appointed by Stone to help guide the center, he said.

    Khalidi was chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on International and Regional Programs that during the 1994-95 academic year looked at the University's role in international studies. (The committee's report is included in The University Record, a supplement in this issue.)

    "Some of the most interesting research and some of the most dynamic programs in higher education have an international focus," committee members stated in their report. "What is currently being done at the University of Chicago is at the forefront of this research and teaching, particularly given the prominent place that has traditionally been given to interdisciplinary collaboration in our current work."

    In addition to research in the Social Sciences and Humanities divisions, work with an international focus is being done in the College, the Graduate School of Business, the Law School and other areas. These activities need to be coordinated, Khalidi said.

    "We want to make sure that people on campus are well aware of the research projects and other intellectual activities under way that are part of international studies," he said. "We also want to seek more corporate and other support for these activities."

    Khalidi has had nearly a lifetime of experience in international affairs. He attended high school in Korea, where his father was posted with the United Nations, and he has also lived in the Middle East and Europe. A University faculty member since 1987, he came to Chicago after serving on the faculties of Columbia, the Lebanese University and the American University of Beirut. From October 1991 to June 1993, he was an adviser to the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks held in Madrid and Washington, D.C. He received his B.A. in history from Yale in 1970 and his D.Phil. in modern history from Oxford in 1974.

    Khalidi is the author of British Policy Towards Syria and Palestine 1906-1914 (1980) and Under Siege: P.L.O. Decisionmaking During the 1982 War (1986) and co-editor of Palestine and the Gulf (1982) and The Origins of Arab Nationalism (1991). He is currently completing a book on the origins of Palestinian national identity.

    -- William Harms