Dr. Robert Saunders, associate professor of history and politics at Farmingdale State College, named Academic Fellow by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

 

Dr. Robert Saunders, an associate professor of history and politics at Farmingdale State College, has been named a 2012-13 Academic Fellow by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), a non-partisan policy institute headquartered in Washington, D.C. Dr. Saunders will travel to Israel at the end of May for an intensive course in terrorism studies, and in particular, how democracies can defeat the worldwide terrorist threat.

The FDD Academic Fellows program offers a 10-day learning experience to U.S.– based teaching and research professionals to provide them with cutting edge information about defeating terrorist groups.  The 2012 program, which will be conducted at Tel Aviv University from May 27 to June 6, includes lectures by academics, military, and intelligence officials, as well as diplomats from Israel, Jordan, India, and the United States. It also includes “hands on” experience through visits to police, customs, and immigration facilities, military bases, and border zones to learn the practical aspects of deterring and defeating terrorists.

Saunders’ areas of expertise include international relations, post-Soviet politics, Central Asian culture, Islamism, nationalism, and political violence. He teaches a wide variety of courses in history, political science, religion, and geography. His research explores the impact of mass media on national identity, geopolitics, and diplomacy. He previously taught at Rutgers University, Wagner College, and Monmouth University. He is an associate editor of the Globality Studies Journal.

Dr. Saunders’ articles have appeared in Nations and Nationalism, Slavic Review, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Global Media and Communication, Russia in Global Affairs, and Geopolitics, as well as other journals. Based on his extensive work on Kazakhstan’s feud with the British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, Harper’s labeled him the “world’s leading Boratologist.” His 2008 book on the subject is entitled The Many Faces of Sacha Baron Cohen: Politics, Parody, and the Battle over Borat. He is also the author of Ethnopolitics in Cyberspace: The Internet, Minority Nationalism, and the Web of Identity (2010) and the co-author of the Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation (2010). Dr. Saunders is currently working on a chapter on mass media and terrorism for The Routledge History of Terrorism, edited by Randall D. Law.

A Farmingdale resident, Saunders received his PhD from the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University and holds degrees in History from Stony Brook University and the University of Florida.