Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Jeremi Suri

ProfessorPh.D. in History, 2001, Yale University

Professor; Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs
Jeremi Suri


  • Phone: 512-475-7242
  • Office: GAR 2.122/ SRH 3.378
  • Office Hours: Fall 2013: T 1:30-3 p.m. in SRH 3.378; W 1:30-3 p.m. in GAR 2.122
  • Campus Mail Code: B7000


The formation and spread of nation-states; the emergence of modern international relations; the connections between foreign policy and domestic politics; the rise of knowledge institutions as global actors.


Dr. Jeremi Suri is an international historian of the modern world, fascinated by the connections between peoples, ideas, and societies. His work focuses on policy-making, governance, social movements, and cultural (mis)understandings.

Dr. Suri has a joint appointment in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and the University of Texas at Austin Department of History. Suri was previously with the University of Wisconsin, where he was the E. Gordon Fox Professor of History, the Director of the European Union Center of Excellence, and the Director of the Grand Strategy Program.

He has received numerous awards for his research and teaching, and Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America's "Top Young Innovators" in the Arts and Sciences in 2007. He is the author of four books, including the widely acclaimed biography of one of America’s most distinguished diplomats, Henry Kissinger and the American Century (Harvard University Press, 2007). His latest book, Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from Washington to Obama, will be the Free Press/ Simon and Schuster's lead non-fiction release in the fall of 2011.

Suri earned his B.A. in history from Stanford University in 1994 and an M.A. in history from Ohio University in 1996. He then earned his PhD from Yale University in 2001.

Professor Suri blogs on foreign policy and contemporary politics at His research interests include the formation and spread of nation-states; the emergence of modern international relations; the connections between foreign policy and domestic politics; the rise of knowledge of institutions as global actors; contemporary foreign policy; international security; protest and dissident movements, and globalization.

Please visit and his LBJ faculty profile for more information.


MES 384 • Strat/Ideas/Statcrft: Amer Exp

41973 • Spring 2013
Meets T 900am-1200pm SRH 3.124
(also listed as GOV 388L, HIS 381)

*Co-taught with Dr. Peter Trubowitz*

Course Description

This seminar examines the sources, implementation, and consequences of American foreign policy strategy. Drawing on the work of historians and political scientists, we will explore how geopolitics, domestic politics, and strategic ideas have shaped America’s international priorities and policy practice. To this end, the seminar will focus on several critical junctures in the American experience to consider how new understandings of the nation’s international purposes arise, and the contours of debates over how best to pursue them. A portion of the course will be set aside to examine contemporary visions of the evolving geopolitical landscape and what these visions mean for U.S. statecraft in the present and near future.


Course requirements

Weekly seminar participation Two 5-page reaction papers and weekly Blackboard postings 10 page research proposal or policy brief
 Take home final exam    


Course readings

John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment

James Goldgeier and Derek Chollet, Between the Wars

Jeffrey Legro, Rethinking the World

Edward Luce, Time to Start Thinking

Charles Kupchan, No One’s World

James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans

John Mearsheimer, Tragedy of Great Power Politics

Christopher McKight Nichols, Promise and Peril

Jeremi Suri, Henry Kissinger and the American Century

Marc Trachtenberg, The Craft of International History

Peter Trubowitz, Politics and Strategy

Articles & Editorials


The Humanities and Human Character

University of Texas Honors Convocation Address (18 April 2015)

Public Intellectuals and Democracy

Read this article: Passport 45 (January 2015).

The New Alliances of the 21st Century

Read this article: Global Brief (Fall/Winter 2015), 48-52.

A Generation in Need of Hope

Read this article: E-International Relations (13 May 2014).

Operation Diplomacy: Revitalizing the Non-Military Parts of American Foreign Policy

Read this article (co-written with Robert Hutchings): Alcalde Magazine (January/February 2014), 26-29, 95.

The Railroad and the Making of Modern America

Read this article: Center for Railroad Photography and Art exhibit catalog (Spring 2014).

Estado moderno y protestas populares (The Modern State and Global Protests)

Read this article in Spanish: Política Exterior (January/February 2014), 2-11.

