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Michael V. Bhatia papers

Scope & content

Michael Vinay Bhatia's life was dedicated to conflict resolution. From the time he entered Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, he focused his studies on the causes of war, the achievement of peace, and the just treatment of refugees. His papers, all of which reflect the academic bent of his life, fall logically into the following series : correspondence, notebooks, school papers, material which is related to his dissertation , research files, maps, and posters.

The correspondence is housed in two folders. One contains letters on the details surrounding Bhatia's participation in a caravan to the Western Sahara in the fall of 1997. The other folder contains the rest of his extent correspondence which dates from 1998 through 2008 and includes a letter of congratulations from Senator Edward Kennedy.

There are thirty notebooks, most of which are undated. One contains what appear to be lessons in Farsi with URLs for online Farsi tutorials. Another is in a completely different hand and is labeled Dr. Jamil. Large sections of this are written in Arabic characters. There are several notebooks which appear to contain class notes along with bibliographical references, meeting times and dates, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses. The rest of the notebooks contain similar materials but instead of class notes, there are notes from what appear to be military briefing sessions. These also include the questions and answers from many but not all of the 345 interviews Bhatia conducted with Afghan combatants. These interviews in turn became the basis of his dissertation. The next series is made up of draft and final copies of several of the chapters from Bhatia's dissertation. There are also typed compilations of notes he took when doing research for his dissertation and transcriptions of the combatant interviews, the originals of which are in the notebooks series.

The school papers series contains the usual detritus of an academic career. Included are exam blue books from classes at Brown University, term papers for classes at Brown University and for a master's degree at Oxford, syllabi from a wide range of academic institutions, an incomplete application for Bhatia's concentration declaration in International Relations at Brown, a photograph of Bhatia with Vartan Gregorian, president of Brown University 1989-1997, a draft of Bhatia's application for a British Marshall/Rhodes scholarship and the accompanying letters of recommendation, several copies of the George Street Journal with an article on and a photograph of a presentation by Bhatia., thanks from the Human Resources staff at Brown for a class Bhatia gave at a Staff Development Day and a small caricature of himself drawn by Bhatia during Russian class.

The research files make up the bulk of the Bhatia papers. These are largely photocopies of articles and chapters from books on the causes of war, the Western Sahara, Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, refugees, and the history of Afghanistan. The bulk are in English but there are a few articles and periodicals in various Middle Eastern languages.

The maps compliment the research files and focus largely on the Western Sahara and Afghanistan. One large map of the Western Sahara has been created by taping together smaller maps and has some town names marked in purple or green.

The posters are from the 2004 elections in Afghanistan.