Juan Cole: May join Univ. faculty

Historians in the News

Controversial University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole is a top candidate for a senior faculty position in modern Middle East studies, two members of the search committee said Monday.

Cole writes about contemporary politics on his blog, "Informed Comment," and has drawn criticism from conservatives for his opposition to the war in Iraq. But Frances Rosenbluth, a member of the search committee for the professorship, said the committee considered only his scholarly writing -- not his blog or his political views -- when they named him a finalist for the slot, which is sponsored by the Yale Center for International and Area Studies.

Search committee chair Julia Adams and Rosenbluth both confirmed that Cole is a leading candidate in the search process, but Rosenbluth said he is not the only person being considered for the job. The committee was attracted to Cole because of the caliber of his scholarship, she said.

"He's a historian who's written very subtle and insightful history of the Middle East," Rosenbluth said.

Rosenbluth said that if Cole comes to Yale, he will likely have a joint appointment in history and sociology.

Modern Middle East studies has not been one of Yale's strengths historically, but administrators are currently considering the creation of a new major in the field. Although the major might be housed within the Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Department, it would likely draw on faculty members from throughout the University, including YCIAS....

Read entire article at Yale Daily News

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