Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Faculty & Research

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Core Faculty

Photo of Dena Afrasiabi

Dena Afrasiabi

Lecturer |
512-471-3196 |
CAL 528G

Education: Ph.D. in Persian Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Second Language Acquisition, Teaching Persian as a Second Language

Ahmad Agbaria

Lecturer |
CAL 504

Education: Ph.D, 2018, The University of Texas at Austin

Photo of Kamran Scot Aghaie (on leave Spring 2020)

Kamran Scot Aghaie (on leave Spring 2020)

Associate Professor |
475-6400 |
CAL 528E

Education: Ph.D., 1999, University of California at Los Angeles

Interests: Islamic studies, Shi'ism, modern Iranian and Middle Eastern history; secondary areas of interest: world history, historiography, religious studies, nationalism, gender studies and economic history

Photo of Olla Al-Shalchi

Olla Al-Shalchi

Lecturer and Arabic Program Coordinator |
512-475-6644 |
CAL 508

Education: PhD, Instructional Design and Technology, Old Dominion University

Photo of Samy Ayoub

Samy Ayoub

Assistant Professor |
CAL 407

Education: Ph.D., University of Arizona

Interests: Islamic Law, Islamic Legal Theory, Islamic Ethics, Islam and Politics, Comparative Middle Eastern Law, Islamic Commercial Law, Late Ottoman Empire, Modern Egypt

Photo of Hina Azam

Hina Azam

Associate Professor, Islamic Studies |
512-475-8393 (no voicemail) |
CAL 506

Education: Ph.D., 2007, Duke University, Department of Religion

Interests: Islamic law, ethics, theology, exegesis, hadith studies; Women/gender/sexuality in Islam; comparative religions of the Middle East; pedagogy and the teaching of Islamic Studies at the college level

Photo of Sarah Baker

Sarah Baker

Lecturer |
CAL 417

Education: PhD, 2018, The University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Biblical Hebrew, Language Pedagogy, Linguistics, Comparative Semitics

Photo of Reema Barakat

Reema Barakat

Lecturer |
CAL 404

Education: M.A., 2015, The University of Texas at Austin

Photo of Kristen Brustad

Kristen Brustad

(on leave)
Associate Professor |
471-9189 (no voicemail) |
CAL 417

Education: Ph.D., 1991, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard

Interests: My research interests include, but are not limited to: Arabic dialects, syntax, language ideology and Arabic literary and linguistic history

Photo of Karen Grumberg

Karen Grumberg

Center Director, Associate Professor

Education: Ph.D.- 2004, University of California- Los Angeles

Interests: Comparative Literature and modern Hebrew literature

Photo of Michael Craig Hillmann

Michael Craig Hillmann

Professor |
512-475-6606 |
CAL 400

Education: Ph.D.; M.A., The University of Chicago, 1974; Texas State University at San Marcos, 1997

Interests: Persian language; Persian literature, 1921-1978; medieval Persian poetry; Iranian art and culture; autobiography; the nature of lyric poetry

Photo of Ghada Housen

Ghada Housen

Lecturer |
512-777-8994 |
CAL 416

Education: Master of Arts in Arabic Language Teaching, Damascus University

Photo of Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan

Assistant Professor |
512-471-9453 |
Calhoun (CAL) 413

Education: Ph.D. 2010, Harvard University

Interests: Hebrew Bible (with specific interest in Song of Songs, Daniel, and Jonah), Second Temple Judaism, Dead Sea Scrolls, Rabbinic Judaism, Midrash, Literary Theory, History of Biblical Interpretation, Utopian Studies

Photo of Mikiya Koyagi

Mikiya Koyagi

Assistant Professor |
CAL 406

Education: PhD, History, 2015, The University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Modern Iranian history; infrastructure; pan-Asianism; intra-Asian connections

Photo of Cheng-Wei Lin

Cheng-Wei Lin

Lecturer and Co-Director of Arabic Flagship Program |
CAL 501B

Education: Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Interests: Arabic Second Language Acquisition, Corpus Linguistics, Phonology, Computer-Assisted Curriculum Design and Pedagogy

