Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Photo of Dena Afrasiabi

Dena Afrasiabi

Graduate student |
FAC 27

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

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

Photo of Lameese Ahmad

Lameese Ahmad

Graduate student

Mona Alshihry

Graduate student

Interests: Arabic Dialectology, Arabian Peninsula, Pedagogy, Sociolinguistics of the Arab world

Photo of Ahmad Aminpour

Ahmad Aminpour

Graduate student

Education: PhD, The University of Texas at Austin

Interests: modern political and intellectual history of Iran, Iraq, and the Kurds

Agaate Antson

Graduate student

Photo of Katie Aslan

Katie Aslan

Graduate student

Education: MSW, Loyola University Chicago

Interests: Turkish and Persian language, literature and cinema

Niaz Aziz

Graduate Student

Interests: pragmatics, conversation analysis, (im)politeness in both Iraqi Arabic and Kurdish dialects.

Photo of Mitchell Bacci

Mitchell Bacci

Graduate student

Photo of Sarah Baker

Sarah Baker

Graduate student

Education: B.A. in Biblical Studies and English Language and Literature, Gordon College. M.A. in The Bible and Its World, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ph.D. student in Hebrew Bible/Ancient Near East, The University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Biblical Hebrew, linguistics, comparative Semitics, language pedagogy

Photo of Nesrine Basheer

Nesrine Basheer

Graduate student

Education: PhD Candidate, MA in Applied Linguistics, Columbia University; BA in English Language and Literature, Ain Shams University

Interests: Language assessment; Pedagogy; Language performance; Dialects; Arabic forensic linguistics

Kirsten Beck

Ph.D. Candidate

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

Interests: Arabic Literature (Modern and Classical), Mental Health Issues

Samuel Belcher

Graduate student

Photo of William Bibee

William Bibee

Graduate student |

Education: Ph.D., BA in Plan2, Classics and Linguistics, UT Austin. Ph.D in Biblical Hebrew at UT Austin.

Interests: IE and Semitic linguistics, Aegean Bronze Age scripts, general historical linguistics and linguistic contact, religion in the ancient world, writing systems, cultural contact in the Bronze Age

Photo of Øyvind Bjøru

Øyvind Bjøru

Graduate student

Interests: Comparative Semitics, Historical Linguistics, Biblical Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic

Photo of Weston Bland

Weston Bland

Graduate student

Interests: Minority politics, identity politics, identity construction, nationalism, citizenship, Coptic history, Ismailism; modern Egypt and Lebanon

Jessica Boggs

Graduate Student

Education: BA, University of Tulsa

Interests: Political history of Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements, Modern Politics of the Middle East, Leftist Movements

Photo of Camille Bossut

Camille Bossut

Graduate student

Education: M.A. Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: French colonization of the Middle East, Lebanese war literature, Levantine Arabic

Evan Burt

Graduate student

Photo of Kevin Butts

Kevin Butts

Graduate student

Adam Cameron

Graduate student |
Wherever there be donuts

Interests: Language and culture, interactional identity, Iranian religious minorities, Persian language, refugee and migration issues, life histories, linguistic anxiety, Nicecore

Photo of Matthew Chovanec

Matthew Chovanec

Graduate student

Education: B.A. International Relations, American University

Interests: Arabic and Turkish Literature, Language Ideology, Language Reform, Historical Linguistics, Translation

Claire Cooley

Graduate student |
United States

Interests: Egyptian Cinema, Iranian Cinema, Contemporary Arabic Literature

Willis Cumming

Graduate student

Priscilla Cunha

Graduate student

Education: BA in Near Eastern Studies, Linguistics, German Studies, Cornell University

Interests: Applied Linguistics, Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language, Teaching Culture

Photo of Steven Damiano

Steven Damiano

Graduate student

Interests: Good governance initiatives, public program evaluation, Afghan and Iranian politics, and Persian language and politics

Okan Dogan

Graduate student

Interests: Fiqh Al Aqalliyyat (The Jurisprudence of Minorities), Quranic Exegesis, Hadith, Muslim-Christian Relations

Photo of Emilie Durand-Zuniga

Emilie Durand-Zuniga

Ph.D. Candidate / Assistant Instructor |
512-471-3881 (general) |
CAL 528

Education: Ph.D. in Arabic Linguistics, UT-Austin

Interests: Sociophonetics, sociolinguistics, dialectology, pedagogy

Paul Edgar

Graduate student

Photo of Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards

Ph.D. Candidate

Interests: Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL), Classical Arabic Grammar & Lexicography, the Arab Nahḍa

Itay Eisinger

Graduate student

Photo of Radwa El Barouni

Radwa El Barouni

Graduate student

Norah Elamir

Graduate student

Photo of Mahyar Entezari

Mahyar Entezari

Ph.D. Candidate |
(215) 573-6147

Education: BA in German Studies, University of California, San Diego — MA in Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin — PhD in Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Languages, literatures, and cinemas of Persianate societies

