Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Academics: Meet Prof. Mahrukh Doctor

Prof. Mahrukh Doctor is an adjunct professor of International Relations and Latin American Studies who, like her faculty colleagues, helps set SAIS Europe apart. In addition to her work at the Bologna Center, she is a senior lecturer at the University of Hull and research associate at Oxford University and University College London. She has been a consultant at the World Bank. She brings academic and policy-making expertise to the Center, along with a global perspective that is a hallmark of the SAIS faculty.

Q: You last taught here in 2011-12. What have you been up to since?
Doctor: I have taught in Bologna every year since 2005. Unfortunately, last year I could not make it to Bologna due to scheduling problems. I went on exciting and interesting research/work-related trips to Australia and Mexico. I am also writing a book on business-state relations in Brazil, with special reference to the lobby for port modernisation.

Prof. Mahrukh Doctor
Q: What are you teaching this fall? Any changes in the course since you last taught it?
Doctor: I am teaching the "Survey of Modern Latin American Politics" course. It is an introduction to contemporary politics in the region. The syllabus covers a specific set of issues and countries, but each year I adjust the content and emphasis of lectures to address themes that might be particularly relevant at the time.

Q: How do you feel about returning to the SAIS Bologna Center? What in your mind distinguishes the program?
Doctor: Although I normally live in the UK and the commute to Bologna is about 8 hours each way, I am always delighted to teach here. The student body is diverse, lively and benefits from the presence of students from all around the world. The students are eager to learn and it is always fun to teach them. The programme is challenging, rigorous and also benefits from the variety of different academic traditions and approaches represented by the faculty, all congregated in a single place: the SAIS Europe/Bologna Center. I also look forward to joining my colleagues at the lunch table in the SAIS "bar".

Q: Can a student spend a year in Bologna and do the Latin America concentration? Wouldn’t it make more sense to do two years in DC?
Doctor: SAIS Europe presents a great opportunity for students with a concentration in Latin American Studies to spend their first year in Italy. The required range of course offerings are available, and they benefit from being taught by both European- and US-based faculty over the two years of their studies. Needless to say, this provides additional nuance to their understanding of the region. Moreover, Bologna-based students do not lose out on study trips or internship opportunities available to their DC classmates. Surely, it is the best of both worlds!

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