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Skidmore College
Greenberg Middle East Scholar-In-Residence

2008 Scholar-in-Residence: Yoram Meital

Yoram Meital, professor in the Department of Middle East Studies and chair of the Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies and Diplomacy at Ben-Gurion University, will be in residence at Skidmore from the first of September through mid-October 2008. While in residence, he will be teaching two five-week courses: HI 298 
"Arab Nationalisms" and GO 364 "Arab Political Discourses." Throughout his residency he will also visit classes and meet with students and faculty in other formal and informal venues.

On September 18 Meital will deliver a lecture titled "Peace in Tatters: Vision and Reality in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" and on Sunday, September 21 he will be part of the panel discussion Can Peformance Change the World as part of the Orchestrating Peace event, a collaboration between the Greenberg Residency, the Department of Music and the Office of Jewish Student Life and Interfaith Programming.

Meital earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Middle Eastern history from Haifa University and held a post-doctoral position as senior associate member at St. Anthony's College, Oxford. Meital was recently a distinguished visiting professor in the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University and has lectured widely in the U.S. as well as Europe, Turkey, Egypt and throughout Israel.

He is author most recently of Peace in Tatters: Israel, Palestine and the Middle East, "a well-documented and convincing addition to recent testimonials that refute prevailing myths of the conflict" (Ranjit Singh, Digest of Middle East Studies). The book "points out persuasively the great damage done to the prospects for peace by the success of the Barak, Clinton, Sharon and Bush administrations in entrenching the view that the Palestinians were exclusively to blame" (Philip C. Wilcox, Middle East Journal). Further details may be found on the publisher's website for the book: Peace_in_Tatters_Israel_Palestine_and_the_Middle_East.

Meital's previous publications include Egypt's Struggle for Peace: Continuity and Change, 1967–1977 and articles and chapters on a wide range of topics. He has explored the Egyptian perspective on the October 1973 war; the teaching of history in public education in the Arab Middle East; the historical meanings in Arab national songs and especially in those of the Arab world's best-known singer, Umm Kulthum; Arab political discourses on peace and terrorism; political prisoners and resistance movements in Egypt; Jewish life in Egypt; and he has reviewed contemporary Arab cinema and visual arts.

About the program: Thanks to a gift from Skidmore alumna Jane Greenberg, through a fund honoring her late uncle Jacob Perlow, the Greenberg Middle East Scholar-in-Residence Program enables the college to bring to Skidmore esteemed guests and scholars who will, through teaching, lecturing and participation in the life of the institution, educate the Skidmore and larger area community on a range of topics concerning life in the Middle East. In addition to supporting the scholar-in-residence, generally a member of the Middle East Studies Department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the annual gift provides support for numerous supplementary activities as well.

Administered by the Office of the Dean of Special Programs, the program has involved collaborations with academic departments and programs including Government, History, International Affairs, Theater, Anthropology and many others; has engaged student groups and organizations and members of the local community; and has enabled the college to foster on-going relations with vistors who return as lecturers, as instructors and as friends.

This gift represents the second contribution to the college from the Jacob Perlow Fund. In 1983 the college received a gift from the fund to endow the Jacob Perlow Series, which presents events on topics related to Jewish history, literature, culture and thought.