UW Graduate School

NME Alumni

The UW Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Near & Middle Eastern Studies, established in 1993, has achieved extraordinary success in recruiting, training and placing students. Following is a list of all the graduates of the program.



Esra Bakkalbasioglu
Dissertation Title: Negotiating Illegality: Bypassed Minorities’ Access to Infrastructure in Middle Eastern Democracies
Chairs: Kasaba, R. & Migdal, J
Position: Microsoft User Researcher, Microsoft

Marwa Maziad
Dissertation Title:  Middle East Militaries: In and Out of politics and economies. A Dynamic Regional Order Approach to civil-military relations Comparative cases of Turkey, Egypt, and Israel
Chairs:  Kasaba, R. & Migdal, J
Position: Visiting Assistant Professor of political communication and public speaking, Seattle University, Department of Communication; and Visiting Scholar, University of Washington, Jackson School of International Studies
academia.edu link


Oscar Aguirre Mandujano
Dissertation Title: Poetics of Empire: Literature and Political Culture at the Early Modern Ottoman Court
Chair: Kuru, S.
Position: Assistant Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

Jeanene Mitchell
Dissertation Title: At the Confluence of Transnational and Local: Transboundary River Management in the Kura River Basin
Chairs: Kasaba, R. & Migdal, J.
Position: Transboundary Stakeholder Engagement Expert for the UNDP-Global Environment Facility Kura II Project: Advancing Integrated Water Resources Management across the Kura River Basin

Michael Degerald
Dissertation Title: The Legibility of Power and Culture: Ba‘thist Iraq from 1968-1991
Chair: Bet-Shlimon, A.
Position: Visiting Researcher, Lund University, Center for Middle Eastern Studies
academia.edu link

K. Mehmet Kentel
Dissertation Title: Assembling ‘Cosmopolitan’ Pera: An Infrastructural History of Late Ottoman Istanbul
Chair: Kasaba, R
Position:  Research Projects Manager, Istanbul Research Institute
academia.edu link


Albana Dwonch
Dissertation Title: Networks of Great Expectations: Palestinian Youth Movements in the Internet Age
Chair: Migdal, J.
Position: International Consultant & Researcher for Mercy Corps, Jerusalem

Zeynep Kasli
Dissertation Title: (Re)bordering Territory and Citizenship on the Greek-Turkish Borderland
Chairs: Migdal, J. & Kasaba, R.
Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Erasmus University Rotterdam, & Lecturer, Leiden University College, The Netherlands

Elizabeth Nolte
Dissertation Title:The Self and the State: Bureaucracy and the Ethics of Identity in the Twentieth Century Turkish Novel
Chair: Kuru, S.
Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Warwick, England


Jipar Duishembieva
Dissertation Title: Visions of Community: Literary Culture and Social Change Among the Northern Kyrgyz, 1856-1924
Chair: Campbell, E.
Position: Lecturer, Evergreen State College

Matthew Goldman
Dissertation Title: Domestic Conquest: Land Reform in the Middle East
Chair: Kasaba, R.
Position: Lecturer, New York University DC

Sevim Kebeli
Dissertation Title: Ottoman Reflections on Gender, Class and Race in Victorian England: Abdülhak Hamid Tarhan’s Finten
Chair: Kuru, S.
Position: Assistant Professor, Ankara Sosyal Bilimler Üniversitesi

Zeynep Seviner
Dissertation Title: Blue Dreams, Black Disillusions: Literary Market and Modern Authorship in the Late Ottoman Empire
Chair: Kuru, S.
Position: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Turkish Literature, Bilkent University


Evrim Gormus
Dissertation Title: The Invisible Hand of Islam: Islamic Business and the State Relations in Turkey and Egypt
Chairs: Migdal, J. & Kasaba, R.
Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science & International Relations, MEF University, Istanbul

Joakim Parslow
Dissertation Title: Lawyers on the Barricades: The Politics of Exceptional Law in Turkey, 1930-1980
Chair: Migdal, J.
Position: Associate Professor, Middle East Studies, University of Oslo

Russell Powell
Dissertation Title: Shari’a in the Secular State: Evolving Perceptions of Law and Religion in Turkey
Chair: Lombardi, C.
Position: Associate Provost for Global Engagement & Professor of Law, Seattle University

Muge Salmaner
Dissertation Title: Taste of the Past: Reading Food in Armenian Literature in Turkish
Chair: Kuru, S.


Kristian Petersen
Dissertation Title: The Great Transformation: Contours of the Sino-Islamic Intellectual
Chair: Walker, J.
Position: Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

Murat Inan
Dissertation Title: Writing a Grammatical Commentary on Hafiz of Shiraz: A Sixteenth-century Ottoman Scholar on the Divan of Hafiz
Chair: Kuru, S.
Position(s): Assistant Professor, Ankara Sosyal Bilimler Üniversitesi & Ahmanson-Getty Post-Doctoral fellow at the UCLA Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies


Zeynep Akbulut
Dissertation Title: Banning Headscarves and Muslim Women’s Subjectivity in Turkey
Chair: Kasaba, R.
Position:  Lecturer, Religious Studies, University of San Diego

Saad Bugaighis
Dissertation Title: The Italian Invasion of Libya in 1911 and the Nineteen Years of Libyan Resistance.
Chairs: Heer, N. & Mayerfeld, J.


