«NMC Newsletter Message from the Chair With the winter academic term now officially behind us, and hints of summer fi- nally beginning to take hold ...»
Message from the Chair
With the winter academic term now officially behind us, and hints of summer fi-
nally beginning to take hold across campus, I am pleased to present our spring
special issue of the NMC Newsletter. This issue highlights some of the many activi-
ties and events that have taken place in the Department over the winter term,
while also celebrating some of the myriad accomplishments of our students, facul-
ty, and alumni. I wish especially to acknowledge Professor Todd Lawson for the rich and varied contributions he has made to the academic life of the Department over the past decade. We wish him all the very best as he enters retirement.
As I look back over the past year, it has been a particularly busy—and produc- tive—time in NMC. The Department is flourishing, with many exciting initiatives underway that promise to further advance our academic mission, and resource Inside this issue the programs that sustain it. As I have mentioned in recent communications, NMC is literally bursting at the seams, and in great need of enhanced meeting space. Graduate Symposium..…..... 2 Thankfully, we have received the green light to renovate our second floor meeting ARCE Meeting ……….……….. 2 area, with construction slated for the summer, and scheduled for completion be- fore classes resume in September. We look forward to inaugurating the new IIS News …...……..... ………… 3 space when everyone returns in the fall. Until then, enjoy a safe, rejuvenating— Student Award Winners …..... 4 and warm—summer!
Undergraduate Journal..…… 4 Faculty Research..…….……... 5 New NMC PhDs …………..……. 6 Alumni News ………….……….. 6 Visiting Scholars ……….…..… 7 Faculty Retirement ….……... 7 Support NMC …………….……… 8
Send future contributions to:
email@example.com "Women and Revolution in the Middle East" Panel Discussion organized by
The IIS is also launching an Ontario wide consortium of Islamic Studies. This new initiative aims to create a mechanism for utilizing the many resources available in Ontario for the study of Islam. The consortium will also connect graduate students from different institutions and help generate a wider sense of a Canadian scholarly identity among our graduates. The gathering was well attended and a follow up meeting for an organizing committee took place in midApril.
Currently, the Institute is developing a web portal to showcase Islamic scholarship and Professors Jim Reilly (right) and Jens Hanssen (centre) teaching across the University. The portal participating in the discussion. April 4, 2014.
will serve both as an electronic resource and provide information on Institute events, including links to the rich set of activities in other academic units across the three campuses. The site will also include links to the programs and faculty of the many units engaged in Islamic studies. In addition, the Institute will foster and facilitate networking activities across the UofT. Faculty and students who wish to propose an activity, receive more information about the IIS’s forthcoming activities, or join the email list, are encouraged to contact Professor Saleh (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sharon (Shervin) Mizbani has been awarded the Oktay and Virginia Aksan Scholarship.
Sharon is currently pursuing a Major in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and a double Minor in Political Science and History. Her research interests include the modern history of the Middle East with a focus on Turkey, as well as women's movements during the Ottoman and post-Ottoman periods.
Lisa Golombek, Robert B. Mason, Patricia Proctor, and Eileen Reilly: Persian Pottery in the First Global Age: the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Brill and ROM, 2014.
This publication studies the ceramic industry of Iran in the Safavid period (1501–1732) and the impact that the influx of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain had on local production, heightened by the activities of the English and Dutch East Indies Companies after c. 1700.
Professor Emeritus Amir Hassanpour published two recent articles:
“" ( ﺪﺭ ﺁﺳﺗﺎﻧﻪ ﺼﺪﻣﻳﻦ ﺳﺎﻟﮕﺭﺪ ﮋﻧﻮﺳﻳﺪ ﻣﻟﺖﻩﺎﻯ ﺍﺭﻣﻧﻰ ﻮ ﺁﺷﻭﺮﻯOn the eve of the centenary of the genocide of Armenian and Assyrian nations), Shahrvand, No. 1488, May 1, 2014 (http://www.shahrvand.com/ archives/49661) “Wanderings in ‘Adalar Sahilinde’, in Hamit Bozarslan and Clemance Scalbert-Yücel (eds), Joyce Blau:
L’éternelle chez les Kurdes. Paris: Institut kurde de Paris, 2013, pp. 135-150.
Amira Mittermaier, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, has published two contributions in 2014:
“Trading with God: Islam, Calculation, Excess.” In Companion to the Anthropology of Religion, edited by Michael Lambek and Janice Boddy. Wiley-Blackwell, 274-294.
“Dreams.” In Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God, edited by C. Fritzpatrick and A. Walker. ABC-CLIO, 151-153.
Linda S. Northrup, Associate Professor of Islamic History, has recently published “Al-Bīmāristān alManṣūrī Explorations: The Interface Between Medicine, Politics and Culture in Early Mamluk Egypt.” Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg Working Paper 12, Bonn 2013.
