Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Faculty & Research

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Core Faculty

Photo of Kamran Scot Aghaie

Kamran Scot Aghaie

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

Assistant Professor of Instruction, Arabic Program Coordinator |
512-475-6644 |
CAL 508

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

Photo of Riyad Alhomsi

Riyad Alhomsi

Assistant Professor of Instruction

Education: PhD, SLAT (Second Language Acquisition & Teaching), University of Arizona

Interests: Technology integration in language teaching, Arabic as a second language, motivation and autonomy in language learning

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 |
NA |
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 Reema Barakat

Reema Barakat

Assistant Professor of Instruction |

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

Photo of Emily Drumsta

Emily Drumsta

(on leave)
Assistant Professor |
404 Calhoun Hall

Education: Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Interests: The Arabic Novel, Modernist Arabic poetry, Maghrebi Literature & Culture, Translation Studies, Comparative Literature, Gender and Translation

Photo of Karen Grumberg

Karen Grumberg

Arnold S. Chaplik Professor of Israel and Diaspora Studies, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies

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

Interests: Comparative Literature; the Gothic; modern Hebrew literature; 19th- and 20th-century American literature

Photo of Ghada Housen

Ghada Housen

Assistant Professor of Instruction |
512-777-8994 |
CAL 416

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

Photo of Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan

Associate 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, mobility, travel, infrastructure, transnational history, pan-Asianism, intra-Asian connections, metageography

Photo of Cheng-Wei Lin

Cheng-Wei Lin

Assistant Professor of Instruction 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

Hebrew Coordinator, Assistant Professor of Instruction |
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 | Department of Art and Art History, Department of Middle Eastern Studies |
512-471-5851 |
DFA 2.516

Education: Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Interests: Islamic Art and Architecture

Photo of Avigail Noy

Avigail Noy

Assistant Professor

Education: Ph.D., Harvard

Interests: Arabic literature, Arabic Literary theory, the Arabic linguistic tradition, Islamic civilization

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, 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, Hebrew Program Coordinator |
CAL 507

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 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 Nahid Siamdoust

Nahid Siamdoust

Assistant Professor

Education: Ph.D., University of Oxford

Interests: Middle Eastern cultural production and politics, Iranian national and transnational culture and media, social media and disinformation

Photo of Babak Tabarraee

Babak Tabarraee

Lecturer, Persian Program Coordinator

Education: PhD, Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Middle Eastern Cinemas, Iranian Media, Comedy, Cult Cinema, Transnational Media Reception

Photo of Levi Thompson

Levi Thompson

Assistant Professor |

Education: Ph.D., UCLA

Interests: Arabic literature, Persian literature, modernism, Cold War cultures

Photo of Bruce Wells

Bruce Wells

Associate Professor |
512-471-3463 |
CAL 414

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

Interests: Law, religion, and culture in ancient Israel and Mesopotamia; pentateuchal studies; marriage and family relations in the ancient world

Affiliated Faculty

Photo of Ari Adut

Ari Adut

Department of Sociology |
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

Department of Anthropology |
471-7531, 471-3550 |
EPS 1.116

Education: Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

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

Photo of Germine Awad, PhD

Germine Awad, PhD

Department of Educational Psychology |
512-471-0526 |
SZB 506H

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

Department of Government |
512.232.7231 |
BAT 3.156

Education: Ph.D., University of Virginia

Photo of Benjamin Claude Brower

Benjamin Claude Brower

Department of History |
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

Department of Government |
512-232-7304 |
BAT 3.146

Education: Ph.D., Princeton University

Photo of Mounira M. Charrad

Mounira M. Charrad

Department of Sociology |
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

Department of Rhetoric and Writing |
471-3280 |
Parlin 03

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

Photo of David Eaton

David Eaton

Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs |
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 Mehdi Haghshenas

Mehdi Haghshenas

Department of Sociology |
232-8064 |
BUR 539

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

Photo of Geraldine Heng

Geraldine Heng

Department of English |
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 Syed Akbar Hyder

Syed Akbar Hyder

Department of Asian Studies |
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 A. Azfar Moin

A. Azfar Moin

Department of Religious Studies |
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 Mary Neuburger

Mary Neuburger

Department of History |
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

Department of History |
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

Department of Classics |
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

Department of Art and Art History |
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

Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music |
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

Department of History |
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

Lyndon B Johnson School of Public 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

Department of History |
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 Amelia Weinreb

Amelia Weinreb

Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies

Education: Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Photo of L. Michael White

L. Michael White

Department of Religious Studies |
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 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 (z

Aaron Bar-Adon (z"l, in blessed memory)

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

Department of Geography and the Environment

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

Department of Geography and the Environment

Education: Ph.D., Oxford University

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

Photo of Abraham Marcus

Abraham Marcus

Department of History

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

Denise Schmandt-Besserat

Department of Art and Art History

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


Photo of Kristen Brustad

Kristen Brustad

Associate Professor

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

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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