2019 Edward Said Memorial Lecture – “When Americans Understood Palestine: The 1919 King-Crane Commission and the Last Colonialism of the World”


Dr. Ussama S. Makdisi,

Professor of History and Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies
Rice University

  •  A light snack is served at 12:30 p.m. Talk begins promptly at 1:00 p.m.


In his delivery of the 2019 Edward Said Memorial Lecture, Dr. Ussama Makdisi will unpack the 1919 King-Crane Commission in light of its historical context and legacies for U.S. foreign policy regarding Palestine.


Biography of Speaker

Dr. Ussama S. Makdisi is Professor of History and the first holder of the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies at Rice University. In 2012-2013, Makdisi was an invited Resident Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin). In April 2009, the Carnegie Corporation named Makdisi a 2009 Carnegie Scholar as part of its effort to promote original scholarship regarding Muslim societies and communities, both in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Makdisi has published widely on Ottoman and Arab history as well as on U.S.-Arab relations and U.S. missionary work in the Middle East. His books include Faith Misplaced: the Broken Promise of U.S.-Arab Relations, 1820-2001 (Public Affairs, 2010); Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East (Cornell University Press, 2008); The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon (University of California Press, 2000); and the co-edited book, Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa (Indiana University Press, 2006).

His major articles include “Anti-Americanism in the Arab World: An Interpretation of Brief History” which appeared in the Journal of American History and “Ottoman Orientalism” and “Reclaiming the Land of the Bible: Missionaries, Secularism, and Evangelical Modernity” both of which appeared in the American Historical Review. Dr. Makdisi has also published in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Comparative Studies in Society and History, and in the Middle East Report.




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