Photo of Ryan Fan

Ryan Fan

Graduate Student / Assistant Instructor

Interests: Egyptian Sign Language, Language Contact, Arabic Dialectology, TAFL

Gayle Fischer

Graduate student

Photo of Laura Fish

Laura Fish

Graduate student

Education: BA in Near Eastern Studies, Cornell University ------ MA in Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Iranian Cinema; Film distribution; Persian language teaching

Photo of Anna Gibson

Anna Gibson

Graduate student

Photo of John Gloer

John Gloer

Graduate student

Interests: Arabic Language, Finance, Islamic law, faith healing in the Arab world, Arab-Islamic perceptions of psychosis

Photo of Sophia Golvach

Sophia Golvach

Graduate student |
7132087610 |
United States

Education: B.A. Dartmouth College, Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic; Current J.D. student at The University of Texas School of Law, current M.A. student in Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Interests: Shariah in global commercial and human rights settings. Nationalisms and constitution-forming in the Middle East and North Africa. Faith healing for individuals with developmental disorders. Arabic language.

Photo of Katherine Goodin

Katherine Goodin

Graduate student

Education: B.A., Brown University

Interests: Arabic literature, Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language, translation studies and Egyptian culture and dialect

Photo of Rachel Green

Rachel Green

Graduate student

Education: Ph.D. in Comparative Middle Eastern Literatures, University of Texas at Austin;, M.A., University of Texas at Austin in Comparative Middle Eastern Literatures; B.A., University of Chicago in Comparative Literature and NELC

Interests: Empathy, translation and affect in Arabic, Hebrew, and Francophone literatures; dialect, language standardization and cultural memory; literature and language pedagogy

Photo of Shehnaz Haqqani

Shehnaz Haqqani

Graduate student

Education: MA, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Gender issues, Islamic law, Pashtun migration, Diasporic Islam, Islamic feminist hermeneutics, Female religious authority in Islam, Muslim Televangelism

Reem Harb

Graduate student

Seerwan Haruti

Graduate student

Patrick Higgins

Graduate student

Education: BA, Honors Journalism, Wayne State University

Interests: Animal-human relationships and animal history of the Middle East; piracy in Islamic societies; syncretism in Islam; Shi'i rituals and symbols, particularly in modern Lebanon; political and intellectual history of modern Palestine; Middle East politics.

Photo of Kelly Houck

Kelly Houck

Graduate student

Education: B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies & French, College of William and Mary

Interests: Iranian Cinema, urban planning, issues related to children such as children's health, child labor, and orphans of war.

Jennifer Hunt

Graduate student |

Education: B.A. in History & Women's Studies, Loyola University New Orleans

Interests: Contemporary Iranian history, Iranian women’s history, contemporary Iranian women’s literature, trauma studies, biographical material, identity formation and politics, modernity studies, gender theory, and feminist philosophy

Photo of Paige Ingram

Paige Ingram

Graduate student

Education: M.A. Middle Eastern Studies - Dual Language Track, The University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Islam in America and Europe, Modern Middle Eastern Political History

Photo of Philip Issa

Philip Issa

Graduate student

Photo of Canan Kaba

Canan Kaba

Graduate student

Education: B.A. Turkic Studies & Political Science, University of Hamburg, Germany

Photo of Sarah Kaiser-Cross

Sarah Kaiser-Cross

Graduate student |
United States

Interests: Modern Middle Eastern Politics, Political Mobilization, Revolutions, the Arab Spring, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Photo of Benjamin Kantor

Benjamin Kantor

Graduate student |

Interests: Biblical Hebrew, Historical Hebrew, Hebrew Reading Traditions, Medieval Hebrew Grammarians, Comparative Semitics, Arabic, Comparing Biblical/Arabic Literature, Koine Greek, Biblical Greek

Tynan Kelley

Graduate student

Photo of Sigrid K. Kjær

Sigrid K. Kjær

Graduate student

Interests: Hebrew Bible, Old Testament Exegesis, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Nabataean-Aramaic, Old South Arabian, Ancient North Arabian, Cultural Contact, pre-Islamic Arabia, Comparative Semitics.

