Recent PhDs in Mideast Studies

Over sixty-five students have completed PhDs in Middle East studies in the past four years, in a wide range of departments spanning the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools.


David Bennet, NELC. Dissertation: The Spirit of Ahypokeimenonical Physics: Another Side of Kalam Natural Philosophy

Benjamin Dale de Lee, History. Dissertation: Letters, Diplomacy, and Religious Polemic in Ninth-Century Byzantium: Nlketas Byzantios and the Problem of Islam

Marie Ellen Enright, Romance Linguistics and Literature. Dissertation: Bridging the Straits of Gibraltar: Nationalism, Myth and Gender in Contemporary Peninsular and Maghrebi Literatures

Rachel Louise Kaplan, Social Welfare. Dissertation: Living with HIV/AIDS in Lebanon: Women's Perceptions of Meaning

Shawki Ebeid El-Zatmah, History. Dissertation: Aha Gun!: A Social and Cultural History of Soccer in Egypt

Aaron Michael Moreno, History. Dissertation: Arabicizing, Privileges, and Liturgy in Medieval Castilian Toledo: The Problems and Mutations of Mozarab Identitification (1085-1436)

Liora Russman Halperin, History. Dissertation: Babel in Zion: The Politics of Language Diversity in Jewish Palestine, 1920-1948

Said Fares Ahmed Hassan, Islamic Studies. Dissertation: Reaching from Within: Establishing a New Islamic Jurisprudence for Muslim Minorities in the West (The Discourse of Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat)

Grace Jeongyeon Park, NELC. Dissertation: The Role of Ki’lm in Orchestrating Contrastive Focus in Biblical Hebrew

Leila Pazargadi, Comparative Literature. Dissertation: Mosaics of Identity: Reading Muslim Women’s Memoirs from Across the Diaspora

Jennifer Susan Rashidi, Archaeology. Dissertation: Paleoepidemiology of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East: The Impact of Zoonotic Diseases and Population Demographics on Infectious Disease Patterns

Mariam Medhat Saada, Hispanic Languages and Literatures. Dissertation: Edición y estudio del manuscrito aljamiado-morisco ms. 4963 de la Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid

Ryan Nathaniel Roberts, NELC. Dissertation: Terra Terror: An Interdisciplinary Study of Earthquakes in Ancient Near Eastern Texts and the Hebrew Bible

Tamar Safratti-Piterberg, History. Dissertation: Les Egyptiens de I’an VI, and the creation of the Descriptions de l’Egypte

Emily Jane Selove, NELC. Dissertation: The Hikaya of Abu al-Qasim al-Baghdadi: The Comic Banquet in Greek, Latin, and Arabic

Heba Abdel Halim Sewilam, Islamic Studies. Dissertation: The Jurisprudential Problems of the  Early Codification Movement in the Middle East: A Case Study of the Ottoman Mejelle and the 1949 Egyptian Civil Code

Fiazuddin Shuyab, Islamic Studies. Dissertation: “Who’s Better than God to Rule?” An Inquiry into the formation of the First Islamic State (622-32 CE)\

Sevan Nathaniel Yousefian, History. Dissertation: The Postwar Repatriation Movement of Armenians to Soviet Armenia, 1945-1948


Wendy Noel DeSouza, History. Dissertation: Scholarly Mysticism and Mystical Scholars: European and Iranian Intellectuals at the Dawn of Modern Sexuality and Gender

Ayse Taspinar, Music. Dissertation: Identity and the Ottoman Empire: A Musical Synthesis at the Crossroads of East and West

Saeid Atoofi, Applied Linguistics. Dissertation: Emotions In the Classroom: Teachers’ and Students’ Affective Practices in a Persian Heritage Classroom in Los Angeles

Tamar Marie Boyadjian, Comparative Literature. Dissertation: Bridging East and West: A Study of Crusader Jerusalem in the Literature and Chronicles of the Early Crusades  

Michelle Huntingford Craig, Art History. Dissertation: Space: The Mellah of Fez, Morocco

Thomas Henry Culhane, Urban Planning. Dissertation: Getting Into Hot Water Problematizing Hot Water Service Demand: The Case of Old Cairo 

Haleh Emrani, History. Dissertation: Marriage Customs of the Religious Communities of the Late Sasanian Empire: An Indicator of Cultural Sharing

David Meron Gorshein, Theatre and Perfomance Studies. Dissertation: Bursting the Bubble: Queer Performances in the Jewish Diaspora 

Whitney White Kazemipour, Anthropology. Dissertation: Revolutions in Microcosm: Migration, Meaning, and Mothering by Iranian-Americans

Kyle Henry Keimer, NELC. Dissertation: The Socioeconomic Impact of Hezekiah’s Preperations for Rebellion

Ammar Kahf, Islamic Studies. Dissertation: Syrian Authoritarianism: Persistence or Change

Simon Nash Kenrick, Art History. Dissertation: Art, Medicine and Prpaganda in Antoine-Jean Gros’ Bonaparte visiting the plague-stricken at Jaffa, 1804

John Albert Lynch, NELC. Dissertation: Gilgamesh’s Ghosts: The Dead, Textual Variation, and the Mesopotamian Scribal Tradition

Jason Sion Makhtarian, NELC. Dissertation: Rabbinic Portrayals of Persia: A Study of Babylonian Rabbinic Culture in its Sasanian Context

Keelan Hall Overton, Art History. Dissertation: A Collector and His Portrait: Book Arts and Painting for Ibrahim ‘Adil Shah II of Bijapur (r. 1580-1627)

Leyla Ayse Ozgur Alhassen, NELC. Dissertation: Qur’anic Stories: God as Narrator, Revelation as Stories

