Rashid Khalidi to Give Talk on Middle East

Posted: October 2, 2009

This year's Lax Lecture, "The Long Twentieth Century: The View from the Middle East," will be delivered by Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, on Wednesday, October 28, at 4:15 pm in Hooker Auditorium.

Khalidi, a native of New York City and a graduate of Yale and Oxford, taught at American University of Beirut and at the University of Chicago before moving to Columbia University in 2003. His prize-winning books--most recently, Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East (2009) and The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006)--have explored the history of nationalism in the Arab world and the legacies of British, American, and other Western policies in the modern Middle East.

According to associate history professor Jeremy King, who is organizing the lecture this year, Khalidi will center his Lax Lecture on exploring two questions: How might we change entrenched habits of Orientalism, or seeing "the East" as repeating age-old patterns until the arrival of European modernity? And where does the Middle East come into the history of the twentieth century?

The John Lax Memorial Lexture was endowed in 1982 by Professor Peter Lax and by his wife, the now deceased Professor Anneli Lax--both of the New York University Mathematics Department--in honor of their son, John, a historian who taught at Mount Holyoke in the mid-1970s. After John Lax's premature death, his parents created a permanent memorial in the form of this annual lecture. The Lax Lecture is given every fall by a historian of the highest distinction to commemorate the work and spirit of John Lax by making the latest advances in historical research accessible to the public.

Related Links:

Rashid Khalidi Faculty Profile

History at MHC