Dartmouth Anthropologist Speaks at Kuwait Commencement


A distinguished Dartmouth anthropologist delivered the commencement address at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) on June 13, 2013. The speaker, Dale Eickelman ’64, the Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations and department chair, has had a long connection with the university.

Dartmouth Anthropology Professor Dale Eickelman, at left, joins American University of Kuwait Trustee Sheikha Dana Nasser Al-Sabah in reaffirming the partnership between the two institutions. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

In 2003, a link was forged between Dartmouth and AUK, through which Dartmouth serves as an advisory partner to the Kuwaiti school. Since the program’s inception, Dartmouth and AUK faculty and students have traveled between campuses to participate in cross-cultural internships, fellowships, and research.

Eickelman is one of the founders of the partnership and has coordinated the relationship since AUK was founded in 2003. “This partnership is an opportunity for Dartmouth to help shape a liberal arts university in a very different, diverse environment,“ he says. ”The partnership not only provides mutual student and faculty enrichment, it helps us expand our academic imaginations.”

In his address to the AUK Class of 2013, Eickelman said that the learning goes in both directions for students and faculty at the two institutions. “From the outset, AUK has offered a model of education that extends beyond the classroom, combining knowledge and competencies in many related fields of knowledge. For Dartmouth, our relationship with AUK has provided a model for our renewed global engagement.”

During her April 25 visit to Dartmouth, Chair of the AUK Board of Trustees Sheikha Dana Nasser Al-Sabah said, “We recognize the important role that Dartmouth is playing in AUK’s success. Dartmouth is a model to which we aspire in developing our own programs and curriculum, and creating the intellectual infrastructure of what we believe a liberal arts academic community should be.”

The American University of Kuwait is an independent, private, and coeducational liberal arts institution of higher education. The educational, cultural, and administrative structure, methods and standards of AUK are based on the American model of higher learning. The language of instruction is English.

Joseph Blumberg