Anat Maimon

Lecturer of Hebrew |
512-475-6467 |
CAL 408

Photo of Mohammad Mohammad

Mohammad Mohammad

Associate Professor |
512-475-6650 (no voicemail) |
CAL 415

Education: Ph.D., University of Southern California

Interests: Linguistics and the Arabic language

Photo of Stephennie Mulder

Stephennie Mulder

Associate Professor |
512-471-5851 |
DFA 2.516

Education: Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Interests: Islamic Art and Architecture

Photo of Jeannette Okur

Jeannette Okur

Assistant Professor of Instruction, Turkish Program Coordinator |
512 471 1280 |
CAL 509

Education: Ph.D., Ankara University, 2007

Interests: Modern Turkish/Turkic literature, film and cultural studies, teaching culture and literature in the foreign language classroom, comparative literature, translation studies

Photo of Na'ama Pat-El

Na'ama Pat-El

Chair, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Associate Professor |
512-232-8292 |
CAL 501C

Education: Ph.D., 2008, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Semitic Philology), Harvard University

Interests: Comparative Semitic Linguistics, Historical Linguistics, Syntax, Languages in Contact, Linguistic Methodology

Photo of Esther Raizen

Esther Raizen

Associate Professor; Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies |
GEB 3.212

Education: Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Modern and classical Hebrew language, linguistics and literature; Teaching Hebrew as a foreign language; Jewish history and culture, Holocaust studies; Computer-assisted instruction and computational linguistics, assistive technology; Education administration; Student development; Women and war

Photo of Anousha Shahsavari

Anousha Shahsavari

Lecturer and Persian Program Coordinator |
512 232 8276 |
CAL 500

Education: M.A. Second Language Acquisition and Application, University of Maryland 2009

Interests: Instructed Second Language Acquisition, Curriculum and Instructional Materials Development, Language Pedagogy, Persian Literature and Culture

Photo of Faegheh Shirazi

Faegheh Shirazi

Professor |
232-9416 |
CAL 502

Education: PhD, Ohio State University

Interests: Textiles and Clothing, particularly the Islamic veil (hijab), issues of women, rituals, and rites of passage as they relate to material culture in popular Islamic societies.

Photo of Bruce Wells

Bruce Wells

Associate Professor |
512-471-3463 |
CAL 414

Education: PhD, Near Eastern Studies, 2003, Johns Hopkins University

Interests: Historical and cultural contexts of the Hebrew Bible; pentateuchal studies; biblical law; priestly literature; economic, administrative, and legal systems of ancient Israel and Mesopotamia; marriage, sex, and family relations in the ancient world; religion and law

Affiliated Faculty

Photo of Ari Adut

Ari Adut

Assistant Professor |
232-4284 |
BUR 468

Education: Ph.D., University of Chicago

Interests: Political Sociology, Theory, Crime, Law, and Deviance

Photo of Kamran Asdar Ali

Kamran Asdar Ali

Associate Professor |
471-7531, 471-3550 |
EPS 1.116

Education: PhD, Johns Hopkins University

Interests: Gender, Health, Development, Labor History, Political Economy; Post-Colonialism;

Photo of Germine Awad

Germine Awad

Associate Professor |
512-471-0526 |
SZB 506H

Education: Ph.D., 2005, Psychology, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Interests: Attitude development expression: prejudice and discrimination, ethnic and racial identity, acculturation, immigration, and attitudes toward affirmative action beneficiaries.

Photo of Zoltan Barany

Zoltan Barany

Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professor, Department of Government |
512.232.7231 |
BAT 3.156

Education: Ph.D., University of Virginia

Photo of Benjamin Claude Brower

Benjamin Claude Brower

Associate Professor |
512-475-6813 |
GAR 3.204

Education: Ph.D., 2005, Cornell University

Interests: Writing Violence in History, French Empire: The "West" and "Islam"

