Rejali named Carnegie scholar
Darius Rejali, associate professor of political science, 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 from multiple fields selected this year in this prestigious and highly competitive national competition. 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.
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.