Staff

Emily Gottreich is the Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley. She is an Associate Adjunct Professor of History and International and Area Studies, and Chair of the undergraduate major in Middle Eastern Studies. Between 2009-2013 she served as the President of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies. Prof. Gottreich received a Ph.D. … Continued

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Julia Choucair-Vizoso is the Vice Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley. She recently completed her doctorate in Political Science at Yale University. She studies comparative politics, with interests in nondemocratic institutions, network theory, and the contemporary Middle East. Her current book project proposes a new framework for studying power in nondemocratic … Continued

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Amber Zambelli is the Outreach Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley. She earned her A.B. in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from Bryn Mawr College and conducted graduate study in Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley, where she focused on the archaeology of the pre-Islamic Arabian Peninsula. Her current research … Continued

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Michael David Lukas is Program Coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, helping to manage the J. Christopher Stevens Global Ambassadors Project. An experienced program manager, as well as a former Fulbright Scholar to Turkey and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Tunisia, he earned a BA in Comparative Literature at Brown University and an MFA in Creative Writing … Continued

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Neil (Nebil) Gali has joined the Center for Middle Eastern Studies as the administrative assistant in July 2016. Neil has a B.S. in business administration from Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey and an MBA from Baruch College, CUNY, in New York City. Prior to joining CMES Neil had several years of work experience with different … Continued

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Suher Adi is a third year undergraduate student at the University of California Berkeley majoring in Political Science and minoring in Peace and Conflict Studies and Public Policy. She is involved on campus with the Arab Retention & Recruitment Center where she serves as the Political Outreach Director. She is also serves as the National … Continued

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Hannah Ellis is a third year undergraduate student at the University of California Berkeley majoring in Political Science and minoring in Arabic. She is very interested in the intersection of religion and human rights especially in regard to women and hopes to work in a related field when she graduates. She is also an intern in … Continued

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Jenail Mobaraka is a first year undergraduate student at the University of California Berkeley double majoring in Middle Eastern Studies and intended Political Science. She was born in Syria but considers herself a native of the Southern California high desert. She speaks fluent Arabic and intends to further her education after graduating from UC Berkeley. … Continued

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Visiting Scholars

Ozlem Ezer studied English Language and Literature at Bogazici University in Istanbul, received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies at METU, Ankara and York University in Toronto, respectively. She completed her post-doctoral studies at Linkoping University in Sweden. Her book Dogu, Batı ve Kadın came out in 2012. The book was well … Continued

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Waleed Hazbun is Associate Professor of International Politics at the American University of Beirut (AUB) where he served as Director of the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies from 2011 to 2016. Before joining AUB in 2010, Dr. Hazbun taught at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. His areas of interest include the … Continued

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Sofia T. Shwayri is at work on a manuscript, “The Spaces of the Syrian War (2011-present),” a study of Syria’s military conflict and its emerging urbanism. Prior to her arrival at Berkeley, Sofia was an Associate Professor in International Planning and Development at Seoul National University in South Korea, a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, … Continued

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Faculty Affiliates

Rutie Adler has been teaching Hebrew language courses in the Department of Near Eastern Studies since 1986. She designed and implemented the UCB Hebrew site ivrit.berkeley.edu Among the courses she teaches regularly are: Intermediate and advanced Hebrew, Hebrew Literature, Structure of Hebrew, Advanced Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew Conversation, Teaching Hebrew in College, and Intensive Summer Workshops in … Continued

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Wali Ahmadi is an Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies, where he also serves as the departmental undergraduate advisor. Ahmadi, a native of Kabul, Afghanistan, came to the United States after graduating high school in the early 1980s. He earned a B.A. in political and social sciences from California State University, Hayward (now East Bay) … Continued

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Professor Asad Q. Ahmed joined the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Berkeley in the fall of 2012.  He specializes in early Islamic social and religious history and post-classical Muslim intellectual history.  In the former field, he focuses on the sociopolitical networks of the elite of the Hijaz during the first two centuries of the … Continued

