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Lisa Rebekah Arnold
North Dakota State University, Main Campus (Fargo, ND 58102-1843)

Rhetoric and Identity at Syrian Protestant College, 1866-1920

Completion of a book on the history of writing and language teaching at the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut, Lebanon, from 1866 to 1920. 

This project examines the history of writing policies and practices at Syrian Protestant College (SPC), located in Beirut, Lebanon, in order to reveal how rhetorical negotiations among faculty, students, administrators, and the local community around the turn of the twentieth century produced an unsettled, and sometimes unsettling, vision of “America.” The example of SPC demonstrates how “America” was imagined rhetorically through educational practices and policies prior to the nation’s direct political involvement in the Middle East-North Africa region. As American models of schooling traveled across national borders, so too did the ideology of an “ideal American identity” travel through the promotion of literacy abroad. Rhetorical negotiations at SPC illuminate the high stakes and implicit promises of the global spread of American-style institutions of higher education, particularly in relation to questions of American identity, culture, and citizenship.

Project fields:
American Studies; Composition and Rhetoric

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2017 – 7/31/2017