MESP Faculty Update 


Lisa Bhungalia

(Ph.D. Candidate, Geography) received the prestigious National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant ($12,000) for her project entitled “Managing Crisis: When Humanitarianism Becomes Government; the Politics of Humanitarian Relief in Balata Refugee Camp.” She also received the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs Goekjian Summer Research Grant ($3,000) and the Maxwell Dean’s Summer Research Award for dissertation research ($3,200).


Mehrzad Boroujerdi

(Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program) received an $81,000 grant from the United States Institute of Peace for his project entitled Iran’s Heavenly Chorus: The Political Elite of a Theocratic State. He gave invited lectures related to Iran at the Brookings Institution (Washington, DC, March 2008), the International Center for Journalists (Washington, DC, April 2008), and the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University (Waltham, Mas- sachusetts, May 2008). Dr. Boroujerdi was also appointed as an Institutional Trustee of the American Institute of Iranian Studies (beginning January 1, 2008). He will be on leave during the 2008-2009 academic year.


Karen Culcasi

(Ph.D. Candidate) successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Cartographic Constructions of the Middle East” on March 28, 2008 and has accepted a teaching position at West Virginia University.


Stephen Dockery

(BA Candidate, Photography Major and Middle Eastern Studies Minor) has been selected to represent Syracuse University on the first Middle East Journalism Boot Camp in Cairo and Qatar, sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation. The purpose of this program, which brings twelve American journalism students and twelve students from American University of Cairo and Qatar University together for three weeks, is to train the next generation of Middle East correspondents for Western news organizations and U.S./Europe-based correspondents for the Arab media.


Amy Aisen Elouafi

(Assistant Professor of History) presented a conference paper entitled “Where the Orient and Africa Meet: The Racialization of French Orientalist Writings on Tunisia,” at the Society for French Historical Studies Annual Conference at Rutgers University (April 2008). She also delivered two invited lectures respectively entitled “Blue Jeans, Beaches and Barricades: Middle East Women’s Rights in a Global Context, Examples from Tunisia and Bahrain” at Le Moyne College (March 2008) and “Trans/form- ing Families: Gender and Colonialism in Nineteenth Century Tunisia,” at the Gender and Globalization workshop at Syracuse University (January 2008).


Elisabeth Johnson

(BA, International Relations and Psychology majors, Middle Eastern Studies and French minors, 2006) traveled to Eskisehir, Turkey to conduct interviews for her Master’s thesis in International Affairs at American University. She interviewed women there about their experiences of the headscarf ban in universities — just after some universities had started to accept women with headscarves.


Zachary Kineke

(BA, Broadcast Journalism and Political Science majors and Middle Eastern Studies minor, 2009) interned at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC in the Communications Department (Spring 2008). This summer, he will participate in Syracuse’s Summer Abroad program in Israel. Immediately afterward, he will join Stephen Dockery to represent Syracuse University on the first Middle East Journalism Boot Camp in Cairo and Qatar.


Svetlana Peshkova

(Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion) presented the following lectures and conference papers during the 2007–08 academic year: “Violence; Violence and Gender; Gendered Violence: Levels, Subjects and Participants” (Le Moyne College); “Otinchalar in the Ferghana Valley: Whose Leadership Is It Anyway?” (25th annual conference of the American Council for the Study of Is- lamic Societies, Washington, DC); “Social Movements in Central Asia: Religious Discourse of Hizb-et-Tahrir” (Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington DC); and “Islam and Domestic Space: Women’s Religious Observance and Social Activism” (University College of Dublin, Ireland).


Joshua Stacher

(Post-doctoral Fellow, Middle Eastern Studies) published a paper with the Institute for Public Policy Research, a think-tank related to the British Labour Party, on Western governmental engagement with the Society of Egyptian Muslim Brothers. In ad- dition to policy recommendations, the paper looks at the history of the organization as well as its recent activities in Parliament. Another article entitled “The Election to Prepare Succession: An Anatomy of Egypt’s First Presidential Election” will appear in the summer 2008 issue of The Review of African Political Economy. Dr. Stacher has accepted a tenure-track job in the political science department at Kent State University in Ohio beginning August 2008.


In addition, the following students graduated with a Middle Eastern Studies Minor in May 2008: Christine Bald, Ilan Blorian, Megan S. Kale, Salvatore Sciandra III, and Yuanying (Sarah) Xie.