Alumni Updates: Arabic

  • Arabic Links: A New Textbook for Arabic Arab pic1Prof. John Eisele and Prof. Driss Cherkaoui are putting the finishing touches on the first volume of a textbook series for the Arabic language which will be published by the American University in Cairo Press, entitled “Arabic Links” (in Arabic: كتاب التواصل). The series attempts to handle the issue of Arabic language variation (often termed “diglossia”) in a manner significantly different from the current textbook widely used in the field. Rather than teaching 2 or more varieties simultaneously, this series attempts to introduce the variation more gradually, starting with a focus on the common literary language, FusHa, and introducing other variant forms of the language at first as “linguistic culture”, and then with a stand-alone textbook for 4 of the main varieties: Moroccan, Egyptian, Levantine, and Iraqi. Another aspect of “linguistic culture” will be the treatment of the case system of the literary language, which is linguistically redundant and not essential for communication, but which is seen as a vital part of the Arabic literary and religious tradition, and for some cannot be overlooked. Another aspect of Arabic L2 pedagogy which is addressed by this series is a return to a communicative approach which emphasizes the active acquisition of vocabulary tied to clearly defined topics and contexts of use. The first two volumes of the series cover basic grammar, vocabulary, and general contexts, and each of the units is tied to a cultural context of an Arab country. These “cultural” activities and texts provide information about the history, society, and some cultural practices specific to that country, as well as information about the “linguistic culture” of the region, i.e., the main dialect of the country. The unit is structured around a progressing through the four skills for each topic, starting with a Arab pic2conversational introduction to the basic vocabulary of a context or activity, and culminating in a writing exercise which summarizes the main points of the unit. The third volume of the series concentrates on providing a context for developing skills in discussing, reading, and writing about more specific fields, of an academic nature. The vocabulary is a general review of the words and phrases necessary to deal with topics related to that field, with texts (reading and listening) provided as exemplary texts, but instructors are encouraged to provide their own texts, glosses, questions, and suggestions for tasks and activities as they desire. Regarding the supplemental textbooks dealing with specific dialects, Prof. Cherkaoui has completed a manuscript for teaching Moroccan dialect, or “al-Daarija”, and he hopes to publish that within the coming year. Other dialect textbooks will follow. This project was funded initially by a grant from the Department of Education, and included contributions from other faculty at William and Mary and the Arab-American Language Institute in Morocco (AALIM). 
  • Claypool, Mary (Class of 2003) Since graduation in 2003, I worked for two years as a legal assistant before returning to graduate studies in the language I love, French. I received my Master's degree in French in 2007 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and am currently writing my dissertation in Geneva, Switzerland thanks to a dissertation fellowship. The Ph.D. is not far off! I also have continued to develop my Arabic skills, with the help of a FLAS grant for study in Morocco. My work as a contract linguist for the FBI has allowed me to apply my language skills, and I am grateful for the foundational training W&M provided!
    Skype has also updated the privacy settings and fixed a bug related to bluetooth and calls.
  • Farrar, Adam (Class of 2010) (BA Middle Eastern Studies, Psychology):  I am currently an M.A. Candidate in the Arab Studies program at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. (Updated 2010)
    Some journals and editions put more stringent requirements and do not accept papers with uniqueness lower than 90%.
  • Hoyne, Alexa (Class of 2010) (BA Middle Eastern Studies): I might be starting graduate school at Georgetown next semester! (Updated 2010)
  • Stephen Sheehi receives 2018 Plumeri Award Stephsheehi_12092014492en Sheehi, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Chair of Middle East Studies, Professor of Arabic Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, has received the 2018 Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, celebrating exemplary achievements of William & Mary faculty in teaching, research, and service. Prof. Sheehi’s work meets at the intersection of cultural, visual, art, and social history of the modern Arab world, starting with the late Ottoman Empire and the Arab Renaissance (al-nahdah al-‘arabiyah). His scholarly interests include photography theory, psychoanalysis, post-colonial theory, Palestine, and Islamophobia. Prof. Sheehi’s forthcoming book, Camera Palaestina: The Seven Photography Albums of Wasif Jawhariyyeh (University of California Press, forthcoming) is co-authored with Salim Tamari and Issam Nassar. His contribution to the book, “On the Emergence of a Palestinian Spectator,” reevaluates the relationship between the Palestinian and the photographic archive, between the colonized and the colonizer and between the settler-Zionist and the native Palestinian. This research also serves as the theoretical foundation for a larger and broader, single authored book project, entitled Decolonizing Photography. Prof. Sheehi is also writing along with Dr. Lara Sheehi, Psychoanalysis under Occupation. The research is an exploration of the intersubjective experience of Palestinians living under violent and violating Israeli occupation as interpreted not only by Palestinian psychoanalysts but cultural “workers,” artists, and film-makers. An early sample of the project can be found in Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. Prof. Sheehi has received a NEH-FPIRI Fellowship to research the topic in Palestine in 2018. The Arab Imago: A Social History of Indigenous Photography 1860-1910 (Princeton University Press, 2016) is Prof. Sheehi’s most recent book. It is a ground-breaking study on the history of photography in the Arab world. The research is the first to comprehensively research native studios in Alexandria, Beirut, Cairo, Jaffa, and Jerusalem as well as early Hajj photography in al-Hijaz during the late Ottoman period. In doing so, the book investigates and theorizes the relationship between indigenous photography, social transformations and the creation of modern Arab society in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine before World War One. Prof. Sheehi’s most recent book is Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign Against Muslims (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2011). The book examines the rise of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiments in the West following the end of the Cold War. Sheehi analyzes the relationship between United States foreign and domestic policies, cultural representations, and political discourses in mainstreaming of Islamophobia. The book has been translated into Arabic as al-Islamufobia: al-Hamlah al-idiulujiyah dud al-Muslimin translation by Fatimah Nasr (Cairo: Dar al-Sutour, 2012). Foundations of Modern Arab Identity (University of Florida, 2004) is Prof. Sheehi’s first book, offering a new paradigm for thinking about the 19th century Arab Renaissance or al-nahdah al-`arabiyah. The book discusses how reformers such as Butrus  al-Bustani, Salim al-Bustani, Farah Antun, and Jurji Zaydan offered a powerful cultural self-criticism alongside their advocacy of Arab “progress and civilization” in the face of European imperialism. In doing so, these Arab intellectuals established the epistemological foundation for Arab modernity that would always gauge their “failure” and “success” against ideals of colonializing Europe. Prof. Sheehi has published in a variety of venues on Middle Eastern photography, art, literature, and intellectual history in venues such as Third Text, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Critical Inquiry, The British Journal of Middle East Studies, Discourse, The Journal of Arabic Literature, Alif: Journal of Compartive Poetics, Critique, Jouvert, The Journal of Comparative South Asian, African, Middle Eastern Studies and Encyclopedia of Islam along within a number of other books. He has published commentaries in Psychoanalytic Activist, Common Dreams, Mondoweiss, Jadaliyya, and al-Adab.

According to the national crime prevention council, one of the main reasons children don’t tell adults they’ve been cyberbullied is fear that their computer privileges will be taken away.
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