NEH Summer Scholars 2014

JOHN K. BRAGG is as an assistant professor of History and Education at New Jersey City University. His scholarly research follows the tenuous relationship between state and local society in the Middle East. His first monograph, Ottoman Notables and Participat​ory Politics: Tanzimat Reform in Tokat, 1839-1876, was recently published by Routledge. In this work Bragg examines a new brand of participatory politics that emerged among small town Anatolian merchants and notables during the nineteenth century. Other research interests include immigration studies, folklore, and world history instruction in P-12 education. He has previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bradley University, and Ondokuz Mayıs University in Samsun, Turkey.

ANNIA CIEZADLO lived in the Middle East for most of the past decade. She was a special correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor in Baghdad (2003–2004) and The New Republic in Beirut (2005–2007). Her writing on culture, politics, and the Middle East has appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostTime, Newsweek, Foreign AffairsGranta, and The Nation. Her book Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War (Free Press, 2011) won multiple awards and was translated into four languages. She divides her time between New York and Beirut.

RADHA DALAL is Assistant Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha, Qatar. She researches visual cultures of mobility with a particular emphasis on architecture and the urban environment of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries and the empire’s socio-political interactions with other European and Asian polities.  Her current research focuses on the Sultan Abdul Hamid II photo albums presented to the Library of Congress and the British Library.

PRIYA DIXIT  Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Virginia Tech. Books: States and “Terrorists” in Nepal and Northern Ireland (forthcoming, Manchester University Press) and Critical Terrorism Studies: An Introduction to Research Methods (with Jacob Stump) (Routledge, 2013) Current research: critical study of war and the production of the “terrorist” subject. Current research project: Nepali Gurkhas in the British Army, specifically their role in the Middle East/North Africa. This is part of a larger comparative project on representations of indigenous soldiers in the British Army. Hoping to find sources on how imperial and other soldiers were represented during World War I.

STACY FAHRENTHOLD is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Middle Eastern History at Williams College. Her dissertation, Making Nations, in the Mahjar (Northeastern University, 2014) traces the development of Syrian and Lebanese nationalisms among emigrants in New York City, São Paulo, and Buenos Aires. Her current research examines Syrian military recruiting and émigré political activism in the Americas during WWI. She is particularly interested in linkages between Syrian activists in the United States and the Arab Revolt, as well as the use of soldier memoirs in narrating the history of the war. She will consult Syrian American newspapers at LOC; Consular, Immigration, and Bureau of Investigation reports at NARA.

MARI FIRKATIAN is Professor of History at the University of Hartford. She specializes in East European History (19th and 20th centuries) and Russian/Soviet foreign policy. She has published on Armenian communities in Bulgaria and is working on a regional Armenian recipes book that will rely on oral histories and the family recipes of Genocide survivors. She holds a PhD in history and MA in Slavic languages.

AIMEE GENELL is currently postdoctoral fellow at International Security Studies at Yale University. She recently defended her dissertation in the Department of History at Columbia. Her dissertation, “Empire by Law: Ottoman Sovereignty and the British Occupation of Egypt, 1882-1922” is an analysis of the Ottoman-European legal contest over Egypt and explores the relationship between international law, imperial expansion, and state formation in the late Ottoman Empire. She is developing these themes further in an article on international legal thought in the late Ottoman Empire and the early Turkish Republic.

SUSAN GUNASTI I am an Assistant Professor of Religion at Ohio Wesleyan University. My primary areas of research are modern Qur’an commentary and late Ottoman Islamic political thought. I am currently working on a project on constitutionalism in the late Ottoman period and a monograph on Hak Dini, Kur’ân Dili (The Religion of the Truth, the Language of the Qur’ān) by Elmalılı Muhammed Hamdi Yazır (d. 1942), a leading public intellectual, jurist, and politician. This project examines the religious, social, intellectual, and political currents that influenced the writing of Hak Dini and Elmalılı’s attempts to protect Islam from encroachment by the state.

DEVI MAYS will be an Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan beginning in August 2014. Her research interests lie in the modern Sephardic Mediterranean and transnational Jewish networks. She was the inaugural Post-Doctoral Fellow in Modern Jewish Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary for the 2013-2014 academic year, and received her PhD in History from Indiana University in June 2013. Her book manuscript traces the itineraries and connections of Sephardic migrants from the Ottoman Empire and its successor states to and through Mexico and beyond as a lens into the transnational Sephardic familial, commercial, and patronage networks that perpetuated a transoceanic modern Sephardic diaspora.

