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The professor’s room

Second in a series that gets within the inner sanctums of academia – because clever people have interesting rooms.

By Mark Cox

January 24, 2017

Professor Robert Hazan in his office.

Robert Hazan, chair of the Political Science Department, focuses in class on world affairs with an emphasis on the developing world. So it’s hardly a surprise to find his study has an international flavor. He invited us into his inner sanctum to see the objects that surround and inspire him and to describe their importance.

1. I’ve always been obsessed with world history – the origins of nation states and their ideologies. The huge range of ethnic and linguistic communities fascinates me. So I like to be able to see the whole world when I walk into my office each morning.

2. I have ornaments from across the planet strewn throughout my office. Since I promote international education in my work, I want any visiting students to see how fascinating, varied and illuminating the world can be. This feels like an international room, and that’s intentional.

3. My family is incredibly important so I want to feel my children are here with me. They empower me, and I share all my sentiments and thoughts with them. Also, their youthful perspective helps me to communicate better with students. Remember: As I get older, my students get younger.

4. As department chair, I collect and display all the books and articles that are published by my faculty members. I’m very proud of both of them and their achievements.

5. I love to study Kemal Ataturk, who presided over the end of the Ottoman Empire and forged the beginning of modern Turkey. He represents an era where much of my intellectual work has been focused, and his life has been a big influence on me. These photographs help me reflect before I give lectures.

6. A beautiful tapestry with a sad story. This wall-hanging from Damascus was a gift from a friend of mine who got out of Syria in 2011, shortly before things turned really horrible. I have a spiritual moment whenever I look at it – I am always praying for peace.

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