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$160,000 federal grant expands Middle Eastern studies at Elon

Elon University has received a $162,760 federal grant to build a Middle Eastern and Arabic studies program. History professor Brian Digre will lead a team of 11 faculty members in an interdisciplinary effort to develop a variety of courses. Details...

The grant is provided by the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program of the U.S. Department of Education, and will be matched by contributions from the university. Using grant funds, Elon will hire a new full-time Arabic foreign language professor. New courses in Middle Eastern studies developed by the faculty team may result in the creation of a new Middle Eastern studies minor and a concentration within the International Studies major.

“The Middle East has long been an important area for academic studies,” Digre says. “But now, contemporary events demand the attentions of Americans like never before. The committee that oversees the international studies major thought that developing a Middle Eastern studies program was the logical and useful thing to do.”

Faculty and staff from several academic departments will expand Elon offerings on the Middle East in art, communications, English, foreign languages, history, philosophy, political science and religious studies. The university will also expand library and video collections, host guest speakers and develop academic exchanges with universities in the Middle East.

This grant is the fourth that Elon has received from the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program. Previous grants helped fund African, Asian, Latin American and International Studies programs.

Dan Anderson,
7/3/2007 3:57 PM