Offensive Charm: Why Vladimir Putin Tried – and Failed – to Woo the US Public

Read this article: Foreign Affairs (16 September 2013).

The 21st Century Individual in World Affairs

Read this article: Global Brief Magazine (Spring/Summer 2013).

The US and the Cold War: Four Ideas that Shaped the 20th Century World

Read this article: in Geir Lundestad, ed., International Relations Since the End of the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 2013), 100-18.

Frontier U: The Historical and Contemporary Mission of America’s Public Universities

Read this article: Alcalde Magazine (January 2013).

Are Today’s Politicians Ready for the Challenges and Opportunities of our Time?

Read this article: Austin Statesman (7 October 2012).

Why the State Still Matters

Read this article: Global Brief Magazine (Spring/Summer 2012), 12-16. 

Anxieties of Empire and the Truman Administration

Read this article: in Daniel S. Margolies, ed., A Companion to Harry S. Truman (Blackwell, 2012), 49-66.

The Lingering Cold War

Read this article: in The Establishment Responds: Power, Politics, and Protest since 1945, eds., Fahlenbrach, Klimke, Scharloth, and Wong (2012).

Diplomatic Dead End? Henry Kissinger and the Arab Spring

Read this article: Reform Judaism Magazine (Winter 2011).

Transnational Influences on American Politics

Read this article: Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History (2011), 559-65.

How do We Talk to One Another? The Future of Diplomacy

Read this article: Global Brief Magazine (Spring/Summer 2011), 14-18.

Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy

Read this article: History Now 27 (March 2011).

Conflict and Cooperation in the Cold War: New Directions in Research

Read this article: Journal of Contemporary History 46 (January 2011), 5-9.

Orphaned Diplomats: The American Struggle to Match Diplomacy with Power

Read this article: in The Prudent Use of Power (Tobin Project, 2010), 13-30.

Where are the Kissingers for the 21st Century?

Read this article: Global Brief (Winter 2010), 32-35.

Disarmament Attempts Past: Successes and Failures

Read this article: U.S. Department of State ejournal 15 (February 2010), 20-24.

American Grand Strategy After the Cold War’s End to 9/11

Read this article: Orbis 53 (Fall 2009), 611-27.

The Rise and Fall of an International Counterculture, 1960–1975

Read this article:  The American Historical Review, 114:45–68, February 2009

Henry Kissinger, the American Dream, and the Jewish Immigrant Experience in the Cold War

Read this article:  Diplomatic History 32 (November 2008), 719-47.

Nuclear Weapons and the Escalation of Global Conflict since 1945

Read this article: International Journal 63 (Autumn 2008), 1013-29.

Détente and Human Rights: American and West European Perspectives on International Change

Read this article: Cold War History 8 (November 2008), 527-45.

The Promise and Failure of ‘Developed Socialism:’ The Soviet ‘Thaw’ and the Crucible of the Prague Spring, 1964-1972

Read this article: Contemporary European History 15 (May 2006), 133-58.

The Cold War, Decolonization, and Global Social Awakenings: Historical Intersections

Read this article: Cold War History 6 (August 2006), 353-63.

Non-Governmental Organizations and Non-State Actors

From Palgrave Advances in International History, ed. Patrick Finney (2005)

The Cultural Contradictions of Cold War Education: The Case of West Berlin

Read this article: Cold War History 4 (April 2004), 1-20.

Explaining the End of the Cold War: A New Historical Consensus?

Read this article: Journal of Cold War Studies 4 (Fall 2002), 60-92.

America’s Search for a Technological Solution to the Arms Race: The Surprise Attack Conference of 1958 and a Challenge for “Eisenhower Revisionists”

Read this article: Diplomatic History 21 (Summer 1997), 417-51.

The Nukes of October: Richard Nixon’s Secret Plan to Bring Peace to Vietnam

Read full article at

The world the superpowers made

Read full article at History in Focus (Spring 2006) …

Reinventing NASA, Part Two: ‘New frontiers’ and the tempests along the way

Read this article:  San Francisco Chronicle (February 1, 2004, page D-5) …

Henry Kissinger’s Lessons for George W. Bush

Read this article:at History News Network (July, 20, 2007)

(back to top)



Weekly Column on Politics, History, and Foreign Policy

The Daily Texan

The Enduring Costs of War, and Our Patriotic Duty

Houston Chronicle (22 May 2015).

On Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack, Future of U.S-Japan relations

Houston Chronicle (7 December 2014)

How America Helped ISIS (co-written with Andrew Thompson)

New York Times (2 October 2014)

Unconditional Israel Support Does Not Serve U.S. Interests

Houston Chronicle (31 July 2014)

States Should Act to Contain Russia’s Proxy Wars

Daily Texan (28 July 2014)

A Certain Breed of Fascism: Containing Putin’s Russia

Alcalde Magazine (5 May 2014)

Intolerance, Boycotts, and the ASA

Academe Blog (20 December 2013)

Neutralizing North Korea

New York Times (13 April 2013)

Defending Democracy by Teaching History

Real Clear Politics, 18 January 2013

What Kind of History Should We Teach?

Alcalde Magazine, 9 January 2013

Academe Blog, 10 January 2013

The Crisis of Our Universities, 19 June 2012

Obama’s Strategic Retreat in Afghanistan, 2 May 2012

America’s Self-Defeating Cycle in Afghanistan, 12 March 2012

Is America Really an Empire?

Salon, 26 October 2011

America the Overcommitted

New York Times, 14 October 2011

Our Next Step in the Middle East

Daily Beast, 7 October 2011

How to Leave a Strong Afghanistan 27 September 2011

Obama’s Anti-Nuclear Vision After the Cold War

Aargauer Zeitung (Zurich, Switzerland) 10 April 2010
English Language Version: 12 April 2010

Where are the Kissingers for the 21st Century?

Toronto Globe and Mail (February 28, 2010)

Twenty Years Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Aargauer Zeitung (6 November 2009)

The Real History of the Korean War

Read this editorial in Korean, Japanese, and English at The Chosun Ilbo (October 18, 2005) …

A chance for Bush to salvage his foreign policy

Read the full editorial at the Boston Globe (July 2007) …

This editorial also appeared in the New York Times, 24 July 2007…

(back to top)



Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy  

Liberty’s Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama

American Foreign Relations Since 1898: A Documentary Reader

Henry Kissinger and the American Century

The Global Revolutions of 1968

Power and Protest

Jeremi Suri

Power and Protest
Harvard Univ Press




“Whatever Happened to the American Dream?” Life and Letters Magazine (Fall 2012).

“To Reunite Wisconsin, Elite Leaders Must Step Up” Capital Times (11 June 2012).

Princeton Review rates Jeremi Suri as “1 of the 300 Best Professors” Huffington Post (9 April 2012).

Analysis of the “Occupy Wall Street” Movement  Bloomberg TV (15 November 2011).

“9/11: What Else it Taught Us” Boston Globe (11 September 2011).

“Exciting New Technologies for Global Connections”
University of Wisconsin-Madison Communications (5 November 2010).

“The Tug of War: Innovative Research and Teaching with Military Veterans”
On Wisconsin Magazine (Fall 2010).

“Distance Education Becoming More Popular”
Capital Times (10 August 2010).

“UW History Professor Takes Students on a Cold War Ride.” Bill Glauber.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (11 April 2010), page B1

“Inside Agitator.” Jennifer A. Smith, Isthmus Newspaper, Madison, Wisc. (11/5/09).

“The Big Picture.” Heather Laroi. Magazine. October 2007 and also cover page

“UW historian named one of Smithsonian’s top young innovators.” Brian Mattmiller. UW News. 4 Oct 2007.

Suri, History News Network Top Young Historian.  HNN.

