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Brown University, prestigious American Ivy League school, inaugurates 'Mahmoud Darwish' chair for Palestinian studies Open in fullscreen

Danya Hajjaji

Brown University, prestigious American Ivy League school, inaugurates 'Mahmoud Darwish' chair for Palestinian studies

Brown University appointed Professor Beshara Doumani as the Mahmoud Darwish Chair in Palestinian Studies [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 May, 2020

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Brown University has appointed a prominent Middle Eastern history professor as its first faculty chair in Palestinian Studies, a position named after Palestinian literary figure Mahmoud Darwish.
Brown University on Tuesday announced its first faculty chair in Palestinian Studies, a position named after prominent Palestinian writer Mahmoud Darwish.

The university, which is based in the US city of Providence, Rhode Island, appointed Professor Beshara Doumani as the inaugural Mahmoud Darwish Chair in Palestinian Studies.

Doumani is the Joukowsky Family Professor of Modern Middle East History and Director of Middle East Studies within Brown's history department. He has authored multiple books and scholarly articles on Palestine and Middle Eastern history.

Having focused on areas marginalised by mainstream Middle East-related academia, Doumani has worked extensively to expand the field of Palestinian studies.

In 2012, he founded the New Directions in Palestinian Studies research initiative at Brown University, which includes an annual workshop, a post-doctoral fellowship and a book series.

From 2008 to 2010, Doumani led a team that implemented a strategic plan for the establishment of the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, Palestine.

"Between writing books that have defined the field, mentoring generations of students, and working tirelessly to increase institutional capacity through efforts such as the New Directions in Palestinian Studies initiative, Beshara represents the soul of Palestinian Studies," Brown University said in a statement.

The Ivy League university added the chair is "the first of its kind at a major research university".

Mahmoud Darwish, the position's namesake, was a famed Palestinian poet and author whose award-winning works have helped shape Palestinian and world literature.

Darwish - who wrote of exile, dispossession, sorrow and anger - remains a powerful icon of resistance among Palestinians.

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