Middle Eastern Studies

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Middle Eastern Studies Advisory Council

Jason Aleksander     
Assistant Professor, Philosophy
Warde Academic Center, N-411
Phone: 773-298-3242
E-mail: aleksander@sxu.edu

Jason Aleksander teaches courses in the history of philosophy, including courses in medieval philosophy and philosophy of religion that stress the interconnections and tensions between medieval Christian and Judeo-Arabic/Islamicate philosophical and religious thought, as well as their mutual indebtedness to ancient Greek philosophy. His current research interests are in the history of philosophy from the late Middle Ages to the eighteenth century. At Vanderbilt University, his dissertation, The Disavowal of Renaissance Philosophical Crises and the Geneses of Modern Philosophy and Science, focused on the significance of the mutual, interrelated origins of modern science and secular political theory in the crises of Renaissance philosophy. His immediate research concerns the philosophical background responsible for the eventual success of the Copernican Revolution.
Jason Aleksander
Khaled Alzoubi     
Associate Professor, Computer Science
Warde Academic Center, N-313
Phone: 773-298-3863
E-mail: alzoubi@sxu.edu
Jim Aman     
Associate Professor, Computer Science
Warde Academic Center, N-326
Phone: 773-298-3454
E-mail: aman@sxu.edu

Jim Aman is an associate professor of computer science and chair of the Computer Science Department. The son of a Unitarian (formerly Methodist) minister and a German Congregationalist, he has taught in the Catholic parochial system in Houston, Texas, and at Quaker and Catholic universities. He converted to Islam prior to his marriage to an Iranian-American in 1990. The conversion closed a genealogical circle; his first ancestors in North America were Muslims of Dutch-Moroccan heritage from Salee, Morocco. Thus, his ecumenical upbringing and personal interests in Islam and Iran bring focus to his involvement in the Middle Eastern studies program.
Jim Aman
Michael Bathgate     
Associate Professor, Religious Studies
Warde Academic Center, N-418
Phone: 773-298-3027
E-mail: bathgate@sxu.edu

Michael Bathgate teaches courses in the comparative study of religions, including RELST 249: The Islamic Tradition and RELST 240: The Religious Other (a course that focuses on inter-religious contact and dialogue). His research has focused on Japanese religious history, with particular interest in the meanings and uses of popular narrative. His first book, entitled The Fox's Craft in Japanese Religion and Folklore: Shapeshifters, Transformations and Duplicities, was released in 2004. His current research concerns the history of sacred biography in the Japanese tradition of Pure Land Buddhism.
Michael Bathgate
Mitra Fallahi     
Associate Dean, School of Education Graduate Studies
Warde Academic Center, G-207
Phone: 773-298-3336
E-mail: fallahi@sxu.edu
Alberta Gatti     
Associate Professor, Language and Literature
Warde Academic Center, N-419
Phone: 773-298-3234
E-mail: gatti@sxu.edu
Alberta Gatti
Iman N. Saca     
Associate Professor, Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice
Warde Academic Center, L-312B
Phone: 773-298-3554
E-mail: saca@sxu.edu

Iman N. Saca is currently an associate professor of anthropology at Saint Xavier University and the director of the Middle Eastern studies program. She teaches all the major branches of anthropology (cultural, physical and archaeology), as well as courses on the archaeology of the Middle East (mainly prehistory) and on Middle Eastern culture and society. She was the curator of "Embroidering Identities: a Century of Palestinian Clothing Exhibit" at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. For her research she frequently travels to Jordan and Palestine.  Dr. Saca is currently working on a proposal that will bring together various governmental and non-governmental institutions interested in the protection of the cultural and archaeological heritage in conflict areas mainly the West Bank. She is also interested in community archaeology, a way of involving the local population in archaeological projects and the benefits of such involvement and cooperation. Dr. Saca has presented papers at various national and international conferences and has published articles on prehistory, as well as Palestinian embroidery traditions and their meaning.
Iman N. Saca
Zepure Samawi     
Associate Professor, School of Nursing
Warde Academic Center, E-215
Phone: 773-298-3726
E-mail: boyadjian@sxu.edu

Zepure Samawi was born in Aleppo, Syria and grew up in Jerusalem, Israel.  She earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from the Arab Colleges of Paramedical Professions, El-Bireh, West Bank.  She then worked as a neonatal intensive care nurse in Makassed Hospital, Jerusalem. Later, Dr. Samawi joined the faculty of nursing at Bethlehem University, where she taught theory and clinical nursing. She was awarded a scholarship by American Middle East Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST) and was sponsored by the University to pursue a master of science degree in nursing of children, which she received in 1991 from Arizona State University. In 1999, Dr. Samawi joined the faculty of the School of Nursing at Saint Xavier University in and received her doctorate in nursing science in May 2006 from Widener University. Dr. Samawi is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing, in addition to the Association of Women's Health Obstetric Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and the Jordanian Nurse Association.
Zepure Samawi
Raymond Taylor     
Associate Professor, History and Political Science
Warde Academic Center, L-323
Phone: 773-298-3238
E-mail: taylor@sxu.edu
Amani Wazwaz     
Professor, Language and Literature
Warde Academic Center