We are proud of the Center's affiliated graduate students, who specialize in Middle East and North African topics across a wide range of disciplines, including Anthropology, Applied Linguistics, Archaeology, Art History, Comparative Literature, Education, Ethnomusicology, French, Gender Studies, Geography, German, History, Islamic Studies, Law, Management, Music, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Political Science, Social Welfare, Sociology, Spanish, Theater, and Urban Planning.
UCLA graduate students with Middle East specialties are invited to join the Center's activities. To add your name to our mailing list, send an email message
The federal government's program of Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) provides fellowships to graduate students with excellent records who plan to pursue a degree in a field designated as an area of national need. The 2015 GAANN grant to UCLA was the first ever awarded for Near Eastern area studies.
Kaleb Herman Adney
Kaleb Herman is a PhD student in the History Department interested in the history of capitalism in the Ottoman Empire, including parts of the Balkan territories, Anatolia, and the Arab world. His research relies on the tobacco trade and the financial apparatuses used to expand cultivation as a lens to analyze broader socio-economic and cultural trends in the region. Banking, trading, and peasant labor tie the project together thematically and analytically.
Suleiman Hodali is a Phd student in the Department of Comparative Literature. His research is
situated at the intersections of several disciplines and fields of study, including Arabic literature
and culture, British romanticism, comparative literature, philology and translation studies,
imperial culture, and the question of secularism. His dissertation traces the emergence of the
Crusades in the circuits of translation, adaptation and exchange between Arabic, English, and
French literature and historiography, from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries.
Tim Hogue is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, where he specializes in the Hebrew Bible and its cultural context. His research centers on investigating the social motivations behind biblical literature. Tim’s dissertation is a new analysis of the Ten Commandments based on recent theoretical work on monumentality from the fields of archaeology, art history, and sociology. Contextualizing the biblical text within the growing corpus of Northwest Semitic monumental inscriptions, he is exploring how the biblical text adapted monumental rhetoric from the surrounding cultures to present the Ten Commandments as a material anchor for collective memory, ideology and identity formation.
Nihal is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology with a focus on migration and political sociology of the Middle East. She is interested in how Syrian refugees in Turkey interact with state services, including healthcare and education. Her research examines how social policies are conceived of and implemented by the state as well as refugees’ experiences accessing available services. She is particularly interested in the gendered dimensions of service access and utilization.
Zach is a PhD student in the Anthropology department, in the sociocultural sub-field. His research interests focus on political and economic arrangements the Nile Valley, particularly in the context of the geopolitical split between Sudan and South Sudan. He is also broadly interested in Afro-Arab racial formations, and the ideological separation of Sub-Saharan Africa from the Middle East.
Holly is a PhD student in Islamic Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, with interests in Muslim social and religious history and the intersections of law and society in medieval Islam. Her research examines the theories and practices of imprisonment under Mamluk rule in Egypt and Syria, focusing on the ways in which prisons and imprisonment were experienced and thought about by various social groups.
Wisam is a UCLA doctoral student in sociology, whose research interests are comparative-historical sociology and political sociology. His work focuses on how religious and secular nationalism have affected state-formation and -reformation in Iraq. He hopes to contribute to an understanding of the difference between religion and ethnicity as principles of organization in politics. Wisam’s study will investigate the Ba’th Party Records and the Islamic Fundamentalism Collection, both located at the Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
Alessandra is a PhD student in the Art History department, where she studies modern and contemporary Arab art with a focus on Palestine and Palestinians in exile. She is broadly interested in exploring the limitations of event-based historical narratives, questions of figuration and abstraction, and institutional links between Palestinian artists and their European counterparts, particularly in the Eastern Bloc during the latter half of the twentieth century. Her minor field is the history of photography.
Jesse is a doctoral student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, with research interests in Late Antique and Medieval History, Literatures, Theologies, Liturgies and Manuscripts. He works primarily in Armenian and Syriac, with special attention to those branches of Christianity in their divergence from Latin and Byzantine norms, and how they interrelate and interact in Persian, Arab and Turkish milieus. He also is interested in modern Middle East Christianities and their diaspora communities.
A PhD Candidate in the Department of Education, Billy specializes in Comparative and International Studies in Education. His research interests lie at the intersection of education policy and political development in Turkey and the Middle East. Billy’s current research focuses on the role of education policy in Turkey and its impact on both the students’ political identities and the state's capacity for international and domestic public diplomacy.
Fredrick Walter Lorenz
Fredrick is a PhD student in the Department of History, with interests in the Modern Middle East, Ottoman Empire, and Ottoman Balkans. His research examines migrations and empire shaping in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century Ottoman Empire. He is studying the political and social effects of the large-scale movement and resettlement of refugees from the Balkans into Anatolia and Arab provinces under Ottoman rule.
Evan is a PhD student in UCLA’s Islamic Studies Program. His research focuses on the social and religious life in the Mamluk Kingdom in Egypt and Syria. He is studying the ways in which former slaves in Egypt and Greater Syria produced and modeled new forms of religious behavior, particularly through the use of drums in religious rituals and ceremonies. The project aims to understand how a group of powerful outsiders made a lasting mark on the practice of Islam in the region.
Michael is a doctoral student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, where he is investigating the history and archaeology of the Hittite empire that flourished in Turkey and northern Syria during the second millennium BCE. He has worked as a field archaeologist in the excavations at Tell Tayinat (Turkey), Athienou-Malloura (Cyprus), and Idalion (Cyprus). Michael’s dissertation examines queenship and power relations within the Hittite court. Drawing upon the rich array of texts from Hittite archives, he investigates the strategies royal women used to wield political and ideological power, and the ways in which the office of queenship was used to support and legitimize Hittite monarchs.
Nada is a doctoral student in the Sociology Department. Her research interests include gender, development, migration, and social movements in the Middle East, specifically in Egypt.
A PhD student in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Cameron is working with Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl in the field of Islamic law. Cameron's research pertains to the relationship between jurists and their followers. In particular, he is concerned with the role of the latter in interpreting the legal verdicts of the former.