Mamoun Sakkal
Dissertation Title: Square Kufic Calligraphy in Modern Arts of the Middle East: Transmission and Transformation.
Chair: DeYoung, T.
Position: Architect/Designer, Sakkal Design


Karam Dana
Dissertation Title: Before Their Nakba: Palestinian Society and Politics, 1920—and 1940
Chair: Kasaba, R.
Position: Assistant Professor of Middle East & Global Studies, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell

Denis Basic
Dissertation Title: The Roots of Religious, Ethnic, and National Identity of the Bosnian-Herzegovinan Muslims
Chair: Meeker, M.
Position: Extension Lecturer, University of Washington


Senem Aslan
Dissertation Title: Governing Areas of Dissidence: Nation-Building and Ethnic Movements in Turkey and Morocco
Chair: Migdal, J.
Position: Associate Professor, Politics, Bates College

Maha El-Taji
Dissertation Title: Arab Local Authorities in Israel: Hamulas, Nationalism, and Dilemmas of Social Change
Chair: Migdal, J.
Position: Resident Director, Council on International Educational Exchange & University of Haifa International School

Didem Havlioglu
Dissertation Title: And the Beloved Speaks: Mihri’s Hatun’s Voice in Early Modern Ottoman Literature
Chair: Kuru, S.
Position: Assistant Professor, Istanbul Sehir Universitesi & Lecturing Fellow, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Duke University

Jennifer Petzen
Dissertation Title: Gender Politics in the New Europe: ‘Civilizing’ Muslim Sexualities
Chair: Kasaba, R.
Position: Faculty Member, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin


Elmira Kuchumkulova
Dissertation Title: Kyrgyz Nomadic Customs and the Impact of re-Islamization after the Independence
Chair: Harrell, S.
Position: Head & Senior Research Fellow, Cultural Heritage & Humanities Unit, University of Central Asia, Aga Kahn

Gary Martin
Dissertation Title: Textual Histories of Early Jewish Writings: Multivalences vs. the Quest for “The Original”
Chair: Noegel, S.
Position:  Senior Lecturer, Near Eastern Languages & Civilization (NELC), University of Washington

Elliott Ohannes
Dissertation Title: William Mitchell Ramsay: An Intellectual Biography
Chair: Williams, M.
Position: Director of Information Resources and Faculty Member, Trinity Lutheran College


Magid Shihade
Dissertation Title: The History of an Incident and its Lessons: Communal Violence Among Arabs in Israel
Chair: Chirot, D.
Position: Faculty member, Birzeit University, Abu Lughod Institute for International Studies

Mary St. Germain
Dissertation Title: Al-Azdi’s Hikayat Abi al-Qasim al-Baghdadi: Placing an Anomalous Text within the Literary Developments of its Time
Chair: DeYoung, T.
Position: Head, Near East Section, Libraries, University of Washington


Erdag Goknar
Dissertation Title: Between Ottoman and Turk: Literary Narrative and the Transition from Empire to Republic
Chair: Kasaba, R.
Position: Associate Professor, Dept. of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Duke University

Karen Winslow
Dissertation Title: Framing Zipporah: Early Jewish and Christian Memories of Moses’ Wife
Chair: Williams, M.
Position: Professor and Chair, Department of Biblical Studies, Azusa Pacific Seminary, Azusa, CA


Ahmed Souaiaia
Dissertation Title: The Sociology of Inheritance: Privileged Parlance and Unearned Rights
Chair: Wheeler, B.
Position: Associate Professor, Religious Studies, University of Iowa


Nicole Watts
Dissertation Title: Routes to Ethnic Resistance: Virtual Kurdistan West and the Transformation of Kurdish Politics in Turkey
Chair: Kasaba, R.
Position: Professor, Political Science, San Francisco State University

Patricia Woods
Dissertation Title: Courting the Court: Social Visions, State Authority, and the Religious Law Conflict in Israel
Chair: Migdal, J.
Position: Associate Professor, Political Science, University of Florida


Hurriyet Gokdayi
Dissertation Title: Desire for Sohbet: An Ethnography of Communication in Turkey
Chair: Kasaba, R.
Position: Associate Professor, Mersin Universitesi, Turkey


Kagan Arik
Dissertation Title: Shamanism, Culture and the Xinjiang Kazak: A Narrative of Identity
Chair: Cirtautas, I.
Position: Ayasli Lecturer, University of Chicago, Near Eastern languages & Civilization

William Clark
Dissertation Title: Convergence or Divergence: Uighur Family Change in Urumqi
Chair: Harrell, S.
Position: Research Associate, Almaty, Kazakhstan, Intimak