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Reed College Prof. Darius Rejali Awarded Fulbright Distinguished Chair


The Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program comprises approximately 40 distinguished lecturing and research awards ranging from three to 12 months.


Portland, OR (May 22, 2009) --The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has awarded Reed College professor of political science Darius Rejali with the 2009 Danish Distinguished Chair in Human Rights and International Studies. Awards in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program are among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program.

The Danish Distinguished Chair is a research award at the Danish Center for International Studies and Human Rights. The center was established on January 1, 2003, to strengthen research analysis in Denmark concerning international affairs, primarily in the fields of foreign security, development of policy; conflict; holocaust; genocide and political mass murders; and human rights in Denmark and abroad.

Iranian-born Rejali is an internationally recognized expert on government torture and interrogation. He has spent his scholarly career reflecting on the causes, consequences, and meaning of modern torture. His work draws from the disciplines of political science, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, history, and critical social theory. He is a 2003 Carnegie Scholar, an honor he received in recognition of his innovative approach to the study of violence.

Rejali's most recent book, Torture and Democracy (Princeton, 2007), is an unrelenting examination of the use of torture by democracies in the 20th century. It won the 2007 Human Rights Book of the Year Award from the American Political Science Association. In their review, the Times Higher Education said, "Torture and Democracy immediately lays claim to be the most compendious and most rigorous treatment of the subject yet written.” The book has been praised in the Financial Times, Harper's, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Daily Telegraph. It has placed Rejali in the international media spotlight, positioning him among the world's preeminent scholars on torture. He has been interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, David Frost on Al Jazeera, and on more than one occasion by the BBC, and the Washington Post.

Rejali is also the author of Torture and Modernity: Self, Society and State in Modern Iran (Westview, 1994), as well as many articles on violence, including “Masculinity and Torture,” “Media Representations of Torture,” “Political Thought of Osama bin Ladin,” “History of Electric Torture,” “Practice of Stoning in the Middle East,” “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.