The Mary Flexner Lectures: 2007 Series Overview

Rashid Khalidi: "The United States, the Middle East,
and the Cold War"

Rashid Khalidi, one of the foremost authorities on the history of the modern Middle East, delivered the 2007 Mary Flexner Lectures at Bryn Mawr College on three Wednesdays in October and November 2007. The overarching theme of the series was "The United States, the Middle East, and the Cold War."

Khalidi's visit prompted a series of associated workshops and discussions for members of the Bryn Mawr faculty and staff. Two discussions held in advance of the lectures focused on readings that treat the historical background of Khalidi's Flexner Lecture subjects, including some of Khalidi's previous work. Post-lecture events gave participants an opportunity to discuss each lecture topic with Khalidi, and three spcial workshops with Khalidi focused on associated subjects.

At the time of his lectureship, Kahlidi was the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies and Director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. His research and teaching encompass the history of the modern Middle East, and in particular the countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean, with an emphasis on the emergence of national identity, and the involvement of external powers in the region.  He is particularly interested in the role of the press in the formation of new publics and new senses of community, in the place of education in the construction of identity, and in the way narratives of self and other have interacted over the past two centuries in this conflicted region.

Born in the United States to a Lebanese mother and a Palestinian father, Khalidi grew up in New York and earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University. He went on to Oxford University for his doctorate in history, writing a dissertation about British policy toward Syria and Arab nationalism in the years preceding World War I. He taught at the American University in Beirut and at the University of Chicago before his appointment to the Said Chair at Columbia in 2003.

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