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Skidmore College
Greenberg Middle East Scholar-In-Residence



2010 Scholar-in-Residence: Relli Shechter

Relli Shechter, senior lecturer and chair of the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University, will be in residence at Skidmore from September through early October. While in residence, he will be teaching a course in the college's Department of Government, GO 364 "Oil and the Re-Making of the Modern Middle East." This 1-credit course will focus on how oil replaced agriculture as the single most important economic asset in the Middle East, and on how such an economic transformation affected local societies and shaped the politics of the region. His public lecture, "Consumerism and Islamism: The Middle East Since the 1970s," is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, in Davis Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public. The talk will focus on the connections between the development of mass consumer societies in the Middle East and the growth of Islamism. Throughout his residency he will also visit classes and meet with students and faculty in other formal and informal venues.

Shechter's research interests include business history, consumption studies and the economic history of the Middle East. His current research focuses on the emergence of mass consumer societies in Egypt and Saudi Arabia since the mid-1970s. A graduate of Tel-Aviv University, where he earned a B.A. degree magna cum laude in Middle Eastern and African history, Shechter also completed an advanced level course in Arabic language at Middlebury College. He holds a Ph.D. in history and Middle East studies from Harvard.