American University of Sharjah

Department of International Studies

Department of international studies

Dr. Vernon L. Pedersen

Vernon Pedersen

Professor and Department Head

PhD, Georgetown University, USA

Vernon L. Pedersen is a specialist in the history of American and international Communism. His publications include "The Communist Party of Maryland, 1919–1957" published by the University of Illinois Press, and a study of US Congressman and secret Communist Jerry O’Connell. He is currently working on a book-length manuscript on Communist maritime unions as well as projects on the Spanish Civil War and Communist labor leader William F. Dunne. Dr. Pedersen is originally from Montana but has lived in many places, including Indiana, Maryland and Bulgaria as well as the UAE.

Dr. Pia-Kristina Anderson


Assistant Professor

PhD in Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley, USA

Pia-Kristina Anderson has taught at both the American University in Cairo and at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her research and teaching areas include culture contact, anthropological history, archaeology, cultural geography and the formation of identity. Dr. Anderson has extensive fieldwork experience both in the Middle East and in the Pacific Islands, among other regions.

Dr. Pernille Arenfeldt


Associate Professor

PhD in History, European University Institute, Italy

Pernille Arenfeldt's teaching and research interests are centered on women and gender in early modern Europe and in the modern Middle East. Her work is interdisciplinary and draws extensively on anthropological and sociological methodologies; this approach is also reflected in her teaching. She has held research fellowships in Denmark, Germany and Italy, and was selected for the Marie-Jahoda Visiting Chair in International Gender Studies at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.

Dr. Mark Aveyard


Assistant Professor

PhD in Psychology, Florida State University, USA

Mark Aveyard's teaching and research interests include cognitive and social psychology.

Dr. Tylor Brand

Dr Aaron Brand

Assistant Professor

PhD in History, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Tylor Brand is a historian of the modern Middle East with a focus on the Levant region during the late Ottoman period. His research is primarily concerned with the effects of disease and disaster on individuals and society in Middle Eastern history, most notably during the great famine of World War I. At the AUS, he teaches courses on the history of the Arab world, the Ottoman Empire and global history up to 1500.

Dr. Arianne Conty

Dr. Arianne Conty

Assistant Professor

PhD in Philosophy of Religion, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Arianne Conty's principal fields of specialization are in continental philosophy, comparative philosophy (with India) and philosophy of religion. Her research interests and publications focus on theories of subjectivity, East and West, and the ways philosophic and religious ideas participate in identity formation and inform theories of textual and visual representation. She is currently working on theories of technology and the ways they impact human identity, focusing on models that extend (biotech) and transcend (VR) human embodiment. From France, Dr. Conty taught for seven years in Rome, Italy, before coming to AUS.

Dr. Johannes A.A.M. van Gorp

Johannes AAM Van Gorp

Assistant Professor

PhD in Political Science, Boston University, USA

Johannes A.A.M. van Gorp has taught at the University of California, Riverside, and at Occidental College. His research and teaching interests are centered on West European politics, party politics, and the politics of immigration and citizenship. His work has been published in World Politics, Open Citizenship, West European Politics and SAGE Research Methods Cases.

Dr. Barry Hashimoto

Dr Barry Hashimoto

Assistant Professor

PhD in Political Science, Emory University, USA

Barry Hashimoto’s research focuses on international institutions, the politics of human rights, international law, war and empirical research methods in political science. He has published on the durable resolution of wars, the design of peace treaties, and the International Criminal Court. As a postdoctoral fellow, he taught global intellectual history at New York University Shanghai and human rights at New York University in the City of New York.

Dr. Anatoliy Kharkhurin

no image profile

Associate Professor

PhD, City University of New York, USA

Anatoliy Kharkhurin's research focuses mainly on multilingualism and creativity. This work was supported by a National Science Foundation research grant. Dr. Kharkhurin’s articles have appeared in edited volumes and scientific journals. He has written entries for The Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology and essay for the Encyclopedia of Giftedness, Creativity and Talent. Currently, he is working on the monograph Multilingualism and Creativity. In addition to his scientific interests, he is a published poet working with various art media.

Dr. Line Khatib

no image profile

Assistant Professor

PhD in Islamic Studies, McGill University, Canada

Line Khatib is a senior research fellow at ICAMES (the Inter-University Consortium for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies), McGill University, and is the author of a number of works including “Islamic Revivalism in Syria: the Rise and Fall of Ba´thist Secularism” (Routledge, 2011), and “Islamic Renewal and the Promotion of Moderate Islam from Above” (the University of St Andrews Centre for Syrian Studies and Lynne Rienner, 2012). Her research and teaching interests lie within the fields of comparative politics, religion and politics, and authoritarianism and democratization in the Arab World, with a particular focus on Islamic groups as social and political movements.

Dr. Jeniece Lusk

Dr Jeniece Lusk

Visiting Assistant Professor

PhD in Applied Sociology, Baylor University, Texas, USA

Jeniece Lusk has taught sociology for 10 years at institutions in the US and Japan. Her areas of teaching and academic scholarship include (but are not limited to) survey research methodology, global gender studies, environment and consumption, and deviant behavior. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Lusk has also conducted client-based qualitative and quantitative research and analysis for corporations in Atlanta and Central Texas.