Gulian Siassi, Comparative Literature. Dissertation: Un(der)writing Home: The Politics and Poetics of Belonging in Modern Literatures of Iran and the Maghreb

Tristan Guy Sturm, Geography. Dissertation: The Future is a Foreign Country: Landscapes of the End of the World and Christian Zionists in Israel and Palestine

David S. Yoon, History. Dissertation: The Restored Jewish State and the revived Roman Empire: The Transmutation of John Nelson Darby’s Dispensationalism into Modern Christian Zionism

Khodadad Rezakhani, History. Dissertation: Empires and Microsystems: Late Antique Regional Economy in Central and West Asia, 500-750


Madelyn Mishkin Katz, Education. Dissertation: Defining Leadership for the Reform Rabbinate

Zachery Adam Lasker, Education. Dissertation: The Camp Counselor as Educator and Role Model for Core Jewish Values and Practices of Conservative Movement 

Max Abrahams, Political Science. Dissertation: The Causes of Terrorism: A Reappraisal of the Conventional Wisdom

Arshad Imtiaz Ali, Education. Dissertation: Finding Home: Formulations of Race and Nationhood among Muslim College Students in Southern California

Carine Allaf, Education. Dissertation: An Exploration of Higher Graduation Rates: A Case Study of Women in Jordan

Azzarina Basarudin, Women’s Studies. Dissertation: In Search of Moral Communities of Muslims: Gender Justice, Intellectual Activism and Feminist Politics 

Brenna Reinhart Byrd, Germanic Languages. Dissertation: From Opfer to Gangsta: the Evolving Linguistic Representations of Turkish-Germans in the Media  

Julin Elaine Everett, French and Francophone Studies. Dissertation: The Homoerotics of Empire: Blanc-Noir Desire and Domination in Colonial and Postcolonial Francophone Literature

Marian Helmy Gabra, Comparative Literature. Dissertation: Ethnic Entanglements: A Comparative Study of Arab American and Chicano Literatures

William Edward Gordon II, NELC. Dissertation: Cultural Identity of the 25th Dynasty Rulers of Ancient Egypt in Context: Formulation, Negotiation and Expression

Andrea Herschman, Political Science. Dissertation: The Politics of Oil Wealth Management: Lessons from the Caspian and Beyond

Seth Corcoran Jameson, Comparative Literiture. Dissertation: The Desire for History: Algerian Historical Fiction in the 1980s

Peter Thacher Lanfer, NELC. Dissertation: Remembering Eden: The Reception History of Genesis 3:22-24 in Early Jewish Interpretation

Ann E. Lucas, Ethnomusicology. Dissertation: Music of a Thousand Years: A New History of Persian Musical Traditions

John McCampbell Marston, Archaeology. Dissertation: Evaluating Risk, Sustainability, and Decision Making in Agricultural and Land-Use Strategies at Ancient Gordian

Susan Marie Mokhberi, History. Dissertation: France and Persia in the Age of Absolutism

Therí Alyce Pickens, Comparative Literature. Dissertation: The Body Speaks: Interrogating the Material Body in Arab American and African American Literature and Cultural Production

Lawrence Peter Rubin, Political Science. Dissertation: Why Arab States Fear Islamist Regimes: Threat Perception and Soft Power Politics

Manija Said, Geography. Dissertation: Reinforcing the ‘Sovereign’ — A Requisite for Empire?: Interrogating the Geopolitics of US/NATO Intervention in Afghanistan 

Edward McCormick Schoolman, History. Dissertation: Civic Transformation of the Mediterranean City: Antioch and Ravenna, 300-800 CE

Khanum Shaikh, Women’s Studies. Dissertation: New Expressions of Religiosity: A Transnational Study of Al-Huda International

Zeynep Turkilmaz, History. Dissertation: Anxieties of Conversion: Missionaries, State and Heterodox Communities in the Late Ottoman Empire


Ramela Grigorian Abbamontian, Art History. Dissertation: Armenian-Americans: Art and Diasporic Identity in Los Angeles.

Nezar Ajaj Andary, Comparative Literature. Dissertation: The Consuming Fever of History: A Study of Five Urgent Flashbacks in Arabic Film and Literature.

Nurullah Ardiç, Sociology. Dissertation: Islam and the Politics of Secularism: The Abolition of the Caliphate (1908-1924).

Lisa A. Blaydes, Political Science. Dissertation: Competition without Democracy: Elections and Distributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt.

Robert Raymond Cargill, NELC. Dissertation: The Qumran Digital Model: An Argument for Archaeological Reconstruction in Virtual Reality.

Stephanie Chasin, History. Dissertation: Citizens of Empire: Jews in the Service of the British Empire, 1905-1926.

Jean Louise Murachanian, Art History. Dissertation: Léon Tutundjian: Trauma, Identity, and Modern Art in the Aftermath of Genocide.

Roger Sangburm Nam, NELC. Dissertation: Portrayals of Economic Exchange in the Book of Kings.

Ayman Shabana, Islamic Studies. Dissertation: Customary Implications in Islamic Law: the Development of the Concept of ‘urf in the Islamic Legal Tradition.

Henry Sivak, Geography. Dissertation: Law, Territory, and the Legal Geography of French Rule in Algeria: The Forestry Domain, 1830-1903.

Laith A. Ulaby, Ethnomusicology. Dissertation: Performing the Past: Sea Music in the Arab Gulf States.

Walter David Ward, History. Dissertation: From Provincia Arabia to Palestina Terita: The Impact of Geography, Economy, and Religion on the Sedentary and Nomadic Communities in the Later Roman Province of Third Palestine.