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The role of education in an historically challenging and politically complex environment: The response of public universities to the September 11 attacks

Nigar J Khan, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

The dissertation critically analyzes the response of a major research public university to the attacks of 9/11 in order to gain a deeper understanding of public universities' stance on the relevance of Middle East studies, particularly in the context of the serious and far-reaching impact of 9/11. The absence of an articulated position of the U. S. universities in recognizing this need suggests the perpetuation of the dominant discourses of power and centrality of Western knowledge in the academy—the discourses that historically led to the marginalization of Middle East studies in the U. S. universities during the Cold War period. The study, underpinned largely by a critical theoretical perspective, employs a qualitative case study strategy to explore and analyze the presence of dominant Western ideological discourses that may have contributed to producing particular stance of the university's leadership on the relevance of Middle East studies in the aftermath of 9/11. More specifically, a critique is developed from the perceptions and insights of the senior administration and faculty based on their views of the pertinence of Middle East studies, and whether they think the university's response has been rather deficient. The evidence drawn from this enquiry highlights that the thinking and practice that had arisen and prevailed during the Cold War still persists, ostensibly in the dominant academic discourses.^

Subject Area

Higher education administration|Middle Eastern studies

Recommended Citation

Khan, Nigar J, "The role of education in an historically challenging and politically complex environment: The response of public universities to the September 11 attacks" (2012). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3518250.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3518250

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