University Scholarship

UCIS Endowed Visiting Professorship in Contemporary International Issues

William F. BenterBill Benter, a 1977 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, is a Pittsburgh native who has a profound interest in international affairs. He serves on the board of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and is active with Pittsburgh Social Ventures Partners and Rotary International. In 2007, he made a generous donation of a million dollars to establish an endowed professorship in contemporary international issues. This gift allows renowned scholars with expertise in international affairs to share their scholarship with students and the Pittsburgh community.

The most recent professor to receive the Benter award, Dr. Sami Hermez, had conducted fieldwork or lived in countries in several world regions such as Cyprus, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine, the Philippines, Russia, the U.S., and Yemen to support his research. That research focused on the relationship between violence during war and civil war and its subsequent impact on politics and everyday life. Other areas of interest to Dr. Hermez include anthropology of the state; war and ethics; narrative, history and memory; legal anthropology; nationalism; globalization and migration; Arab identity; conflict resolution; sectarianism; and social movements. Dr. Hermez’s current and future research includes a project that focuses on transnational labor law and the global trade of domestic workers to the Middle East. 

At Pitt, Dr. Hermez taught four area studies courses, which had an Arabic language trailer attached--Living the Law: Seminar in Political and Legal Anthropology and Arab Revolutions and Social Movements--in addition to organized talks and lectures with the University and broader community.