Awards

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 Professor To Receive the MLA's William Sanders Scarborough Prize for His Transformative Scholarship

C. Riley Snorton

In writing a book that develops a new vocabulary for black and trans life, C. Riley Snorton delves into the past 150 years of American history. Recognizing the UChicago scholar’s inventiveness and depth of research and analysis, his widely celebrated book Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) has notched another significant accolade. The Modern Language Association will award the William Sanders Scarborough Prize to Snorton for his groundbreaking scholarship on January 5 in Chicago. “In his inaugural year at UChicago, Riley has brought new perspective to our research and teaching in literature, race, gender, and sexuality,” said Anne Walters Robertson, Dean of the Division of the Humanities.

UChicago Professor to Receive the MLA's Prestigious James Russell Lowell Prize

Deborah Nelson

Selecting six distinctive 20th-century women for her book Tough Enough: Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil (University of Chicago Press, 2017), UChicago scholar Deborah Nelson examines how each woman responded to suffering in unsentimental ways, and how their unconventional responses reflect their active, expansive, and transformative relationship to the traumas of the 20th century. For her broad look at how their toughness reshaped the cultural landscape, Nelson will receive the 2018 James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association on January 5 in Chicago. "Debbie’s Tough Enough is a highly accessible book that is reaching audiences both within and outside academia,” said Anne Walters Robertson, Dean of the Division of the Humanities at UChicago. “The breadth of its appeal is, in part, what the premiere prize of the MLA honors, and this breadth corresponds to Debbie’s far-reaching impact at the University of Chicago.”

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