I've got a few announcements to make, for those interested:
First, I am extremely delighted to be starting a research sabbatical from George Washington University This is my first sabbatical in a very long time -- in fact, my first since 2001, when my first sabbatical at Williams College was abruptly interrupted in its second week by 9/11. That means I won't be teaching, doing administrative work, or showing my face much around George Washington University. I am staying in the DC area, though, and I will still be fully running the Project on Middle East Political Science, working as a contributing editor at the Monkey Cage blog, and doing a bunch of other things which may not be what smarter academics would consider "sabbatical."
My sabbatical does mean that after six incredibly rewarding years, I have stepped down as the director of the Elliott School of International Affairs Middle East Studies Program and the Institute for Middle East Studies. The Institute is now back in the very capable hands of founding director Nathan Brown, ably assisted by Associate Director Shana Marshall. If you have any questions about the program, ask them!
My primary project for the next few months is finishing The New Arab Wars: Uprising and Anarchy Across the Middle East, my new book set to be published by Public Affairs in the spring. I will have much more to share about this book soon. In the meantime, if I'm not tweeting much, declining media or reviewing invitations, or not attending events, that's why.
My sabbatical isn't the only big professional change. I am thrilled to announce that I have joined the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a nonresident senior associate. I will be working with the Middle East Program on a broad range of issues related to Arab politics. I couldn't be more excited about joining the outstanding Carnegie team, or about some of the projects we have in the works.
The only downside to joining Carnegie is that I have had to end my long affiliation with the Center for a New American Security. CNAS has been a fantastic home for many years, and I am deeply grateful to all the great people there for the support and the opportunity to publish substantive reports which hopefully made a difference on policy towards Syria (2012's Helping Syria Without War, 2013's Syria's Hard Landing, and 2014's The Tourniquet), Iran (2011's Upheaval), public diplomacy and counter-terrorism (2010's Rhetoric and Reality, which really should have gone by the Biggie-inspired original title Silence and Violence), and public diplomacy (2009's America's Extended Hand, with Kristin Lord). A million thanks to all the great scholars, policy practitioners and staff who worked with me over the years at CNAS.
By the way, have you noticed my awesome semi-new "To Abu Aardvark From Cerebus the Aardvark" avatar? This is a Dave Sim original commission and I love it. Thanks, Dave!
I launched Abu Aardvark as a stand-alone, pseudonymous blog almost exactly thirteen years ago. An awful lot has changed since then, and at this point I barely blog at all. Still, in terms of Dave Sim's 300 issue, 27 year Cerebus the Aardvark epic, Abu Aardvark is still only somewhere around the Jaka's Story/Melmoth interlude between the climax of Church and State and the launch of Mothers and Daughters. That's not a bad place to spend a sabbatical.