Bennett Sherry

  • Fellow in World History

After receiving an MA in history from the University of Montana, I came to Pittsburgh to work with refugees at a local resettlement agency. I joined the PhD program at Pitt in 2013 to work on issues of forced migration in world history. Now, as a PhD candidate at Pitt, I teach courses on world history and the contemporary Middle East. My teaching is informed by my graduate training in world-historical methods and by my own research.  My dissertation project, “Refugees, Rights, Restrictions: Human Rights & the Evolution of the UNHCR in Turkey, 1960–1994,” examines the transformation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) branch office in Turkey. In a few short years in the 1980s, the agency’s Ankara office grew from the second-smallest UNHCR office in Europe into the largest in the world. In my writing and research, I explore the key role played by a global network of nongovernmental human rights organizations and Iranian refugee groups in this transformation. My dissertation writing is currently supported by a fellowship from the World History Center and a dissertation writing grant from the Institute of Turkish Studies at Georgetown University.