May 11, 2016 Juan Cole Named Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Jason Steinhauer (202) 707-0213

Juan Cole, a prominent scholar and blogger who writes on the Muslim world’s relationship with the West, has arrived at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress as the Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South. His tenure began in May and he will be in residence for four months.

Cole, who is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, is the author of "The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East" (2014). His "Informed Comment" blog provides historical context to modern-day events in the Muslim world. He has commented extensively on al-Qaida, the Taliban, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

At the Kluge Center, Cole will research a project titled, "The Idea of Peace in the Quran." He will use the Library’s collections to examine concepts of peace in Muslim scriptures, tracing the evolution of peace and corollary ideas chronologically and contextually through the text, with special attention to sets of words grouped together that refer to the topic.

Cole said, "Given the geopolitical events of the last 15 years, this subject is one that desperately needs an explication that is both scholarly and accessible." Cole will deliver a public lecture about his work toward the end of his residency.

The author or editor of more than 10 books on the Middle East, Cole has appeared on ABC Nightly News, Nightline, the Today Show, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper 360, Chris Hayes’ All In, Rachel Maddow, the Colbert Report and Democracy Now!.

The Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South is a distinguished senior research position in residence at the Library appointed by the Librarian of Congress. Using research facilities and services at the Library, the scholar is expected to explore the regions of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and the islands of the Pacific including Australia and New Zealand, using the immense foreign language collections of the Library of Congress.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources, and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about the Kluge Center visit

The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, holds more than 162 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its website at


PR 16-085
ISSN 0731-3527