June 10, 2020
In June 2020, Professor Beshara Doumani, former Watson Faculty Fellow, was appointed the first holder of the Mahmoud Darwish Chair in Palestinian Studies, a research initiative of the Center for Middle East Studies, effective July 1, 2020.
Named after Mahmoud Darwish, a towering and beloved figure of Palestinian and Arab literature and humanistic values, this History Department chair is the first of its kind at a major research university. Between writing books that have defined the field, mentoring generations of students, and working tirelessly to increase institutional capacity through efforts such as the New Directions in Palestinian Studies initiative, Beshara represents the soul of Palestinian Studies. By joining together the names Mahmoud Darwish and Beshara Doumani, the appointment embraces the vitality of Palestinian life as a driving concern in academic, cultural, and political affairs at the global level.