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. Kevin W. Gray

Kevin grey

Assistant Professor

PhD, Université Laval, Canada

Kevin W. Gray's doctoral research focused on the difficulties of using systems theory in critical theory, and the implications posed by this problem for Habermas’s philosophy. His past research has been published in PhaenEx, Philosophia, the Journal of the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, and Dialogue, among other places. His current research and teaching focuses on theories of the public sphere and civil society (particularly in the Middle East), critical theory, existentialism, philosophy of law and Western Marxism.

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. Suzanne Joseph

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Associate Professor

PhD in Anthropology, University of Georgia, USA

Suzanne Joseph completed an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in demography at Brandeis University, USA. Her research and teaching interests include anthropological demography; the study of social class, kinship and gender inequality; the emergence of culture; and the consilience of the social sciences and humanities with biology. Her recent book, Fertile Bonds (University Press of Florida, 2013), is aimed to fill a gap in research on the demography of nomadic peoples.

Dr. Anatoliy Kharkhurin

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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

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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. David Lea

David lea


PhD in Philosophy University of Ottawa, Canada

David Lea’s principal field is applied philosophy with central interests in the philosophical foundations of property rights and business ethics. He joined the Department of International Studies at American University of Sharjah in 2003. He previously worked at the University of Papua New Guinea for 12 years. He also has done research in the history of philosophy, publishing some of his work in this area in the History of European Ideas and The European Legacy. More recently he has developed interests in Islamic philosophy.

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. David Mason

Visiting Assistant Professor

PhD in History, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

David Mason has taught in Islamic studies and humanities departments for more than eight years at McGill University and Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. His areas of research and teaching interest are the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, nationalism, Islamism and detective fiction. Prior to his academic career, he travelled extensively and lived and taught in Istanbul for six years.

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

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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.