Thursday, March 05, 2009

In The Footsteps of Edward Said

The Chronicle of Higher Education profiles Rashid Khalidi. Money quote:

Upon the death of his close friend Edward Said, in 2003, Khalidi left the University of Chicago and took the chair named for Said at Columbia, assuming an even higher public profile. (When Arafat died, in 2004, Khalidi spoke to 34 news-media outlets in a 24-hour period, New York magazine reported.) "With the passing of Edward, Rashid became one of, if not the, most significant voice on Palestinian issues," says Ussama Makdisi, a professor of history at Rice University, who is Said's nephew. Khalidi jokes: "It means that I inherited the target that was on his back."

Overall it's an illuminating piece but the paragraph beginning "Nor is the academic left always sympathetic toward Khalidi's work. Benny Morris is a professor of history..." makes no sense whatsoever.