|June 2007 Vol. 8 No. 7|
"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.
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."
|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.
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.
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.
|AUB HOME | AUBulletin Today Home | Archive | credits | Contact US|
|These pages are subject to AUB's general disclaimer and copyrights|