Honorary Degrees 2007  
Dedication Ceremony for the Charles W. Hostler Student Center
AUB Revives PhD Programs in Eight Fields
AUB Selects Executive Search Firm
Intel-sponsored Telemedicine Project Launched between AUBMC and Nabatiyeh
A Memorandum of Understanding
Buffering Lebanon's Democracy
Spreading the Word about the Role of American Universities in the Mid-East
REP's Office Launches Journalism Training Program
Faculty Profiles
Job Fair Breaks Records
Samir and Roseanne Khalaf Launch New Books
Paul Salem Encourages Lebanese Diaspora
Robert Fisk Lecture
Veteran AUB Staffers Awarded for Dedicated Service
Annual Medical Congress Marks 140th Anniversary of Medical School and Centennial of Hospital
FEA Student Conference
Staff Profiles
School Fair 2007: Prospective Students Brave Political Situation
More Than 60 Percent of Lebanese Youths Smoke
Former Sudanese PM Calls for Preventive Democracy to Solve Region's Ills
Regular Senate Meeting of March 30, 2007
Lebanon's Public Debt
Governance Trends in MENA and Public Sector Reforms in Lebanon
Lecture on Poverty Reveals the Underexposed Aspects of Lebanon's Society
Moving Away from Tobacco Farming
On Palestinian Refugees and Spaces of Exclusion
EMERGENCY RELIEF-Nahr El-Bared Relief Campaign
Merging Architectural Designs with an Ecological Vision
International Biodiversity Day at AUB
American and Israeli Myths of National Insecurity
Does US Militarization Perpetuate Race?
Which Iran? Memoirs of the Iranian Diaspora
Volunteer Spirit Takes Off
The New Women's League Board 2007-09
Ancient Shipwreck Off the Coast of Turkey Captivates Archaeologists
Jewish Opposition to Zionism
Ambassador Lhouvum Introduces India
Diversity Celebrated in Photography Club Exhibit
End-of-Year Poetry Reading at Blue Note Café
AUB at International Sports Festival
Museum Celebrates the Myth of Europa
Comedy Night Raises Money
More Than 13,000 Visitors at This Year's Outdoors
Shnorhali Choir Revives Armenian Musical Culture
Visitors Bureau Cuts Anniversary Cake
June 2007 Vol. 8 No. 7


Faculty Profiles

Professor Livia Wick

Livia Wick
Anthropology Professor Livia Wick joined AUB's Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences in spring 2007. Raised in Palestine, Wick chose to come back to the region after completing her studies in the United States and France.

"I grew up in Ramallah, Palestine. My father is a history professor at Birzeit University and my mother is a midwife," Wick told the AUBulletin. She received her BA in human biology from Brown University and then finished her master's in Middle Eastern History at the University of Paris, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales. After that, Wick again headed to the United States, where she earned her PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As an undergraduate, Wick took a biology course in the social and biological context of human disease, which sparked her interest in science studies and anthropology. "I wanted to study medicine from a social point of view," she explained. Since then, Wick has been immersed in the politics of health in Palestine.

She recalls that in the summer of 2001, while doing her preliminary PhD research, Ramallah was under curfew most of the time. "Under curfew," she remarks, "television is like a pair of legs and an eye that permit you to see what is going on in the streets, outside your home." Every evening, she said, news channels would be airing stories about women giving birth at checkpoints, in jail, in their homes. It was in such stories that Wick began exploring the issue of birth and medicine in the central West Bank.

At AUB, Wick met and married her husband, who is a member of the Faculty of Health Sciences. "We are totally involved in the region intellectually, emotionally, and existentially," she said. AUB is not only her workplace; it is also her home and where she is raising her family. She is a mother of two, Ramla and Naji, and divides her days between work and parenthood-spending time with her children at the lower campus playground and giving classes and attending to her students in the upper campus.

"One of the most engaging experiences is my contact with students-learning from them and with them-which is one of the main tasks of the trade," said Wick. Another part of academic life she is passionate about is ethnographic research, "listening to people and trying to understand the conditions of our lives."

Professor Julia Kent

Julia Kent
Postponing her arrival in Lebanon because of the Israeli invasion in summer 2006, Julia Kent took up her position as assistant professor in the English Department in January. But she was already acquainted with AUB and Beirut, having visited several times in 1999 and 2000.

Cross-cultural concerns, national views of the "other," and national self-identity top Professor Kent's academic interests and research topics in nineteenth century English literature. Her PhD thesis topic (2006, Johns Hopkins University) was "Divided National Characters: French and British Selfhood in the Victorian Novel." Fluent in French (she received a maitrise in lettres modernes, with highest honors from the University of Paris in 2000), she studies the way French novels critique English realism, Thackeray as a French novelist, and the treatment of Europe by British novelists. She has also translated Benjamin Franklin's French letters into English.

