Elia Zureik, Professor Emeritus, Sociology
Professor Emeritus Elia Zureik sees his most recent project – helping the Doha Institute establish a graduate program in sociology and anthropology – as a great blending of his strengths as a scholar.
“It’s interesting and exciting for me personally to get involved with something like this because it brings to bear my expertise in the Middle East, development studies, and recently in surveillance studies,” says Dr. Zureik. “There are many challenges in setting up a program like this in a Middle Eastern Arab country. Issues of Islam and Arab culture, and the contact of colonial and western imperialism in the Middle East, will surface. I tried to take all these things into account in preparing my proposal.”
The newly established Doha Institute is part of the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies in Doha, Qatar.
Born in Palestine and renowned internationally as an expert on Palestinian refugees, Dr. Zureik maintains close contact with the Middle East, speaking and teaching at universities in the West Bank, Israel, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. He has written and edited several books on the region and has worked closely with the Canadian International Development Research Centre in Ottawa in preparing reports on the status of Palestinian refugees.
When Dr. Zureik came to Queen’s in 1971, he was immersed in research on the development of political values in young people, which he began during graduate studies at both Simon Fraser University and the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. He taught for more than a decade in the areas of youth sociology, Canadian society, and race relations, before shifting to focus his research on privacy and surveillance.
Dr. Zureik’s recent research includes a co-edited book, Surveillance, Privacy and the Globalization of Personal Information: International Comparisons, which looks at surveillance and privacy issues in several countries, including Canada, China, Hungary, Spain, Mexico and Brazil. This was followed with Surveillance and Control in Israel/Palestine, another co-edited book. He teaches occasionally at Queen’s, most recently a graduate course on colonialism and surveillance, and serves as a board member for the newly established Surveillance Studies Centre. In January, he’ll travel to Doha to discuss the new graduate program.