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Nezar AlSayyad is a Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Urban History. He served as Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies from 1996 to 2014. AlSayyad holds a B.S. in Architectural Engineering and Diploma in Town Planning from Cairo University, an M.S. in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in … Continued

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Professor Karen Barkey is a member of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and Professor Sociology. Her areas of specialization include historical and political sociology, religious and ethnic toleration, nationhood and forms of nationalism, state control and dissent against imperial states, and the Ottoman Empire in comparative perspective. Prior to joining Berkeley, Prof. … Continued

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Dr. Peter Bartu teaches courses at the University of California, Berkeley on political transitions in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Gulf States. In 2011 he was a member of the UN’s stand-by mediation team and worked in Benghazi and Tripoli during the Libyan revolution among other assignments in Djibouti, Iraq and Malawi. … Continued

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Benjamin Brinner is a Professor of Music. His research interests include music cognition, Javanese and Balinese gamelan and Middle Eastern music. Before coming to UC Berkeley, Brinner taught in Israel at Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He also directed the Workshop for Non-Western Music at the Jerusalem Music Center, where he … Continued

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Ahmad Diab received his B.A. from Damascus University, majoring in English Literature. He completed an M.A. in English Literature at City University of New York while on a Fulbright scholarship. He was awarded a Ph.D. from the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, New York University. On an Erasmus Mundus scholarship he spent a semester of … Continued

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Deniz Ekici teaches Kurdish language courses in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley. He holds an M.A. degree in Political Science from Brooklyn College, CUNY and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Center for Kurdish Studies at the University of Exeter. He is a former visiting professor at … Continued

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After receiving her B.A. in Arabic from UC Berkeley, Elsa Elmahdy moved to Egypt to study at the American University in Cairo. There she received her M.A. in Arabic Studies, focusing on Arabic literature, followed by an M.A. in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL). Elsa’s current research project in Arabic language pedagogy is … Continued

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Munis Faruqui is an Associate Professor of South and Southeast Asian Studies. He teaches courses on Islam and the Muslim experience in South Asia. He is currently working on a monograph exploring state formation, imperial power, and dynastic decline in 16th and 17th century South Asia through the figure of the Mughal Prince. Recent and … Continued

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Keith P. Feldman is Assistant Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies and a core faculty member in the Program in Critical Theory. Trained in literary and cultural studies, his research interests include Theories of Race and Ethnicity; Cultures of the African, Arab, and Jewish Diasporas; Visual Culture Studies; Postcolonial Theory; and Critical Theory. Feldman received his … Continued

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Mia Fuller is an Associate Professor of Italian Studies. She is a cultural anthropologist who has combined fieldwork and archival research in her studies of architecture and city planning in the Italian colonies between 1869 and 1943. Her book on the subject, Moderns Abroad: Architecture, Cities, and Italian Imperialism (Routledge, 2007) won the International Planning … Continued

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Emily Gottreich is the Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an Associate Adjunct Professor of History and International and Area Studies, and Chair of the undergraduate major in Middle Eastern Studies. Between 2009-2013 she served as the President of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies. … Continued

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Dr.  John Hayes received his Ph.D. from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA in 1984. Since then he has taught at Cal, with occasional visiting stints elsewhere. His principal interests are Semitic linguistics; the history of Arabic and the grammatical study of Arabic; Sumerian; the contemporary Middle East. Dr. Hayes is … Continued

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Charles Hirschkind is an Associate Professor of Anthropology. His research interests include religious practice, media technologies, and emergent forms of political community in the Middle East and North America. He has held teaching positions at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the University of Toronto, and the New School of Social Research in New York. Hirschkind … Continued

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Asma Kazmi is an Assistant Professor of Art Practice, and formerly the Co-Director of the Art Program at the California Institute of the Arts. Her work is described as “transdisciplinary, performative, relational works where people, media, and objects come together,” and she has received such distinctions as a Fulbright Research Award, Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) … Continued

