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Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Faculty Accolades

May 2012

Associate Professor of English Maurice Lee published Uncertain Chances: Science, Skepticism, and Belief in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Oxford, 2012).

Assistant Professor of English Joseph Rezek has been awarded a Resident Fellowship at the Newberry Library in Chicago. This will support one month of archival research this summer for his book project, Tales from Elsewhere: The Aesthetics of Provinciality and the Book Trade in Ireland, Scotland, and the United States, 1800-1850.

Professor of International Relations Vivien Schmidt received the Best Paper Award at the European Community Studies Association-Canada conference, which was held at Carleton University in Ottawa April 26-28, 2012. The paper (co-authored with Amandine Crespy) was entitled “The Clash of Titans/The White Knight and the Iron Lady: France, Germany and the Simultaneous Double Game of EMU Reform.”

Professor of International Relations Vivien Schmidt was featured in two recent roundtable discussions. The first, broadcast on China Radio International, was on the French presidential elections. You can listen to it here. The second roundtable took place at a conference titled “The Failure of the Euro? Causes and Consequences for Europe and Beyond.” The conference was sponsored by the Watson Institute for International Studies and the Rhodes Center for International Economics at Brown University. Read more

Assistant Professor of Economics Johannes Schmieder, who earlier this year was appointed a Peter Paul Fellow, has been named a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). The NBER is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works.

On May 21, the Boston Theater Critics Association will present Kate Snodgrass with the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. Snodgrass is artistic director of the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, which is a part of CAS. For more information, visit

Professor of Anthropology Merry White will receive the Japan Society’s John E. Thayer Award, which annually recognizes significant achievements by an individual or institution in the field of U.S.-Japan relations. A longtime member of the Department of Anthropology at CAS, White is one of America’s most distinguished and most popular Japan scholars. Well-known both for her academic publications as well as her popular writings, her teaching includes courses on Japanese society, women in Asia, food and culture, and the anthropology of travel and tourism. Her newest book, published this month, is titled Coffee Life in Japan, and is an engaging study of Japanese coffee shops and café culture.