Interview in the Campaign for the American Reader blog. 25 July 2007

Interview for the Aargauer Zeitung, 25 October 2007

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Reviews of Writings

“How the Islamic State Evolved in an American Prison.” Washington Post, 4 November 2014

“Time for a Preemptive Strike Against North Korea? Some Say Yes.” Christian Science Monitor, 15 April 2013

“UT Professor Says U.S. Should Destroy North Korean Missiles,” Austin Statesman, 15 April 2013

“U.S. Easing Out of Nation-Building Business,” National Public Radio, 24 November 2011

“Fog of History.” American Enterprise Institute of Public Policy Research. 27 Aug 2007

Foreign Affairs Capsule Reviews, Council of Foreign Relations. Oct 2007

“The Jewish key to Henry Kissinger.” Niall Ferguson. UK Times Literary Supplement (TLS) online. 28 May 2008

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“Pope’s Climate Message Challenges Texas Politicians,” Houston Chronicle (17 June 2015).

“Europe’s Far-Right Political Parties Could Benefit from Paris Shooting,” International Business Times (22 January 2015).

“2014 Protests: From Ferguson to Hong Kong,” USA Today (25 December 2014).

“Obama Emphasizes Importance of Alliances in Foreign Policy Address,” National Public Radio (28 May 2014).

“Making the Grade: Reforming U.S. Education,” Life and Letters Magazine (Spring 2014).

“Racism, Sexism & the 50-Year Campaign to Undermine the War on Poverty,” ThinkProgress (8 January 2014).

“Tobin Project Coordinates Transformative Research by Scholars and Policy-Makers.” Chronicle of Higher Education (1 March 2013)

“Obama Overseas: Speak Loudly and Carry a Smaller Stick.” National Public Radio (22 January 2013)

“Obama-Romney Debate Can’t Avoid ‘Nation-Building.’” Christian Science Monitor (23 August 2012)

“Could Running Mate Paul Ryan Run the Country.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (18 August 2012)

“Social Media and American Foreign Policy in Africa.” National Public Radio (8 March 2012)

“Rethinking that ‘Special Relationship’ between the U.S. and Britain.” New York Times Magazine (30 October 2011)

“In Libya, U.S. Steers Clear of Nation-Building.” National Public Radio (21 October 2011)

“Wall Street Protesters have Ink-Stained Fingers.” New York Times (10 October 2011)

“Kissinger, On Stage and Off.” The Jewish Week (25 January 2011)

“President Obama’s Visit to Madison Echoes Truman’s 60 Years Ago.” Wisconsin State Journal (26 September 2010)

“Kissinger Cable Heightens Suspicions About 1976 Operation Condor Killings.” Los Angeles Times (11 April 2010)

Arguing the size of the “tea party” protest.  Patrik Jonsson.  Christian Science Monitor 18 April 2009.

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The History of American Higher Education and the Future of Universities

How the History of Higher Education in the United States Can Help Us Think About the Future
Higher education has a long and diverse history in the United States. Many scholars observe that we have had the messiest, but also the most transformative system in the world, so much so that numerous foreign societies model their systems on parts of our own. This lecture will describe the most pioneering and enduring elements of the U.S higher education system, and what we can learn from them for the uncertain reforms of our present era. The lecture will interrogate continuing dilemmas, and it will offer some historically-informed paths for thinking about access, distance learning, diversity, and finance.

The Rise of American Power in the 1890s

Watch video here.

America in the 1980s

Professor Jeremi Suri talked about American expansion of power in the late nineteenth century and the beginning of a new American foreign policy. He described the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and the expansion of the U.S. Navy as ways America began to build an international presence. This class was from a course called “U.S. History since 1865.”

ABC KVUE News segment: "Experrts Weigh Freedom of Speech Against Religious Tolerance

Watch video here.

Experts Weigh Freedom of Speech Against Religious Tolerance

GARLAND, Texas -- After two men armed with assault rifles and poised to storm an event featuring cartoons of the prophet Mohammed were fatally shot by a traffic cop on Monday, many people talking about freedom of speech and whether it trumps religious tolerance.

That kind of violent exchange has happened before in the United States and across the world when one group disagrees with what another is saying about their religion, and experts say right now, there's more sensitivity around Muslim issues than ever before.

ABC KVUE News on U.S.-Russion Relations and the Legacies of the Cold War

Watch video here.

