Humanities Graduate Student Earns Kudos as a Poet

Emily Jungmin Yoon

Emily Jungmin Yoon has more on her mind than earning her PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. The fourth year UChicago graduate student is an accomplished poet who writes about gender, race, and violence against women, primarily through intertwining the histories of her native Korea and the United States. Her first poetry collection, A Cruelty Special to Our Species (Harper Collins, 2018), is earning rave reviews.

Scholarly Associations for Middle East Studies Laud NELC Researchers for Illuminating Recent and Ancient History

Donald Whitcomb, Orit Bashkin, and Tunc Sen

Scholars in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations have discovered and excavated new archaeological sites and uncovered new perspectives about history in the Middle East that brought new understanding about the civilizations, daily life, and religious and scientific practices of the region. In recognition of their significant contributions to the field, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) and Middle East Medievalists (MEM) recently honored NELC faculty members Donald Whitcomb and Orit Bashkin, as well as NELC alumnus Ahmet Tunç Şen, MA’10, PhD’16. Whitcomb received the MEM Lifetime Achievement Award for his pivotal fieldwork in historic Islamic archaeology. As the co-winner of MESA’s 2018 Nikki Keddie Book Award for her book Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel (Stanford University Press, 2017), Bashkin explores the difficult transition for Iraqi Jews who migrated to Israel in the 1950s, especially of the women and children. For his 2016 dissertation on “Astrology in the Service of the Empire: Knowledge, Prognostication, and Politics at the Ottoman Court, 1450s–1550s,” Şen received MEM’s Inaugural Dissertation Award.

UChicago Cinema Expert Helps Identify 1898 Film as Earliest Depiction of African-American Affection

Allyson Nadia Field

UChicago Associate Professor Allyson Nadia Field assisted in identifying the African-American actors, director, and historical significance of Something Good–Negro Kiss, the newly discovered silent film from 1898 that is believed to be the earliest example of African-American affection on-screen. “It was remarkable to me how well the film was preserved, and also what the actors were doing,” Field said. “There’s a performance there because they’re dancing with one another, but their kissing has an unmistakable sense of naturalness, pleasure, and amusement as well.

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