English Professor Explores Jordan
March 12, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University Associate Professor of English and
English Department Chair Alison Sainsbury was one of 12 professors selected nationally
from schools in the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to participate in a State
Department-funded seminar on “Teaching Islam and the Middle East” in Amman, Jordan
in early January. Sainsbury was accepted to attend after completing a competitive
The event was hosted by the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) and sponsored
by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), the CIC and the Department
The American Center of Oriental Research is a private, non-profit academic institution
dedicated to promoting research and publication in the fields of archaeology, anthropology,
art and architecture, history, languages, religious studies and other aspects of Near
Eastern studies. Since its founding in 1968, ACOR has served as a liaison between
Jordanian institutions, both academic and governmental, and international scholars
interested in working in the Near East.
“It is helpful to attain this more immediate understanding of a very complex and
nuanced society,” said Sainsbury. “You gain an intellectual appreciation of the culture
and integrate those experience back into the classroom.”
The focus of the weeklong convention was furthering international diplomacy and enriching
college curriculum by obtaining a view on the Middle East from Jordan’s perspective.
There were several sessions led by specialists in a wide variety of fields including
politics, education, archaeology and law, with addresses by Matar Saqer, the head
of the United Nations Relief and Works Association (UNRWA), and Zaki Ayoubi, vice
chair of the International Chamber of Commerce in Jordan. Other convention activities
included tours of Amman, King Hussein Park, eastern desert castles, and a trip to
the city of Petra.
At Illinois Wesleyan, Sainsbury teaches post-colonial literature, British imperialist
discourse in the late 19th and early 20th century, women’s studies, creative non-fiction,
hypertext and hypermedia, and Gateway Colloquium.
For questions or additional information, contact Sainsbury at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Amanda ReCupido, (309) 556-3181