Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies
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Dabya Alrafaei

Graduate student

Interests: Identity in postcolonial Middle East.

Photo of Katie Aslan

Katie Aslan

Graduate student

kaslan@austin.utexas.edu

Interests: Turkish and Persian language, literature, cinema and music

Carlton Barnett

Graduate student

Interests: Muslim-Christian relations in the modern Middle East.

Steve Bartels

Graduate student

stevebartels@utexas.edu

Interests: Middle Eastern Studies

Rabea Benhalim

 
(on leave)
Graduate student

r.benhalim@gmail.com

Meagan Bennett

Graduate student

bennettmb@utexas.edu

Interests: Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Diplomacy, International Security, National Security, Levant Region, Governance, Women's Issues

Photo of Øyvind Bjøru

Øyvind Bjøru

Graduate student

bjoeru@utexas.edu

Interests: Comparative Semitics, Historical Linguistics, Akkadian, Epistolography of the Ancient Near East

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Bruce Boville

Graduate student

bruce.boville@utexas.edu

Interests: Islam, Theology, Islam & Politics, Political Theology, Oral History

Saghar Bozorgi

Graduate student

Interests: Narratives of citizenship in the modern Iranian nation-state.

Rachel Brooks

Graduate student

rachel.brooks@utexas.edu

Interests: Press Freedom, International Development, Human Rights, Gender Issues

Amy Broome

Graduate student

Interests: Arabic, Hebrew, Israeli society, Palestinian identity, peace processes

Jay Caballero

Graduate student

Photo of Kimberly Canuette Grimaldi

Kimberly Canuette Grimaldi

Graduate student

kcgrimaldi@utexas.edu

Interests: Arabic Literature, Persian Literature, Disability Studies, & Digital Humanities

Photo of Matthew Chovanec

Matthew Chovanec

Graduate student

mlundin@utexas.edu

Interests: Modern Arabic and Turkish Literature, Leftist Poetics, Language Ideology, The Gutenberg Parenthesis and Social Reading, Marxism, Literary Journals

Claire Cooley

Graduate student

cooley@utexas.edu

Interests: Middle Eastern Cinema, Film and Technology, Arabic and Persian language pedagogy, cultural studies, media archaeology, postcolonial literature

Paul Edgar

Graduate student

Interests: Political theory in the Ancient Near East

Photo of Radwa El Barouni

Radwa El Barouni

Graduate student

radwabarouni@gmail.com

Education: M.A. in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures; University of Texas at Austin. M.A. University of Alexandria, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Modern Arabic Literature, Representation of history and writing of history in creative works, Arabic Graphic Novels, Critical theory, Intellectual history, Persian Literature, Teaching Arabic as a foreign language, Teaching Culture.

Samuel Ellison

Graduate student

Interests: Art and literature’s role in building bridges between different cultures.

Elizabeth Ennenga

Graduate student

libby.ennenga@utexas.edu

Interests: Contemporary Iran, Depictions of Women in Iranian Popular Culture, and Modern Iranian History

Hazem Fahmy

Graduate student

Interests: Middle Eastern film and media culture.

Photo of Ryan Fan

Ryan Fan

 
(on leave)
Graduate student

ryanfan@utexas.edu

Education: Ph.D. Candidate in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Moroccan Sign Language, Egyptian Sign Language, Arabic Dialectology, & TAFL

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Laura Fish

Graduate student

laurafish@utexas.edu

Interests: Iranian Cinema; Film distribution; Persian language teaching

Lucy Flamm

Graduate student

lucyflamm@utexas.edu

Interests: Persian/Arabian Gulf, Construction of Memory, Archives as Sites of Politics, & Oral Histories

Briana Franklin

Graduate student

briana1.franklin@utexas.edu

Interests: Egyptian and Sudanese Relations, Female Performance in Religious Spaces, Queer Studies, and Race Relations

Grace Frazor

Graduate student

gefrazor@utexas.edu

Interests: Diplomacy and Security in the Levant and Turkey

Denise Gomez

Graduate student

Interests: Modern Arab history.

Seerwan Hariry

Graduate student

sahariry@utexas.edu

Interests: Modern Arabic Literature, Minorities Literature, Arabic & Kurdish Comparative Literature, Affect Theories, Translation Theories, & Language Pedagogy

Patrick Harned

Graduate student

pwharned@utexas.edu

Interests: Ethno-Politics, Political Movements, Arab Literature

Clara Hecht

Graduate student

Interests: Linguistic methodology.