Photo of Jason Brownlee

Jason Brownlee

Professor |
512-232-7304 |
BAT 3.146

Education: Ph.D., Princeton University

Interests: Domestic and international processes of political emancipation

Photo of Mounira M. Charrad

Mounira M. Charrad

Associate Professor |
232-6311 |
CLA 3.526

Education: Ph.D., Harvard University

Interests: Gender & Women's Rights; Political Sociology; Social Theory; Colonialism; Comparative-Historical Sociology; Globalization; Middle East and North Africa, Gender and women's rights, political sociology, development, comparative historical methodology, and the Middle East and North Africa

Photo of Rasha Diab

Rasha Diab

Assistant Professor |
471-3280 |
Parlin 03

Education: Ph.D., Composition and Rhetoric, 2009, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Photo of David Eaton

David Eaton

Professor |
512.471.8972 |
SRH 3.204

Education: PhD, Johns Hopkins University

Interests: evaluation of energy and water conservation programs, joint management by Palestinians and Israelis of shared groundwater,new methods for evaluating and preventing air pollution emissions

Photo of Kate Gillespie

Kate Gillespie

Associate Professor |
512.471.5438 |
CBA 7.258

Education: PhD, London Business School

Interests: International Business

Photo of Hossein Haghshenas

Hossein Haghshenas

Senior Lecturer |
232-8064 |
BUR 539

Education: Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Photo of Geraldine Heng

Geraldine Heng

Associate Professor |
471-7480 |
PAR 213

Education: Ph.D., Cornell University

Interests: iterary, cultural, and social encounters between worlds, and webs of exchange and negotiation between communities and cultures: gender, race, sexuality, and religion

Photo of S. Akbar Hyder

S. Akbar Hyder

Associate Professor |
475-6031 |
WCH 4.134

Education: PhD, Harvard University

Interests: Islam in South Asia, Urdu language and literature, Aesthetics in South Asian and the Middle East

Photo of Wm. Roger Louis

Wm. Roger Louis

Professor |
512-471-9274 |
HRC 3.202

Education: DPhil and DLitt, Oxford University

Interests: The British Empire/Commonwealth and the history, literature, and politics of nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain

Photo of Sofian Merabet

Sofian Merabet

Associate Professor of Anthropology |
(512) 471-0057 |
SAC 5.156

Education: Ph.D., Columbia University

Interests: Socio-Cultural Theory/Urban Studies/Gender Studies/Queer Theory/Muslim World, Europe, and South America

Photo of Gail Minault

Gail Minault

Professor |
512-475-7214 |
GAR 3.118

Education: PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Interests: 19th and 20th century history of India, including religion and politics, intellectual and social history, and women's movements

Photo of A. Azfar Moin

A. Azfar Moin

Associate Professor |
512 232-7224 |
BUR 518

Education: PhD, University of Michigan

Interests: Sufism and Sainthood in Islam | Sacred Kingship | History of Early Modern Iran, Central Asia, and South Asia

Photo of William R Nethercut

William R Nethercut

Professor |
471-3839 |
WAG 123

Education: Ph.D., Columbia University

Interests: Greek and Roman Literature, Egyptology

Photo of Mary Neuburger

Mary Neuburger

Professor |
512-232-4124 |
BUR 452

Education: Ph.D., 1997, University of Washington

Interests: Modern eastern Europe with a specialization in southeastern Europe. Urban culture, consumption, commodity exchange, gender and nationalism

Photo of Martha G. Newman

Martha G. Newman

Associate Professor in the Departments of History and Religious Studies |
512-475-8660 |
GAR 3.408

Education: Ph.D., 1988, Stanford University

Interests: Monastic miracle collections and monastic attitudes toward women and the poor

Photo of Thomas G Palaima

Thomas G Palaima

Professor: Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor and Director, Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP) |
512-471-5742 or 512-471-8837 |

Education: Ph.D. 1980, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Interests: Aegean scripts & prehistory, Greek language, war & violence studies, public intellectual writing, music as social criticism, Dylanology

Photo of Athanasio Papalexandrou

Athanasio Papalexandrou

Associate Professor |
512-471-5021 |
ART 3.404

Education: Ph.D., Princeton University

Interests: Early Greek Visual Culture, Interconnections between Greece & Near East, Art & Archaeology of Cyprus, Greek Sanctuaries. Art as a Means ofCommunication in Preliterate Societies

