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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media Contact

Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications
503/777-7574
beth.sorensen@reed.edu


REED PROFESSOR NAMED "SCHOLAR OF VISION" BY THE CARNEGIE CORPORATION

Darius Rejali, associate professor of political science at Reed College, has been named a "Scholar of Vision" and awarded a grant of $100,000 from the Carnegie Scholars Program. The grant will support the development of Rejali's forthcoming book, Approaches to Violence: A Citizen's Toolkit, to be published in 2005 by Princeton University Press.

Rejali is one of 13 scholars selected this year in this prestigious and highly competitive national competition across multiple fields. Carnegie Corporation of New York awards Carnegie Scholar grants to "support fundamental research conducted by gifted scholars (either established or promising) who are not only talented individuals, but who can also contribute significantly to the advancement of knowledge and understanding" in the Carnegie Corporation's areas of priority. Carnegie Scholars cannot apply for this honor; they must be nominated. Rejali is the first Carnegie Scholar from the Northwest, and one of only a select few named at undergraduate institutions. He is also the first Iranian American to receive the honor. A total of 52 scholars have been named by the Corporation since the program began in 2000.

"As the Carnegie Scholars program approaches its fourth year, the announcement of the new class of Carnegie Scholars underscores the importance of the role the creative intellectual plays in a democratic society," said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. "The support for research and scholarship has been a fundamental theme of the Corporation’s work over the years and the Scholars program each year helps men and women of vision to examine some of the most significant and critical questions facing the world today."

Other Carnegie Scholars chosen this year come from institutions that include New York University, Princeton University, the Brookings Institution and George Washington University, Columbia University, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

"I'm very honored to be selected, but more than that I think the receiving the Carnegie grant reflects wonderfully on the work that faculty members at liberal arts colleges such as Reed do," said Rejali. "It shows that while we may not publish as often or bring in huge grants as often as our colleagues at big research universities, we do great work in the classroom and out. I am very happy to represent that continued tradition of excellence."

In Approaches to Violence: A Citizen's Toolkit – based on a course he developed and taught at Reed–Rejali will offer citizens better ways to reflect and speak thoughtfully on violence and cruelty. "Violence permeates contemporary society, in regimes both authoritarian and democratic," said Rejali. "As a political philosopher, I have sought to teach people how to reflect on violence and thereby free themselves from the thoughtlessness and speechlessness that it engenders." His book aims to enable citizens to cultivate for themselves the ability to speak about violence well. The book clarifies the ways our reflection on violence is impeded, identifies the range of cognitive tools available for overcoming the paralysis imposed by violence, demonstrates how others have used these skills, and offers exercises to master these tools.

Rejali is the author of Torture and Modernity: Self, Society and State in Modern Iran (Westview 1994) and the forthcoming Torture, Technology and Democracy (Princeton 2004), as well as many recent articles on subjects that include the political thought of Osama bin Ladin, the history of electric torture, the practice of stoning in the Middle East, the treatment of refugees who have been tortured, and theories of ethnic rape.

Rejali has been a member of the Reed faculty since 1989. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from McGill University and a B.A. in philosophy from Swarthmore College. He is a member of the editorial board of Human Rights Review and served on the editorial board of Gender and Political Theory. He also has served on the board of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. In addition to his frequent guest and public lectures, Rejali has been a fellow of the Aspen Institute and co-chair of the Center for Iranian Research's 1998 annual conference. He was chosen in 2001 by Court TV (USA) and Channel 5 (UK) as a special consultant for a documentary on the history of punishment and torture.

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915).

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." As a grantmaking foundation, the Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim "to do real and permanent good in the world." The Corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $1.6 billion on September 30, 2002. It is expected that the Corporation's grantmaking will total more than $80 million during fiscal year 2002-2003 in the areas of education, international peace and security, international development, and strengthening U.S. democracy.

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