Elliot Klosterman

Graduate student |

Interests: Modern Political and Security Affairs of Levant Region; Revolution, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Alexander Kreger

Graduate student

Education: Middle Eastern Studies, UT Austin

Mary Lagomarsino

Graduate student

Saffiya Latif

Graduate student

Thomas Leddy-Cecere

Graduate student |
(802) 356-0197

Interests: Sociolinguistics, dialectology, historical linguistics, language contact, pidgin and creole languages; Arabic, North American English

Joseph Leidy

Graduate student

Education: M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Modern Middle Eastern history, communal identity, diaspora, migration studies, Arabic

Photo of Katherine Maddox

Katherine Maddox

Graduate student

Tracey A Maher

Assistant Instructor |
FAC 27

Photo of Valerie Montes

Valerie Montes

Graduate Student | Teaching Assistant

Education: MA in Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures, The University of Texas at Austin

Interests: translation studies, Mediterranean studies, sociolinguistics, Arabic dialects, North Africa, the Maghreb

Caroline Najour

Graduate student

Interests: Teaching Arabic as a foreign language, contemporary Arabic fiction, Arabic language and culture, Francophone literature, colonial and postcolonial studies, feminist critical theory, and modern Middle Eastern history

Photo of Laura Partain

Laura Partain

Graduate student

Interests: Religious, Gendered, and Nationalist Identity in times of Political Conflict, Resistance Movements, Citizenship, Martyrdom, Abrahamic religious texts and traditions, Visual Culture

David Petit

Graduate student

Interests: Civil conflict, development and reconstruction, the Levant, terrorism and insurgency

Annika Rettstadt

Graduate student

Education: B.A. in Arabic and Arts & Humanities, Michigan State University

Interests: The Levant, Arabic Dialects, Terrorism and Insurgency

Javid Riahi

Graduate student

Education: M.A. Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin, B.A. Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Pitzer College

Interests: anthropology of science, technology and medicine in the Persian world, including Iranian diaspora communities in the United States and Europe.

Paul Ryan

Graduate student

Caitlin Sale

Graduate student

Photo of Jason Schroepfer

Jason Schroepfer

Graduate student

Education: M.A. Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin, B.A. Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, University of California, Berkeley

Interests: Arabic dialectology, phonology, language contact, sociolinguistics

Sarah Schwartz

Graduate student

Photo of Joshua Sears

Joshua Sears

Graduate student

Photo of Jung Min Seo

Jung Min Seo

Ph.D. Candidate / Assistant Instructor

Education: B.A. in Arabic & M.A. in Arabic Linguistics, Hankuk Univ. of Foreign Studies (Seoul, South Korea); M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, Columbia Univ. in the City of New York; Ph.D. in Arabic Studies, UT Austin

Interests: Arabic Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Dialectology, Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language

Melissa Smyth

Graduate student

Photo of David Sobey

David Sobey

Graduate student

Interests: Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Biblical Studies, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Syriac, Aramaic, Syntax, Early Christianity, Religious Studies

Photo of Navdeep Sokhey

Navdeep Sokhey

Graduate student

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

Photo of James Stewart

James Stewart

Graduate student |

Education: Double BA in History and Political Science from Utah State University, The Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Interests: History, Political Science, Arabic, Hebrew

Photo of Corinne Stokes

Corinne Stokes

Graduate student

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

Interests: TAFL, Arabic/Persian language and culture, performance and verbal art, sociolinguistics, popular culture

Photo of Phillip W. Stokes

Phillip W. Stokes

PhD Student / Assistant Instructor |
Calhoun 3

Interests: Arabic Dialectology; Contact Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Historical Arabic grammar; Comparative Semitics; Arabian Epigraphy; Aramaic varieties

Nicholas Teale

Graduate student

Angela Tripp

Graduate student

Photo of Michael Turner

Michael Turner

Graduate student

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

Interests: Arabic Dialectology, the Maghreb, Amazigh (Berber) Languages, Language Contact, Sociolinguistic Variation

Photo of Estefania Valenzuela Mocho

Estefania Valenzuela Mocho

Graduate student

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

Photo of Daniel Wang

Daniel Wang

Graduate student

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

Leena Warsi

Graduate student

Rawad Wehbe

Graduate student

Photo of Jack Weinbender

Jack Weinbender

Graduate student |
FAC 27

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

Interests: Hebrew Bible, Israelite Religion, Northwest Semitic Epigraphy, Second Temple Judaism, Early Christianity & New Testament, Septuagint, Digital Humanities, Open Access.

Photo of Katherine Whiting

Katherine Whiting

Graduate student |
HRH 3.102

Education: BA in Religious Studies with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies, Macalester College

Interests: Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language; Curriculum Design

Photo of Aren Wilson-Wright

Aren Wilson-Wright

Graduate student

Interests: Religions of Ancient Israel, Semitic Languages and Linguistics, Contact Linguistics, Cross-Cultural Contact

David Wood

Graduate student

Photo of Philip Zhakevich

Philip Zhakevich

Ph.D. Candidate / Assistant Instructor |
FAC 27

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

Interests: Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Language, Comparative Semitics, Linguistics

Photo of Anna Ziajka Stanton

Anna Ziajka Stanton

Graduate student

Education: M.A., The University of Texas at Austin (2013), B.A., Georgetown University (2007)

Interests: Arabic to English translation; Arabic literature from the nahda to the present; reading habits in the Arab world; Arabic literary prizes and book fairs

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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