The department was delighted to welcome Ussama Makdisi, Professor of History and the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies at Rice University, to present the 2015 Kylan Jones-Huffman Memorial Lecture. Prof. Makdisi spoke about his current project, "American and Ottoman Civil Wars and the Question of Sovereignty in the Middle East." Professor Makdisi is the author of numerous books and articles, including 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), which won the 2008 Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association, the 2009 John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association, and a co-winner of the 2009 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize given by the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies; and The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon (University of California Press, 2000). He also co-edited Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa (Indiana University Press, 2006) with Paul Silverstein.
The Kylan Jones-Huffman Memorial Lecture honors Kylan Jones-Huffman, who was admitted to GW’s PhD program in Middle Eastern history. Sadly, Jones-Huffman was killed in 2003 while on assignment with the First Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq. In his memory, family and friends contributed gifts to endow the Kylan and Heidi Jones-Huffman Fund, in support of graduate students in Middle Eastern history. The annual lecture is supported by the Fund.