ANDREW ORR is Assistant Professor of History at Kansas State University where he also teaches in the graduate program in Security Studies. He received his BA from Claremont McKenna College and his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. His work focuses on the political and social history of the French Army during and after the First World War. His first book examines the political and social effects of women’s expanding roles in the French Army while his new project studies French involvement in the Turkish War of independence with a focus on French views of Mustafa Kemal.

DOMINIQUE KIRCHNER REILL is an Associate Professor in Modern European History at the University of Miami (Florida). She holds degrees from UC Berkeley (B.A. History) and Columbia University (Ph.D. History). Her first monograph, Nationalists Who Feared the Nation: Adriatic Multi-Nationalism in Habsburg Dalmatia, Trieste, and Venice, was published by Stanford University Press in 2012 and was awarded an Honorable Mention from the Smith Award. Currently she has been awarded the ACLS Fellowship in East European Studies to complete her analysis of the immediate aftermath of the dissolution of the Habsburg Empire through the lens of the independent city-state Fiume/Rijeka.

CHRIS ROMINGER, a native of Brooklyn, NY, graduated from Middlebury College before serving as Associate Director of the Arab American Association of New York from 2008 to 2011. Rominger then joined the CUNY Graduate Center’s doctoral program in History, where he is a fellow on the Committee for the Study of Religion and on the Advanced Research Collaborative. Rominger studies reformist and anti-colonial movements in the early 20th century Middle East and North Africa. In particular, his research focuses on the dislocations experienced by Tunisian veterans, families, dissidents and activists during the First World War and its aftermath.

MAUREEN G. SHANAHAN is a modernist art historian at James Madison University. Her scholarly interests include modernism, formations of gender and sexuality, and the representability of historical and psychic trauma. Her book, The Colorist Doctor: Fernand Léger and the Aestheticization of Trauma, currently under review at Pennsylvania State University Press, analyzes Léger’s pictorial production in response to his wartime experience and argues that his work both recognizes and disavows the psychic and physical trauma. She is also co-editing with Ana María Reyes (Boston University) a collection of essays, Simón Bolívar as National Myth and Cultural Sign, under advance contract with University Press of Florida.

MELANIE S. TANIELIAN is an Assistant Professor in the History Department of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she teaches courses in the History Department as well as for the Program for International and Comparative Studies (PICS), focusing on the Middle East as well as on War, Violence and Human Rights in general. She received her PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley, under the guidance of Prof. Beshara Doumani. Her dissertation, “The War of Famine: Everyday Life in Wartime Beirut and Mount Lebanon (1914-1918),” is a socio-economic study of daily life at the Lebanese homefront during the First World War, through the lens of famine, family, disease and medicine, as well as local, state, and international humanitarian relief. Her research has been supported by the Allan Sharlin Memorial Grant for Dissertation Research, the DAAD Graduate Fellowship, and the Sultan Fellowship from the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research and teaching interests include the social and cultural history of WWI in the Middle East, the emergence of religious philanthropic societies and their work in times of conflict, the history of German missionaries, social Protestantism and modern humanitarianism, disease, medicine, and hospitals, the history Childhood and Youth.

JONATHAN WYRTZEN is Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Yale University.  His comparative-historical research interests focus on society and politics in North Africa, particularly in the areas of empire and colonialism, state and non-state forms of political order, ethnicity and nationalism, and rural and urban contentious politics. He is completing a book manuscript, Making Morocco: Colonial Intervention and the Politics of Identity, that examines how, within the colonial political field created during the French and Spanish Protectorate (1912-56), four pillars of Moroccan identity—religion, ethnicity, territory, and the role of the monarchy—became indelibly politicized through state-society interactions involving a wide range of Moroccan and colonial actors. His next project compares tribal “insurgency” movements against colonial states in the 1920s in North Africa (Morocco and Libya) and the Middle East (Syria and Iraq).

İPEK YOSMAOĞLU  I am a historian of the late Ottoman Empire, planning to move onto early Republican Turkey with my next project on the “military-national” complex that shaped the origins of Turkish nationhood. I teach in Northwestern University’s History Department. My first book, Blood Ties: Religion, Violence, and the Politics of Nationhood in Ottoman Macedonia, 1878-1908, was published last November (2013).

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