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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 Accolates: February 2011

Oxford University Press recently published a book by Assistant Professor of History Brooke Blower titled Becoming Americans in Paris: Transatlantic Politics and Culture Between the World Wars.


Professor of Political Science Walter Clemens gave the Glasmacher Lecture on February 3 in Ottawa, Canada, at the Symposium on Conflict Resolution. The symposium was sponsored by the Centre for Research on Conflict at Saint Paul University, the Department of Law at Carleton University, and the Faculty of Law from the University of Ottawa. The topic was “Can—Should—We Negotiate with Evil? Spirituality, Emergent Creativity, and Reconciliation.” The talk enlarged on arguments in Clemens’s recent book Getting to Yes in Korea (Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2010), which has an Introduction by Governor Bill Richardson.


Professor of International Relations and Geography & Environment Adil Najam has been appointed to the Visiting Committee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Corporation. Professor Najam, who is also the Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, will serve for a two-year term on the Visiting Committee for the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning.


After spending 16-plus hours each day running the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, American General David Petraeus tries to thumb through a few pages of a book each night before his eyes close and it falls to the ground. The most recent topic? Afghanistan, of course. The four-star general told Reuters that his nightstand currently holds a book by a leading expert on the country: CAS Professor of Anthropology Thomas Barfield‘s book titled Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History. Read the full article on Reuters.


Archie Burnett, Professor of English and Co-Director of the Editorial Institute, has been awarded the John T. Shawcross Award by the Milton Society of America for the most distinguished reference work on Milton published in 2009. He shares the award with Stephen Dobranski (Georgia State University) for A Variorum Commentary on the Poems of John Milton: Samson Agonistes (Duquesne University Press, 2009). Professor Burnett wrote the critical introduction to the volume; Professor Dobranski edited the text.


This January, Oxford University Press published the sixth expanded edition of CAS Professor of History Charles Capper and David A. Hollinger’s American Intellectual Tradition, 2 vols. These volumes have been in print through six editions over the last 20 years and are now the standard sourcebook used in American intellectual history and related courses in colleges and universities throughout the US and the UK. Read by a wide range of educated and scholarly readers, the works have sold over 100,000. Capper is also the coeditor of the journal Modern Intellectual History, published by Cambridge University Press.


The work of Chemistry Department Chair John Straub and his collaborators at the University of Maryland, Dr. Govardhan Reddy and Professor Dave Thirumalai, demonstrates that when aggregation occurs in aqueous solution between amyloid or prion peptides—which are associated with protein-misfolding diseases—a dry interface between the biomolecules forms in two different ways, suggesting how aggregation rates might differ substantially between proteins. The work is highlighted in the December 2010 issue of C&E News.