Photo of Sonia Seeman

Sonia Seeman

Associate Professor |
512-471-2854 |
MBE 3.204

Education: Ph.D., UCLA

Interests: Middle Eastern music & expressive culture; Roma ("Gypsy") & minority communities; former Ottoman territories of Southeastern Europe,cosmopolitanism; nationalism; gender

Denise A. Spellberg

Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies |
512-475-7202 |
GAR 3.208

Education: Ph.D., 1989, Columbia University

Interests: intellectual history of the medieval Islamic world, from Spain to Iran; Islam in American and European history; gender and religion in history

Photo of Jeremi Suri

Jeremi Suri

Professor; Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs |
512-475-7242 |
GAR 2.122/ SRH 3.378

Education: Ph.D. in History, 2001, Yale University

Interests: The formation and spread of nation-states; the emergence of modern international relations; the connections between foreign policy and domestic politics; the rise of knowledge institutions as global actors.

Photo of Cynthia Talbot

Cynthia Talbot

Professor |
475-7229 |
GAR 3.406

Education: PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Interests: Social and cultural history of medieval and early modern India (ca. 1000-1750); historiography and historical memories, Hindu-Muslim relations.

Photo of L. Michael White

L. Michael White

Professor, Ronald Nelson Smith Chair in Classics and Christian Origins |
512-232-1438 |
BUR 502-12

Education: Ph.D., Yale University

Interests: Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean & Middle East, New Testament and Christian Origins, Graeco-Roman Religions

Photo of Karin Wilkins

Karin Wilkins

Professor, Radio-Television-Film |
512-471-2007 |
CMA 5.114

Education: PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Interests: Development and international communication, media and social change.


Photo of Mahmoud Al-Batal

Mahmoud Al-Batal

Professor Emeritus

Education: Ph.D. - 1985, Michigan - Ann Arbor

Interests: Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language

Photo of Aaron Bar-Adon

Aaron Bar-Adon

Professor Emeritus

Education: Ph.D., Hebrew University

Interests: Sociolinguistics and language acquisition; Hebrew and Arabic language, literature, and linguistics

Photo of Mohammad Ghanoonparvar

Mohammad Ghanoonparvar

Professor Emeritus

Education: PhD, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: 20th century Persian literature; comparative literary history and criticism; methodology and practice of literary translation

Photo of Jo Ann Hackett

Jo Ann Hackett

Professor Emerita

Education: Ph.D., Harvard University

Photo of Robert Holz

Robert Holz

Professor Emeritus

Education: Ph.D., 1963, Geography, Michigan State University

Photo of John Huehnergard

John Huehnergard

Professor Emeritus

Education: Ph.D. 1979, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Semitic Philology), Harvard University

Interests: Semitic languages and linguistics, historical linguistics, writing systems, and ancient Near Eastern history

Photo of Harold Liebowitz

Harold Liebowitz

Professor Emeritus

Education: Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Interests: Archaeology & art history of Israel in the Biblical & Greco-Roman periods; art & archaeology of the Ancient Near East, daily life in Ancient Israel; material culture & literature (Mishnah & Talmud)

Photo of Ian Manners

Ian Manners

Professor Emeritus

Education: Ph.D., Oxford University

Interests: Conservation and resource management, urban cultural geography, and historical cartography

Photo of Abraham Marcus

Abraham Marcus

Professor Emeritus

Education: Ph.D., 1979, Columbia University

Interests: Social and cultural history of the early modern and modern Middle East; cities and urban life; Islamic law and legal practice; music and society

Photo of James A. Neely

James A. Neely

Professor Emeritus |
512-471-7529 |
EPS 1.102

Education: Ph.D., University of Arizona

Interests: Prehistoric & early historic cultural development & culture change; processes of plant & animal domestication; development of urban life; ancient technology, Mexico, Iran

Denise Schmandt-Besserat

Professor Emeritus

Interests: Ancient Near Eastern Art

Photo of Abraham Zilkha

Abraham Zilkha

Professor Emeritus

Education: Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Hebrew linguistics, lexicography, Israel and the Middle East

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  • Middle Eastern Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    204 W 21st Street Stop F9400
    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712