Dawn, C. Ernest (1918-) | University of Illinois Archives
C. Ernest ("Ernie") Dawn (1918-2016) was instructor (1949-52); assistant professor (1952-55); associate professor (1955-60); professor (1960-89); and professor emeritus (1989-2016) of history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He was a renowned early American scholar of the Middle East and Arab nationalism, perhaps best known for his book From Ottomanism to Arabism: Essays on the Origins of Arab Nationalism (1973).
Dawn was born in 1918 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to parents Hettie Gibson and Fred H. Dawn. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee (1941). He served in US Army Intelligence during WWII and the Korean War (1951-52). Working under Philip Hitti, Dawn earned a master's degree (1947) and PhD (1948) in Near Eastern studies from Princeton University. He was an Arabist, who specialized in Arab nationalism in Syria, pan-Arabism, the history of the Greater Syria concept, Arab intellectual history, King Abdallah I of Jordan, and modern Islam. He was among "the first generation of American scholars of the Middle East" (Yaphe). As such, Dawn conducted extensive research in the Middle East, including as a Social Science Research Council fellow (1948-49), a Fulbright-Hays fellow (1966-67), and director of the Illinois Tehran Research Unit (1972Â-74). Dawn was also a faculty member (1981-82) and a fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as well as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago (1985). His written works include "Ideological Influences in the Arab Revolt" (1959), "Arab Islam in the Modern Age" (1965), From Ottomanism to Arabism: Essays on the Origins of Arab Nationalism (1973), "The Formation of Pan-Arab Ideology in the Interwar Years" (1988), and "The Quality of Arab Nationalism" (2000).
Dawn and his wife, Pansie Dawn (nÃ©e Dooley), had two daughters, Julia and Carolyn. He died on January 5, 2016, in Seattle, Washington.
"C. Ernest Dawn," News-Gazette, January 31, 2016, accessed May 28, 2020, https://www.news-gazette.com/obituaries/c-ernest-dawn/article_4b2f78e4-e849-540d-9030-4926ae077aa5.html.
Judith Share Yaphe, "C. Ernest Dawn," History at Illinois (Spring 2016), p. 16, accessed May 28, 2020, https://history.illinois.edu/sites/default/files/inline-files/HistoryatIllinois2016low.pdf
"Memorial: C. Ernest Dawn *48," Princeton Alumni Weekly, January 11, 2017, accessed May 28, 2020, https://paw.princeton.edu/memorial/c-ernest-dawn-48.