State of Affairs: Jan. 10, 2015

Politics Reporter Mark Wiggins hosts the first State of Affairs special of 2015, with a view to changes in Texas leadership and geopolitical dynamics in the new year.

The January 10, 2015 edition of State of Affairs features the final formal interview with Gov. Rick Perry, who has held the governorship for a historic 14 years. In a wide-ranging interview, Perry reflects on the most significant moments of his record time in office, as well as legal challenges and preparations for another bid for the presidency.

CNN report on US prisons in Iraq and the rise of current terrorist threats, 13 October 2014

Watch video here.

They Went from Inmates to ISIS

An Iraqi war vet says that U.S. prison camps became breeding grounds for ISIS. Stephanie Elam has the story.

Becoming a Change Agent in a Complex and Uncertan World

Transforming Leadership: Becoming a Change Agent in a Complex and Uncertain World, Dr. Jeremi Suri

Texas Enterprise Speaker Series, February 27, 2014
McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin

TED Talk, “How We Can Use History to Build a Better World,” December 2012

Jeremi Suri at TEDxSMU 2012

Jeremi is the Mack Brown Distinguished Professor for Global Leadership, History, and Public Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of five books on contemporary politics and foreign policy. In September 2011 he published a newbook on the past and future of nation building: Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama. Jeremi's research and teaching have received numerous prizes. In 2007 Smithsonian Magazine named him one ofAmerica's "Top Young Innovators" in the Arts and Sciences. His writings appear widely in blogs and print media. Jeremi is also a frequent public lecturer and guest on radio and television programs.

Improving our Foreign Policy

Ask A UT Historian (Improving Foreign Policy)

Jeremi Suri, professor in the Department of History and the LBJ School of Public Affairs, discusses the ways in which new technology presents challenges and new opportunities for American citizens to build connections.

Lessons from the Greatest Generation

Ask A UT Historian (Lessons from the Greatest Generation

Jeremi Suri, professor in the Department of History and the LBJ School of Public Affairs, shares insight into the lessons we can learn from the Greatest Generation.

Game Changers

Meet A Game Changer: Jeremi Suri

After the Second World War, American society benefited from unprecedented peace and prosperity. What was key to this success? Americans were very strategic in their deployment of historical wisdom, drawing upon the experiences, institutions and knowledge acquired in earlier decades to build our nation.

Keynote Lecture on Arms Control in the 1970s and Contemporary Legacies

Keynote Address Jeremi Suri

SALT I: Historical Turning Point? Keynote address, Prof. Jeremi Suri, University of Texas

Global Brief Interview

Watch video here.


 Watch video here.

Book Discussion on Liberty's Surest Guardian

Jeremi Suri, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, spoke about his book, Liberty’s Surest Guardian.


What are the real lessons from the Vietnam War?

Watch video here.

What are the real lessons from the Vietnam War?

This lecture will examine the enduring legacies of the Vietnam War for American society. Professor Suri will trace how the war continues to influence domestic politics, foreign policy, and popular culture. What have we learned in the thirty-five years since the end of the Vietnam War? Professor Suri will address the most important historical lessons for American society in a troubled twenty-first century world. A book signing for Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories: Our Veterans Remember will follow the lecture.


Download all Jeremi Suri audio on Wisconsin Public Radio.

11 June 2015: Wisconsin Public Radio on What’s Next for U.S. Strategy in Iraq.

12 February 2015: Wisconsin Public Radio on President Obama’s request for war powers against ISIS.

22 October 2014: National Public Radio, “Here and Now” show on how to judge U.S. secretaries of state.

13 February 2013: “15 Minute History” presentation on America’s Entry into World War I.

15 January 2013: “15 Minute History” presentation on the Origins of the Cold War.

25 August 2010: Wisconsin Public Radio Discussion with Professor Jeremi Suri and UW Chancellor Biddy Martin on Distance Education, Innovation, and the Future of the University.



2010 April 25: “University of the Air,” Wisconsin Public Radio, The Past and Future of Nation-Building

2009 June 24:  On At Issue, Ben Merens of Wisconsin Public Radio and Jeremi Suri look at the current state of affairs in Iran and what role the United States is playing.