Professor Enrico G. Raffaelli (Zoroastrian Studies) has recently published a monograph The Sīhrōzag in Zoroastrianism: A Textual and Historico-Religious Analysis. The book focuses on the Avestan and Pahlavi versions of the Sīh-rōzag, a sacred text devoted to Zoroastrian divine entities. The study provides a reconstruction of the approximate chronology of the text as well as its ritual function.
Krzysztof J. Baranowski successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on March 7, 2014, written under the supervision of Professor Paul-Alain Beaulieu, and entitled "The Verb in the Amarna Letters from Canaan." These cuneiform documents date back to the 14th century B.C.E., and were addressed to the Pharaoh by Canaanite rulers. Krzysztof’s dissertation focuses on the nature of the linguistic system of these letters, their verbal system, its morphology and semantics.
Alumni News Ida Meftahi completed her doctoral studies in NMC in August 2013 with a dissertation on “Body National in Motion: The Biopolitics of Dance in Twentieth-Century Iran,” supervised by Professor Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi.
This past year she has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at the Pennsylvania State University, where she organized a lecture series on Tehran. Her chapter entitled "Dancing Angels and Princesses: The Invention of an Ideal Female National Dancer in Twentieth-Century Iran" was just published online (with print to follow soon) in the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity, edited by Dr. Anthony Shay. Meftahi's first book, based on her dissertation, just received a contract from Routledge’s Iranian Studies Series, which is published in collaboration with the International Society for Iranian Studies.
In 2014-15, Dr. Meftahi will be a Visiting Assistant Professor in Persian Studies at the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Maryland. Ida will be affiliated with the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, and will be teaching courses on Iranian culture and society.
Dr. Marica Cassis, a graduate of NMC’s Aramaic-Syriac programme, and now a tenured professor in the Department of History, Memorial University of Newfoundland, was awarded a five-year $400,000.00 SSHRC grant to explore the Byzantine settlement at Çadir Höyük in rural Anatolia (Turkey). Her Project goals are (1) to clearly articulate the phases of the long-term Byzantine habitation at the site, (2) to more clearly identify how small agricultural settlements in central Anatolia adapted and changed over the course of the Byzantine period, and (3) to better understand the relationships between the sites in this region, and to larger urban centers and fortifications.
Dr. Amar Baadj is a recent alumni of NMC. His doctoral dissertation, supervised by Prof. Linda Northrup, focussed on “The Struggle for North Africa between Almohads, Ayyubids and the Banu Ghaniya (Late Twelfth to Early Thirteenth Centuries A. D.).” Amar has just published his second article, "The Political Context of the Egyptian Gold Crisis during the Reign of Saladin," in the International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 47, No. 1 (2014), 121-38.
On May 1, 2014 Dr. Baadj began a one-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg/Research College for the study of ‘History and Society during the Mamluk Era (1250 - 1517),’ of the Rheinische FriedrichWilhelms Universität in Bonn, Germany.
During the 2014 Winter term NMC hosted several foreign scholars and doctoral fellows who came to UofT to conduct research on a variety of topics, and to foster relations between our respective educational institutions.
Dr. Derya Şahin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology at the Uludağ University (Bursa, Turkey) and her research interests include mosaics, iconography, late ancient settlements, and archaeological methods. While in Toronto, she conducted research on the Lelegian Wall, part of the fortification system of the earliest settlement (ca. 2nd millennium B.C.) at Mydnos, located near Bodrum-Gümüşlük, in southwest Turkey.
Bharat Punjabi is a visiting doctoral fellow from the Department of Geography at Western University. His current doctoral research investigates contemporary regional water politics between the city of Mumbai and its agricultural hinterland, specifically on the intra-rural and urban-rural conflict over water as sub-narratives within a focus on the broader regional water politics and sustainability in the region. Bharat has taught about the Middle East at Huron University College (London, ON), and is interested in the cultural interconnections between the Middle East and South Asia.
NMC Faculty Retirement
Professor Todd Lawson will be retiring on June 30, 2014, after more than a decade of dedicated teaching and service in NMC. Professor Lawson joined NMC as Associate Professor of Islamic Studies in 2003, and he has been an integral part of the department’s Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies program over the past decade, teaching courses on Qur’anic Exegesis, Islamic Mysticism, Shi’ism, and the Gnostics. Before joining NMC, Professor Lawson lectured in the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University (1995-1998). Prior to that, he was an Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies in the former Department of Middle East and Islamic Studies at UofT (1988-1994).
Professor Lawson’s research has been wide-ranging, encompassing a diverse range of topics within the fields of Qur’anic Exegesis and Islamic Thought, including Islamic mysticism, Sufism, and Shi’ism. He has written extensively, and published widely. Recent monographs include, The Crucifixion and the Qur’an: Historical Survey and Analysis of Muslim Scriptural Commentary (2009), Gnostic Apocalypse and Islam: Qur’an, Exegesis, Messianism and the Literary Origins of the Babi Religion (2012), and A Most Noble Pattern: Collected Essays on the Writings of ‘Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Bab (2012).
We will miss Professor Lawson’s infectious passion for his field, his dedication to teaching, and commitment to his students. May he have continued success and fulfillment as he enters retirement!
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