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Margaret Larkin is a Professor of Arabic Literature. She works on both classical and modern Arabic literature in literary and colloquial Arabic. Larkin was named the 2010 Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Civilizations at the American University in Cairo. She is currently at work on a book exploring the tenth … Continued

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Anneka Lenssen is an Assistant Professor of Global Modern Art in the History of Art department. A specialist in visual practices and cultural politics in the modern Middle East, her research and teaching interests include modernism and global mass culture, Islamic art (historical and contemporary), theories of representation, and translational practices. Her current book project … Continued

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Lisa Maher is an Assistant Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Anthropology. Her research focuses on hunter-gatherer societies in the Near East, North Africa and Arabia with the aim of reconstructing human-environment interactions during the Late Pleistocene. The transition between hunting and gathering and farming in this region is well-studied, but tends to focus on … Continued

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Saba Mahmood is an Associate Professor of Anthropology. Her focus includes the anthropology of subject formation, liberalism, and secular modernity; feminist and poststructuralist theory; religion and politics; and Islam, the Middle East, and South Asia. Mahmood is the recipient of the 2005 Victoria Schuck Award from the American Political Science Association. She also received an … Continued

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Maria Mavroudi is a Professor of History and Classics. She is a Byzantinist, whose research focuses on the relations between Byzantium and the Arabs, especially bilingualism in Greek and Arabic in the Middle Ages and its implications for cultural exchange between the Byzantine and Islamic world, including the development of Byzantine and Islamic science. Mavroudi … Continued

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Minoo Moallem is a Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies. She chaired the Gender and Women’s Studies department at the University of California at Berkeley from 2008–2010 and the Women’s Studies department at San Francisco State University from 2001–2006. Moallem has recently ventured in digital media. Her online project, “Nation-on-the Move”(design by Eric Loyer), was … Continued

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Laura Nader is a Professor of Anthropology. Her current work focuses on how central dogmas are made and how they work in law, energy science, and anthropology. Nader’s areas of interest include comparative ethnography of law and dispute resolution, conflict, comparative family organization, the anthropology of professional mindsets and ethnology of the Middle East, Mexico, … Continued

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Stefania Pandolfo is an Associate Professor of Anthropology. Her research involves the study of theories and forms of subjectivity and their contemporary predicaments in the Middle Eastern and Muslim world. Pandolfo’s writing, teaching and research cover the following themes: narrative, trauma, psychoanalysis and the unconscious, memory, historicity and the hermeneutics of disjuncture, language and poetics, … Continued

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Christine Philliou, associate professor, specializes in the political and social history of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey and Greece as parts of the post-Ottoman world. Her book, Biography of an Empire: Governing Ottomans in an Age of Revolution (University of California Press, 2011) examines the changes in Ottoman governance leading up to the Tanzimat … Continued

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Jaleh Pirnazar has been teaching in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley, since 1970. She has particular interest in Iranian Cinema, Persian Literature, Literature in Exile, and Language Teaching Pedagogy. She teaches Persian Language Courses: Elementary, Intermediate, Heritage (track courses), Modern Persian Literature, Classical Persian Literature, Iranian Film and Fiction.

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Benjamin W. Porter is Associate Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology in the University of California, Berkeley’s Near Eastern Studies Department and Acting Director of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Porter is a Near Eastern archaeologist who investigates how past Middle Eastern and Mediterranean societies built resilient communities and institutions in arid and semi-arid … Continued

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Professor Tlatli’s research interests are in francophone literature –particularly from North Africa—as well as colonial and postcolonial historiography. She has also written and researched on 20th century French psychoanalysis, philosophy and intellectual history. Publications include: “Les ruines de l’Algérie chez Kateb Yacine” in Hommage à Kateb Yacine ed. Nabil Boudraa (L’Harmattan, Paris, 2006) La Folie … Continued

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Cihan Tuğal is a Professor of Sociology. His research explores how the interaction between religion and politics shapes everyday life, urban space, class relations, and national identity. Tugal also studies Islamic mobilization in Turkey, Iran and Egypt to understand why similar movements have not resulted in a comparable Islamic market consensus in these countries. He … Continued

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