Dr. Angela Maitner


Associate Professor

PhD in Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Angela Maitner's research investigates how social group memberships, such as nationality, occupation, university affiliation or gender, impact people’s emotions, behaviors and cognitions. Her work has been published in several international journals, and she has presented her work in 11 different countries. She maintains research collaborations around the globe. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship position at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.

Dr. Matteo Salvadore

Dr Matteo Salvadore

Assistant Professor

PhD in History, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA

Matteo Salvadore is a broadly trained world historian with a research interest in the Horn of Africa and its diaspora. His recent book, The African Prester John and the Birth of Ethiopian-European Relations, 1402-1555, explores early modern dealings between the Kingdom of Ethiopia and Renaissance Europe. He has also contributed scholarship to the Journal of World History, Northeast African Studies, World History Connected, Encyclopaedia Aethiopica and the Oxford Dictionary of African Biography. Before joining AUS, Dr. Salvadore taught in colleges in the US and in Kuwait.

Dr. James N. Sater

no image profile


PhD, University of Durham, UK

Before joining AUS, James N. Sater taught at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco. He has worked on state-civil society relations in North Africa, women’s rights movements and parliamentarians, political parties, public opinion and the process of democratization. He now works on Lebanese politics, focusing on questions of sectarianism on one hand, and governance and global migration on the other. He previously conducted research on Bahrain, Kuwait and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is the author of two books: Civil Society and Political Change in Morocco, and Morocco: Challenges to Tradition and Modernity. His research has been published in several international journals.

Dr. Yuting Wang


Associate Professor

PhD in Sociology, University of Notre Dame, USA

Yuting Wang's research mainly focuses on immigrant Muslims in the United States, Chinese Muslims, and the changing worldviews and values among young adults in the United Arab Emirates. Her first book Between Islam and the American Dream: An Immigrant Muslim Community in Post-9/11 America (Routledge, 2014) examines the micro-processes through which Muslim immigrants from diverse backgrounds negotiate multiple identities while seeking to become part of American society in the years following 9/11. Her articles and essays have appeared in the Journal of Sociology of Religion, Social Compass, the Immanent Frame, and edited volumes. Currently, she is conducting research on transnational Chinese Muslim entrepreneurs in the Arabian Gulf.

Dr. Sundar Vadlamudi

Assistant Professor

PhD in History, University of Texas at Austin, USA

Sundar Vadlamudi is a historian of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World. His research areas include Islam in South Asia, Indian Ocean Trade, Economic History of South Asia, and Socio-religious Reform Movements in India. His current research examines a community of South Indian maritime merchants during the period of transition to colonial rule in India during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Sundar examines the implications of this transition on Tamil Muslim merchants, who had a long history of participation in Indian Ocean trade. Currently, he is working on revising the dissertation into a book manuscript. Sundar’s research was funded by the following sources: American Institute of Indian Studies, John Anson Kittredge Educational Fund, Forum for European Expansion and Global Interactions, David L Miller and Mary H Miller Graduate Fellowship (University of Texas-Austin), Churchill Scholarship (UT-Austin), Dravidian Studies Award (UT-Austin), and Department of History Summer Fellowship (UT-Austin). Sundar has educational and work experiences in the fields of Computer Science Engineering and International Policy Studies. Prior to joining AUS, Sundar taught at Wabash College (USA). Sundar will offer courses on topics related to South Asia, The Indian Ocean World, and World History.

Dr. Christopher L. Gore

Visiting Assistant Professor

PhD in Experimental Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA

Chris Gore has an area of specialization in cognitive neuroscience and principally teaches biological psychology and sensation/perception. He is interested in how humans perceive and attend to the external world through vision, audition and touch. He is also interested in cross-cultural psychology. Before joining AUS, he taught psychology at Newham College University Centre in London, held a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Bergen in Norway, and began his academic career back in 2003 at Indiana State University in Terre Haute.

Dr. Jeffrey King

Assistant Professor

PhD in Political Science, University of Missouri, Missouri, USA

Jeffrey King has taught in political science departments for the past three years at institutions such as the University of Missouri and American University of Sharjah. He has taught courses ranging from Introduction to American Politics to Global Political Economy. His research interests include the intersection between political economy and foreign policy, ideology and foreign policy, and the effect of foreign aid on human rights conditions in recipient states.

Kristina Katsos

Visiting Instructor

MSFS, Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, USA

Kristina Katsos’ areas of teaching are introduction to global problems, as well as oil and gas in the modern world. Prior to joining AUS, she worked both in the private as well as governmental sector, giving her a unique perspective outside academia that is highlighted in her teaching. Her current area of interest is the impact of hydrocarbons on international affairs, especially in conflict resolution.

Dr. Eileen Rose Walsh

Assistant Professor

PhD in Anthropology, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA

Eileen Walsh has taught anthropology, gender and women’s studies, Chinese studies, and development studies for more than 15 years at institutions such as the University of Massachusetts, Yale University, the University of Sydney and the University of Oxford. She began teaching at American University of Sharjah in Fall 2017. Her research and teaching interests include China, globalization, development, gender, nationalism, ethnicity, social justice and domestic violence. Dr. Walsh has conducted longitudinal research in Southwest China. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Walsh worked with immigrants and refugees in Boston.