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

Dena Afrasiabi

Graduate student

dena_afrasiabi@yahoo.com |
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

malshihry@hotmail.com

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


Photo of Ahmad Aminpour

Ahmad Aminpour

Graduate student

mardincan@gmail.com

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

kaslan@austin.utexas.edu

Education: MSW, Loyola University Chicago

Interests: Turkish and Persian language, literature and cinema


Niaz Aziz

Graduate Student

niazmuhsen@yahoo.com

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

slbaker@utexas.edu

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

nbasheer@utexas.edu

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

kirstenbeck17@gmail.com

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

bibee@utexas.edu |
WAG 14AC

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

bjoeru@utexas.edu

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


Photo of Weston Bland

Weston Bland

Graduate student

weston821@utexas.edu

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


Jessica Boggs

Graduate Student

jessica@austin.utexas.edu

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

bossut.ca@utexas.edu

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

adamdcameron@gmail.com |
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

mlundin@utexas.edu

Education: B.A. International Relations, American University

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


Claire Cooley

Graduate student

cooley@utexas.edu |
United States

Interests: Egyptian Cinema, Iranian Cinema, Contemporary Arabic Literature


Willis Cumming

Graduate student


Priscilla Cunha

Graduate student

pcunha@utexas.edu

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

Steven_Damiano@utexas.edu

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

emiliezuniga@utexas.edu |
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

anthony.edwards@utexas.edu

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

entezari@utexas.edu |
(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

ryanfan@utexas.edu

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


Gayle Fischer

Graduate student


Photo of Laura Fish

Laura Fish

Graduate student

laurafish@utexas.edu

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

johngloer@utexas.edu

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

sgolvach@utexas.edu |
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

kgoodin@utexas.edu

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

rachel.green@utexas.edu

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

shaqqani@utexas.edu

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

higginspat@hotmail.com

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

kellylhouck@gmail.com

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

jennifer.hunt504@gmail.com |
9857686406

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

paigeingram@utexas.edu

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

canan@utexas.edu

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


Photo of Sarah Kaiser-Cross

Sarah Kaiser-Cross

Graduate student

sarahkaisercross@gmail.com |
United States

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


Photo of Benjamin Kantor

Benjamin Kantor

Graduate student

bpkantor@utexas.edu |
CAL 5

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

s.k.kjaer@utexas.edu

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

Elliot.Klosterman@utexas.edu |
9372725409

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


Alexander Kreger

Graduate student

moyindau@gmail.com

Education: Middle Eastern Studies, UT Austin


Mary Lagomarsino

Graduate student


Saffiya Latif

Graduate student


Thomas Leddy-Cecere

Graduate student

thomas.a.leddycecere@gmail.com |
(802) 356-0197

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


Joseph Leidy

Graduate student

joseph.leidy@gmail.com

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

maher.tracey@utexas.edu |
FAC 27


Photo of Valerie Montes

Valerie Montes

Graduate Student | Teaching Assistant

vsmontes@utexas.edu

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

najour@utexas.edu

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

laura.p.partain@gmail.com

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

david.n.petit@gmail.com

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


Annika Rettstadt

Graduate student

annika.rettstadt@gmail.com

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

Interests: The Levant, Arabic Dialects, Terrorism and Insurgency


Javid Riahi

Graduate student

jriahi@utexas.edu

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

j_schroepfer@utexas.edu

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

jungmin@utexas.edu

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

dsobey@utexas.edu

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


Photo of Navdeep Sokhey

Navdeep Sokhey

Graduate student

navsokhey@utexas.edu

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


Photo of James Stewart

James Stewart

Graduate student

james.c.stewart@utexas.edu |
435-881-3760

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

corinne.stokes@utexas.edu

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

pwstokes84@gmail.com |
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

mlturner@utexas.edu

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

estefaniavalenzuela@utexas.edu

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


Photo of Daniel Wang

Daniel Wang

Graduate student

dwang2@utexas.edu

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


Leena Warsi

Graduate student


Rawad Wehbe

Graduate student


Photo of Jack Weinbender

Jack Weinbender

Graduate student

jack.weinbender@utexas.edu |
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

whiting.katy@gmail.com |
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

wilsonwright@utexas.edu

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

pzhakevich@gmail.com |
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

aziajkastanton@utexas.edu

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
    +1-512-471-3881