Photo of Kelly Houck

Kelly Houck

Graduate student

khouck@utexas.edu

Interests: Iranian Cinema, Teaching Persian as a Foreign Language, The Mobile Distribution of Films

Joshua Jones

Graduate student

Arkan Kazal

Graduate student

akazal@utexas.edu

Interests: Modern Middle Eastern history, languages, and cultures

Photo of Sigrid K. Kjær

Sigrid K. Kjær

Graduate student

s.k.kjaer@utexas.edu |
FAC 27

Interests: Hebrew Bible, Old Testament Exegesis, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Nabataean-Aramaic, Old South Arabian, Ancient North Arabian, Cultural Contact, pre-Islamic Arabia, Late Antique Arabia, Religious Transformation, Comparative Semitics, Gender Studies, The Book of Esther.

Joseph Kotinsly

Graduate student

Jkotinsly@utexas.edu

Education: Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Social and political ideals expressed during public demonstrations in post- Saddam Iraq.

Matthew Lancaster

Graduate student

mplancaster@utexas.edu

Interests: Modern Standard Arabic, Egyptian Arabic and Persian Language study. History of Middle Eastern influences in Latin America.

Tracey A Maher

Assistant Instructor

maher.tracey@utexas.edu |
FAC 27

Ethan McHugh

Graduate student

Interests: Religious language ideology and Islamic expansion.

Robyn Morse

Graduate student

robyn.morse@utexas.edu

Interests: Persian Gulf, Sectarian Conflicts, & Nationalism

Mona Mostofi

Graduate student

mona.mostofi@utexas.edu

Interests: Persian Language and Literature, Iran, Language Acquisition of Middle Eastern Languages, The representation of Iranian women in literature, Turkish

Destiny Mundy

Graduate student

Interests: Human rights violations and media portrayal of the Middle East.

Audrey Nissly

Graduate student

anissly@utexas.edu

Interests: Gender and Sexuality in the Hebrew Bible, Feminist Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, Literary Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, the Religious Development of Israel, & the Bible and American Politics

Blake Pye

Graduate student

blake.pye@utexas.edu

Interests: Arab Historiography, Medieval North Africa

Brock Ramer

Graduate student

Interests: Nationalism in the Middle East.

Hannah Rhodes

Graduate student

Interests: Refugees on the threshold of community and nationhood.

Benajmin Saint-Onge

Graduate student

Interests: Modern Iranian history and customs.

Sarah Schwartz

Graduate student

Emily Scott

Graduate student

etscott19@utexas.edu

Interests: Hebrew, Arabic, Sociolinguistics, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Garrett Shuffield

Graduate student

garrettshuffield@austin.utexas.edu

Interests: Middle East and Latin America, Diaspora and Transnationalism, Postcolonialism, "Development" Discourse, South-South Migration, & International History

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Bryan Sitzes

Graduate student

sitzesbc@gmail.com

Interests: Middle Eastern Environmental History

Photo of Navdeep Sokhey

Navdeep Sokhey

Graduate student

navsokhey@utexas.edu

Interests: Arabic sociolinguistics, palatalization in Cairene Arabic, TAFL, Arabic dialects

Photo of Babak Tabarraee

Babak Tabarraee

Graduate student

babaktabarraee@utexas.edu |
CALHOUN 16

Education: PhD student, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Iranian cinema, media, and literature; cult cinema; historical approaches to media reception studies; teaching Persian as a second language

Fahad Tasleem

Graduate student

ftasleem@utexas.edu

Interests: Islamic Theology & Qur'anic Studies from Scholars of South Asia

Arianna Tolany

Graduate student

aktolany@gmail.com

Interests: Gender, law, and the state in contemporary Iran.

Photo of Estefania Valenzuela Mocho

Estefania Valenzuela Mocho

 
(on leave)
Graduate student

estefaniavalenzuela@utexas.edu

Interests: Arabic Linguistics, Teaching Arabic as Foreign Language, Forensic Linguistics, and Translation

Photo of Jack Weinbender

Jack Weinbender

Graduate student

jack.weinbender@utexas.edu

Interests: Hebrew Bible, Israelite Religion, Social / Cultural Memory Theory, Northwest Semitic Epigraphy, Second Temple Judaism, Septuagint, Digital Humanities, Open Access.

Aaron Wolfson

Graduate student

awolfson@utexas.edu

Interests: International/Regional Security

Behzad Zerehdaran

Graduate student

Interests: Iran’s Constitutional period and the concept of Rights in Muslim society.


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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
    +1-512-471-3881