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Photo: H.Z. Watenpaugh

Professor and Director, Human Rights Studies, University of California, Davis; and Director, Article 26 Backpack (TM) – The Human Rights Tool for Universal Academic Mobility, University of California, Davis

Richard von Weizsäcker Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2018

Keith David Watenpaugh is Professor and Director of Human Rights Studies at the University of California, Davis. Since 2013, he has directed a multi-disciplinary international research program to assist refugee university students and scholars fleeing the war in Syria, which has won support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Open Society Foundation. He is also leading an effort to expand refugee access to higher education through the Article 26 Backpack project, supported by the Ford Foundation. He has lived and worked in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Armenia, Iraq, and Egypt.


Watenpaugh is the author of the award-winning Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism (University of California Press, 2015), and of Being Modern in the Middle East (Princeton University Press, 2006), which chronicles the rise of the multi-ethnic, multi-religious middle class of the city of Aleppo in the first decades of the twentieth century. His writing has appeared in the American Historical Review, Perspectives on History, Social History, Journal of Human Rights, Humanity, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, and the Huffington Post; his work has been translated into French, German, Armenian, Arabic, Turkish, and Persian.

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