Brian K. Barber, the founding director of UT’s Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict, has been named a 2015 fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC.
His main task will be to write a book narrating the lives of six men from the Gaza Strip whom he has interviewed regularly for the past twenty years, since they emerged as youth from the first Palestinian intifada in 1993.
The New America program supports journalists, academics, and other public policy analysts who offer a fresh and often unpredictable perspective on the major challenges facing our society.
Barber, a professor of child and family studies, begins the program on September 1. As a Jacobs Foundation Fellow at New America, he will be headquartered in Washington for the coming year.
In addition to writing the book, Barber will be working with colleagues to continue two research projects, both funded by the Jacobs Foundation in Switzerland. One is a study of how the life histories of a representative sample of 1,800 members of the same generation of Palestinians have impacted their current well-being. The other is a study of youth who participated in the Egyptian revolution and how they are faring with the chaotic political developments in Egypt.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to move the work of the center forward,” Barber said. “I am deeply grateful to UT, the Jacobs Foundation, and the New America Foundation for the support and platform to do this work. Most importantly, the fellowship will facilitate the writing of a book for general audiences that will narrate remarkable individual accounts of dignity, personal growth, and longsuffering in the face of the severe hardships of the Gaza Strip.”
Bob Rider, dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, said Barber “has dedicated his professional life to studying young people who manage to persevere through situations that are difficult for many of us to imagine. His book will be the culmination of two decades of research.”
New America’s Fellows Program taps academics, journalists, independent scholars, and public policy analysts to serve for one or two years on a full-time or adjunct basis. New America provides them with a nonpartisan intellectual community where they can pursue their individual research projects.
Journalist and best-selling author Peter Bergen is New America’s vice president, director of studies, and director of the Fellows Program. He is also director of New America’s International Security Program and Future of War Program. Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst, a contributing editor at The New Republic and Foreign Policy, and a weekly columnist for CNN.com.
For more about the New America Foundation, visit the website.
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