2009 April 19: Jeremi Suri on “University of the Air” show on President George W. Bush and his legacy with Professor Jeremi Suri, Wisconsin Public Radio, April 19, 2009



 2007 November 6: Jeremi Suri’s Bascom Hill Society Lecture 6 November 2007 “Henry Kissinger and the American Century.”University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jeremi Suri dialog with Henry Kissinger at the New York Historical Society. View full screen.



2009 February 4: At Issue with Ben Merens – Wisconsin Public Radio

Past Graduate Students

Check out what past graduate students of Professor Suri are up to now:

Associate Professor Hiroshi Kitamura

At William and Mary College, Hiroshi teaches classes on U.S.-foreign relations, global U.S. history, the nuclear world, the Cold War and Asia, film and society, and slow food.  He contributes to the American Studies, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Film and Media Studies, and International Relations programs. Currently, Hiroshi is at work on two projects: a cultural history of “high growth” in post-World War II Japan and a monograph on popular culture and imperial formations across the Pacific.

Assistant Professor Vanessa Walker

Walker is a professor at Amherst College, where her primary areas of interest are the history of U.S. foreign relations and the history and politics of human rights. She focuses on the interchange between international and domestic spheres and actors. Her current book project brings together high-level diplomatic and political history with that of activist networks and social movements to argue for the centrality of Latin America in the development of U.S. human rights policies and debates in the Ford and Carter presidencies. At its core, the project is a study of how foreign policy is made in a democracy, situating diplomacy in a larger social and political domestic context, and it traces the deep and inextricable connections between international structures and policies, and domestic dissent and reform in the 1970s.

Assistant Professor Jennifer Miller

Miller offers courses at Dartmouth College on the history of U.S. foreign relations and the Cold War. Her main research interests are the early Cold War, U.S.-Japanese relations, and Pacific History. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Contested Alliance: the United States, Japan, and Democracy in the Cold War (under contract with Harvard University Press). This manuscript examines the U.S.-Japanese relationship in the years following the end of the U.S. occupation of Japan (1952 -1965). Portions of this research have been published in the Journal of Contemporary History and Diplomatic History. In conjunction with the Wisconsin Historical Society, Miller is also the author of two oral history collections on the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Assistant Professor Christine Lamberson

At Angelo State University, Lamberson teaches Twentieth Century History, U.S. Politics, Recent American Cultural History, and Race in the United States. Her current project, In the Crucible of Violence: The Remaking of American Political Culture in the 1960s and 1970s examines these issues in relation to violence during the 1960s and 1970s. It explains how contradictory perceptions of violence remade U.S. political culture and led to a newly divided and disillusioned American populace at this time.

Associate Professor Eric Pullin

Pullin teaches and researches interests addressing the international relations between India and the United States during the 20th century at Carthage College. He also teaches courses on the History of India, the History of the United States, Western Heritage, Global Heritage, and the History of Dictionaries.

Co-taught Courses

HIS 381 | The Long Cold War, 1919-1991


The Cold War continues to influence contemporary global politics and policy-making. The institutions that govern our world today from domestic national security structures to international organizations like the UN, NATO, and even international financial institutions were largely shaped by the Cold War. Our ways of understanding international relations were likewise influenced by the omnipresence of military threats, real or imagined, to our security and well-being, which may help explain the over-militarized U.S. response to many post-Cold War security challenges.Today's students and policy-makers must understand the key elements of the Cold War in order to manage contemporary institutions and challenges. This seminar will study the "long history of the Cold War," going back to the early twentieth century and up to the present, for the purpose of illuminating powerful political, economic, social, cultural, and ideological dynamics that continue to shape global power. The course will seek to offer knowledge of origins, an appreciation for inherited legacies, and a recognition of often overlooked opportunities, born of prior experiences. As a whole, this course will use close historical analysis to build a foundation for looking to the future of domestic and especially foreign policy.

Unique: 39650
Meets W 200pm-500pm SRH 3.316
(also listed as REE 385)

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  • Middle Eastern Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    204 W 21st Street Stop F9400
    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712