2020 | CMES Affiliated Graduate Student News

UC Santa Barbara has a vibrant graduate student community invested in Middle East focused research. Below are highlights of CMES affiliated graduate students’ scholarship. 

Amy Fallas (History) published several reviews: “Researching Modern Egypt Online,” Digital Archives Review, HAZINE; “The Chaldeans: Politics and Identity in Iraq and the American Diaspora,” Book Review, Arab Studies Journal 28, no. 1 (Spring 2020), 122-126; and “Orthodox Religion and Politics in Contemporary Eastern Europe,” Book Review, Journal for Religion, State and Society 48, no. 2 (Summer 2020). Ms. Fallas also published in and was interviewed by several news outlets: Some textbooks still parrot Donald Trump’s skewed version of U.S. history,” The Washington Post; “American Protestantism’s Commodification of the Middle East’s ‘Holy Lands,’” Sojourners; “Hulu’s ERA-Focused Mini-Series ‘Mrs. America’ Reveals an Ongoing Predicament of Progressive Politics,” Religion Dispatches; “Interview with Amy Fallas: Philanthropic Solidarities,” Coptic Canadian History Project; and “In the Garden of Eden with Shakira,” Sojourners. Topping off her busy year, Ms. Fallas presented at a number of conferences and workhops including “The Gospel of Wealth: Charity and the Making of Modern Egypt, 1879-1939,” in October at MESA; and “El Olor de La Berenjena: “The Palestinian Diaspora, Racialized Migration, and State-Making in Interwar El Salvador,” at the Semana de Medio Oriente y Norte de África, CIDE, in December. 

Wael Hegazy (Religious Studies) presented “Ashira Muhammadiyah as an Early Revolutionary, Reformist Sufi Model” at MESA 2020. 

Jared Holton (Ethnomusicology), with colleague Ghassen Azaiez (Fellow,  University of Sfax), presented “Maghrebi Musical Heritage, Resistance, and Survival: The Tunisian-Libyan Malouf Slam Collaborative” at MESA 2020, and “High Art in the Street’: The Tunisian-Libyan Malouf Slam Collaborative” at SEM 2020. You can learn more about Mr. Holton’s work in this podcast, “The Transmission and Effectivity of the Ma’luf Tradition, an Andalusian Music within Tunisia and Libya.” part of the Maghrib in Past and Present series. 

Ali Papoliyazdi (Religious Studies) presented “Contemporization of Myth in Ahmad Shamlu’s Existentialism” at MESA. Mr. Papoliyazdi’s presentation was part of the “Rethinking the Political in the Writings of Ahmad Shamlou” panel.  

Esra Tunc (Religious Studies), in addition to presenting and publishing her research across various platforms in 2020, also received the Religion, Spirituality, and Democratic Renewal Fellowship of the Social Science Research Council, supported by the Fetzer Institute, for her dissertation research.

Rachel Winter (History of Art & Architecture) was invited to attend the Fifth Annual Mathaf Curatorial Forum, an important gathering for curators hosted by Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, in Doha, Qatar to discuss this year’s theme, “Curating Through Catastrophe.” Ms. Winter also presented her paper “Who Speaks for British Muslims? The Politics and Presentation of the 1976 World of Islam Festival in London” at MESA 2020; and published “I Have a Story, Too: Suicide Bombers, Borders, and Peripheral Narratives” in the Journal of Associated Graduate Students in Near Eastern Studies. 

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