Kent finds AUB a welcoming institution and her colleagues warmly helpful. New faculty orientation programs introduced her to other university faculties and departments, and teaching in the Civilization Sequence Program provides her with perspective on the diversity of faculty and students at AUB.

In comparison with her students at Johns Hopkins University (where she taught American literature, nineteenth century British literature, and travel narratives), she finds AUB students intensely interested in ideas and concerned with the implications of classroom discussion. "AUB students are never passive," she

stated. She finds them open to two classroom methodologies: structure and framework on the one hand and active discussion on the other. The students' enthusiastic involvement complements her concern with the application of literature to society.

For relaxation outside the classroom, Kent walks the streets of Beirut, picking different neighborhoods for thorough exploration. After years of disciplined graduate study, she loves having the opportunity to be drawn out into a city with an active, vibrant street life. She says she feels "particularly at home in places where people come from different backgrounds and (in many cases) where many people have roots in different places.

Professor Robert Gallagher
Robert Gallagher
A specialist in ancient and medieval philosophy, Assistant Professor Robert Gallagher joined the AUB Civilization Sequence Program in January 2007 after teaching in the United States and Canada. In addition to summer scholarship awards (University of Colorado, Harvard, Berkeley, and King's College London), he was awarded the Woodhead Research Prize at Ohio State University, where he received his PhD in classics and ancient philosophy in 1998. He teaches two sections of CSVP 202 and CVSP 207E.

The ability of his students to write exams and short papers in a foreign language humbles Gallagher. In comparison with American university students, AUB students "are brighter in terms of ideas, exam answers, writing papers… Learning multiple languages makes one more self-conscious of the use of language, and therefore you begin to become more self-conscious of ideas, what ideas are. You become more critical. When it comes to writing an essay," he says, "I'm concerned that [the students] make an argument."

Grading an exam while sitting overlooking the sea, Gallagher found himself delighted with student answers to the question, "What does Augustine mean when he says our being becomes more contracted when we turn away from God's love and seek earthly pleasures?" "I was astonished by the moving and erudite responses of the students. Coming here was the right choice."

Gallagher is currently researching the history of the philosophy of the human being, from Plato through the Arabs to John Locke. "I'm focusing on what the nature of the human being is-whether there are essential differences among humans. . . So many, like John Locke, believe that there are no essential differences, but Aristotle said there were; so did Ibn Rushd." With several articles and book reviews already published, Gallagher is currently working on an article on Aristotle and a book on Plato.

Gallagher prefers the small shops of Lebanon to the huge supermarkets-"which I find to be alienating, demeaning, and also ineffective. I just love going to these little shops to buy my labneh and cheese." Here in Lebanon with his eight-year-old daughter Gabriella, Gallagher enjoys a quick swim in the sea in front of his Hariri Building apartment after taking her to school each morning. He sings in the choir of St. Francis's Church and also counsels alcohol and drug abusers.

Professor Henri Franses
Henri Franses
The Department of Fine Arts and Art History is one of the newest additions to AUB's ever expanding academic programs, and Henri Franses is the newest member of its faculty. As a professor of art history, Franses is a seasoned educator with a broad history of art and culture.

Born in South Africa, Franses represents AUB's diversity, owing to his extensive traveling, which he believes shaped his love for art. He earned his BA in philosophy in 1982 from McGill University in Canada, where he specialized in critical theory. He pursued his MA in art history at the same university in 1987, before heading to England, where he worked on his PhD at the Courtauld Institute in London.

Professor Franses then moved to Australia, where he taught in Canberra for six years before moving to New York City, where he taught at the Pratt Institute and at New York University for another six years. Soon after, he moved to AUB, where he arrived to teach during the spring semester of 2007. He is currently teaching a course in 19th century French art and early Christian art, which includes his specialization in Byzantine art history.

In explaining his transition from philosophy to art history, Franses said that the two subjects are very much related and that he is interested in the way in which art itself embodies philosophy. He explained that art works in a nonverbal way and that he is interested in the ways artists are able to visually represent philosophical concepts in art.

Franses also voiced his passion for traveling, citing an impressive list of the countries he has been to. He has lived in Spain and has been to India, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Chile, Syria, and Turkey, to name a few. Despite his extensive travels, he had never been to Lebanon before. He commented on the significance of Lebanon's location in the world, in that it is the bridge between East and West and is also at the center of the old world, once the hub of civilization for centuries. This fact always fascinated him and had always drawn him to this part of the world, which is why his trips to Syria and Turkey left such a deep impression on him.

Besides travel and art, Professor Franses is an avid music fan. He plays the cello and loves opera.