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Dr Dina Bishara (Jarvis Doctorow Research Fellow) meets Jarvis Doctorow

When Jarvis Doctorow Research Fellow in the Politics and International Relations of the Middle East, Dr Dina Bishara, travelled to the United States in October, it gave her the perfect opportunity to meet the St Edmund Hall alumnus after whom her Fellowship is named.

Jarvis Doctorow came up to the Hall in 1948 to study Modern Languages and is now an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund Hall. He is an active philanthropist who has provided generous support to the College, for graduate scholarships as well as Dina’s Research Fellowship. Jarvis also made possible the building of the Doctorow Lecture Theatre – which has become a very well-used college facility. His family recently donated a pastel of Jarvis by his late wife, which we hope to display at the Hall soon.

Dina Bishara flew to the States to attend the 'Junior Scholars Book Development Workshop', organised by the Project on Middle East Political Science, at Yale University. Her book manuscript, entitled Authoritarianism Contested: Challenges to State Corporatism in Egypt, explores how authoritarian institutions become objects of contestation rather than simply instruments for co-optation. She examines the conditions under which public sector workers began to establish unions independently of state control under Mubarak's rule, thereby challenging a long history of state control over workers' organisation.

Before the workshop, Dina’s first stop was New York, where she met Michael Cunningham, the Executive Director of the University of Oxford North American Office. They then battled their way together through sheets of rain and gusting winds to a warm welcome at Jarvis’s home, where they also met his daughter, Suzanne Larson, and son-in-law Bob Larson. 

Dina was delighted to meet Jarvis and his family and to be able to thank him for making possible her Fellowship at St Edmund Hall. She said, “I had a wonderful time. I very much enjoyed listening to Jarvis speak about his experience at Oxford and his deep connection to Teddy Hall and just getting to hear about all his adventures!”

Jarvis shared stories of his time as a young man, soldier and new husband, leading up to his arrival at Teddy Hall and talked about his forthcoming autobiography, entitled Jarvis. Really? Dina, in her turn, talked about her background, academic work and experiences at Oxford.