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Center for Arab American Studies | University of Michigan-Dearborn Archives

Name: Center for Arab American Studies

Historical Note:

The Center for Arab American Studies is the first academic center to focus upon those people from the Arab world who live in this country. We are founded on a cooperative spirit and work with other academic institutions in the region including the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Michigan-Flint, Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University, and Henry Ford Community College.

Mission Statement: The Center has four goals: to teach students, professionals, and the general public about Arab Americans; to form a hub for research around which interested scholars can investigate, present, and publish their work; to encourage a dialogue on critical policy issues among Arab American cultural, economic, religious, and social service organizations on the hand, and policy makers, educators, and researchers on the other; finally, to preserve the records and histories of the Arab American community.

Undergraduate Education: We offer courses in history, sociology, art history, education, political science, anthropology, and Arabic language and literature, courses that explore Arab and Arab American history and culture. These offerings will be expanded.

Arab American Historical Collection: The AAHC is an archive that collects and houses the history of the Arab American experience through the personal and organizational records of Arab American families and institutions. Our facilities are open to scholars and the general public.

Oral History Project: Arab seniors contain within their lives a living history of the community. Our Oral History Project is interviewing as many of them as possible. Some interviews that prove of broader interest will be published in monograph form.

Unpublished Resource Materials: In addition to published materials on Arab Americans in book and journals we are accumulating hard-to-get unpublished conference papers, studies, reports, documents, and other records of the community that are not easily accessible.

Visiting Scholars: We host a visiting scholars program designed to encourage and, where possible, support innovative research. Along with office space, teaching opportunities, and limited financial assistance, we provide visitors with a unique opportunity to interact with a broad network of locally based scholars and community leaders who are familiar with the Arab American Community and its history. We also welcome scholars to explore (and contribute to) the Arab American Historical Collection and campus library.

Applied Research: The Center cooperates with community and other groups in their research needs. We will assist them with research methodology, grant writing, project preparation.

Educational Programming and Orientation to the Community: The Center works with local educational and other officials to provide orientation for employees to the community and its concerns. We are particularly interested in offering workshops and  forums through which teachers, public officials, business, and others can learn more about Arab Americans and can develop relationships to facilitate their work and understanding.

Conferences: The Center will sponsor academic and policy maker conferences to bring together those who too often operate in isolation from each other.

Speaker Series: The Center offers an Arab-American Writers Lecture Series. The university also has an ongoing Middle East Speakers Series.

Publication Program: The Center will publish research generated by its projects or materials in its Oral History Archive or its Arab-American Historical Collection.

Management of the Center: The Center and its Director are subject to the established university governance structures and are assisted by an Academic Advisory Committee made up of professors from our supporting institutions.

Sources: From the CAAS website. 11/04

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