Villanova Global Interdisciplinary Studies Professor Receives U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award

Samer Abboud, PhDSamer Abboud, PhD, associate professor of Global Interdisciplinary Studies in the Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a prestigious 2023-2024 U.S. Fulbright Scholar grant by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. /Image courtesy of Villanova University

VILLANOVA, PA — Samer Abboud, PhD, associate professor of Global Interdisciplinary Studies in the Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a prestigious 2023-2024 U.S. Fulbright Scholar grant by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Beginning in January 2024, Abboud will serve as a Fulbright Canada Research Chair in North American Politics at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers awards to college and university faculty to teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects in more than 135 countries around the world. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as a record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

Abboud will use his semester-long Fulbright at Carleton University to pursue research on the thousands of Syrian refugees living in Canada following the ongoing Syrian Civil War. His research will adopt “lifeworlds,” or the lived world that people experience, as a framework to understand how their past lives of authoritarian rule, conflict and displacement are shaping Syrian refugees’ current lives in Canada. He is specifically interested in how lifeworlds are formed by a range of experiences, emotions, constraints and opportunities that shape their lives, and how they envision their future, especially their decision to either stay in Canada or return to Syria. As a hosting state that has extended citizenship to many Syrian refugees, Canada is an ideal location from which to explore how individual histories, host country policies and imagined futures converge to shape refugees’ lifeworlds.

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“I am incredibly honored to represent Villanova as a Fulbright Canada Research Chair,” said Abboud. “More than 10 years after the Syrian conflict began, many of the more than six million displaced Syrians continue to live in conditions of fear and insecurity. I am motivated to pursue research into how Syrian refugee lifeworlds are created in relation to their status in Canada as a way to understand the long-term impacts of displacement and differentiated rights regimes on the lives of Syrian refugees.”

Abboud joined Villanova in 2018. He holds a PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter in England, as well as a MA and a BA in Political Science both from Carleton University. He is the author of three books—Syria, Syria 2nd Edition and Rethinking Hizballah: Authority, Legitimacy, Violence. His research is broadly interested in warfare in Syria and the emergence of an illiberal post-conflict order in the country. Abboud sits on the Editorial Board of Security Dialogue and is a co-editor of Jadaliyya’s Syria page.

“Dr. Abboud is most deserving of this Fulbright Award,” said Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, William and Julia Moulden Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “This opportunity will not only enrich his scholarly expertise in the Middle East and critical security studies but also strengthen his intellectual impact on our campus community as a successful teacher, mentor and incoming Director of the College’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies.”

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